Can Invisalign Widen My Smile?

When I was younger, I needed orthodontic work. The dentist said I’d need a palette expander, but my parents thought that was too expensive so it never happened. Now, as an adult, I am stuck with all these problems with my teeth to deal with. I have a narrow bite and some crowding. I have heard some people say that Invisalign can actually help with this. Is that true or am I giving myself false hope?


Dear Carolyn,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

Generally speaking, clear braces, such as Invisalign, can widen a smile, but you must remember that each case is unique and there are limitations. Much of this will depend on what shifting is necessary and how much space is available. Invisalign is planned by an advanced software program, so your dentist could run a simulation to show you what results you can expect before you make any decisions.

As I mentioned, there are limits. Your narrow palette could prove to be the biggest obstacle. Palettes are easily expandable when you are young because everything is still developing. Now that you are an adult and things are pretty much set, there is only so much movement possible. When dealing with overcrowding, especially in adults, dentists usually end up removing some teeth to make room for the proper placement.

I can’t give you specifics for your case and what is possible. My best advice to you would be to see two or three Invisalign certified dentists to get their recommendations for you specifically. Look at the computer simulations and decided which dentist you are most comfortable with.

I know it is frustrating when it would have been easier if your parents had handled this, but don’t be too hard on them. Money is finite and when there isn’t enough of it, you can’t just pull it out of thin air. They were probably doing the best they could.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.