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Braces Only on Top Teeth

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

It’s not unusual for adults and children to request braces on top teeth only. It makes sense: if you’re happy with the way your bottom teeth look, or couldn’t be bothered to straighten them since they’re not as visible, it’s easier to just focus on the top teeth, right?

Well, it is a little more complicated than that and several factors come into play with just treating one row of teeth.

Top Braces Only

Depending on what your issues are, you can get braces on just your upper teeth. This treatment is called single arch orthodontic treatment.

Some orthodontists will put braces on just the top teeth before concentrating on your bottom teeth. When that happens, the orthodontist carefully assesses your bite and the relationship between your top and bottom teeth, since changing just one set of teeth can affect your bite.

Braces on Top Teeth - Factors to Consider

Your smile doesn’t just depend on the position of your teeth. Your bite is a complicated relationship that also involves your jaws. If your jaws aren’t balanced, that can affect how your teeth fit together (your bite).

There may be times when a single arch treatment leaves you with a worse bite. It’s important to achieve an even bite to help distribute even forces on your teeth and prevent wearing and trauma.

Another thing to consider is the way your teeth move. For instance, crowded teeth tend to move forward when straightened whereas teeth with spaces between them move backward. So, while getting braces on top teeth only will straighten those top teeth, your bite will be off. If your top teeth are crowded, for example, addressing just the upper teeth can cause your overbite to grow larger.

In the case of both rows of teeth needing treatment, it is also worth considering the fact that as we age, we show more and more of our bottom teeth! Straightening just the top of aesthetics won’t cut it in the long-term (usually).

Top Teeth Braces - What to Expect

If you do opt for getting braces on top teeth only, you’ll need to stick to soft, easy to eat foods until the initial discomfort goes away. You will also be expected to continue practicing good oral hygiene and visit your orthodontist regularly for check-ups and adjustments. And if you are travelling with braces, make sure you are prepared to care for them.

While some people do opt for braces on their upper teeth only, in the majority of cases it will be better to address your bite as a whole to create a beautiful, symmetrical smile. Your own situation is unique. A full assessment with an orthodontist will let you know if braces for top teeth only could be an option for you.

To learn more, talk to Fine Orthodontics today about the perfect treatment for your smile.


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Specialist Orthodontist Input by Dr Martin Fine BDS, MSc, MSc

Dr Martin Fine

Dr Martin Fine

Specialist Orthodontist Dr Martin Fine, BDS, MSc (Orthodontics), is based in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. With over 30 years' experience in private practice, Dr Fine has expertise working with a wide variety of orthodontic appliances, including braces and Invisalign. He has presented at orthodontic conferences globally, and has taught postgraduate orthodontic students at the University of Sydney. Dr Fine is a member of both the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) and the ASO (Australian Society of Orthodontists), and is a former president of the Alpha-Omega Dental Society's Sydney Chapter.  In the past, Dr Fine's research has been featured in the Angle Orthodontist journal. Dr Fine is committed to providing outstanding patient care using the latest and most effective techniques. Most recently, Dr Fine has developed and introduced the innovative FineLine clear aligner system, which has been specifically developed to meet the needs of patients at Fine Orthodontics.

Written by Danielle Long, writer

Danielle Long

Danielle Long.png

Danielle Long is a writer at Fine Orthodontics. She holds graduate qualifications in English and Education and is an integral part of the team at Fine Orthodontics. Danielle Long has been assisting in the orthodontic care process at Fine Orthodontics for over fifteen years, working closely with the team to provide exceptional patient support, communication and coordination of treatment plans. As a writer and an orthodontic treatment coordinator, Danielle Long's primary responsibilities include facilitating exceptional patient education and communication, ensuring seamless coordination of treatment plans, and providing support to the clinical orthodontic team at Fine Orthodontics.

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