What is the best treatment for small teeth?

Small teeth are a common concern for those who are looking to improve their smile, but it’s important to remember that smaller teeth can also lead to eating difficulties or other concerns such as teeth grinding or jaw problems. Here we take a look at what causes small teeth and some of the treatment options available. 

What causes teeth to be small?  

Small teeth, also known as microdontia, is a common oral health problem that often runs in families. There are three types of microdontia: 

  • Localised microdontia: As the name suggests, localised microdontia means only one tooth is affected.  
  • Truly generalised microdontia: Truly generalised microdontia, involves all the teeth of the patient. This is quite rare and may be caused by pituitary dwarfism or Down’s syndrome. It may also be caused by the effects of chemotherapeutic and radiation treatment during the tooth development age. 
  • Relatively generalised microdontia: With relatively generalised microdontia, teeth appear smaller than they actually are. For example, if slightly smaller than normal teeth exist on a large jaw, they would appear small.  

Other causes of small teeth include erosion, often from a poor orthodontic arrangement or jaw position. 

How to fix small teeth? 

The treatment for small teeth varies – dental treatments that can increase the size of teeth depend on how much lengthening is needed, as well as your preferences and your price range. These treatments include: 

  • Dental bonding – Also known as composites, dental bonding involves applying a composite-resin material to the surface of the tooth. Once hardened, it resembles a normal-sized tooth. 
  • Dental crowns – For stronger, longer-lasting tooth extensions, porcelain crowns are a good option. A crown is a cap made from porcelain (ceramic) that’s custom made from a mould or digital impression of a tooth or teeth to make sure it fits perfectly. 
  • Dental veneers – Veneers are thin, tooth coloured ‘shells’ that cover the front of the tooth. They are made from porcelain or a high-tech ceramic. Some of the tooth may need to be removed to properly place the veneer but this is usually not needed when dealing with small teeth. 
  • Gum reshaping – If the issue isn’t with your teeth, but rather with your gums extending too far over the teeth and leaving a ‘gummy smile,’ then a dentist might recommend a gum lift. Also called gum reshaping or gum contouring, this procedure involves removing this excess gum tissue with a laser or scalpel to expose more of the teeth below. 

 
Do braces work on small teeth?  

Braces will still work on small teeth, but your orthodontist might recommend different, or additional, treatment to create a better smile. The type of treatment needed depends on whether teeth are shorter than average, narrower, or both. It also depends on how many small teeth you have. 

Can orthodontic treatment make your teeth bigger? 

Orthodontic treatment such as braces can’t actually increase the length of your teeth, but by straightening the teeth it could make them appear longer, especially if you only have a small number of smaller teeth. Once your treatment is finished, your orthodontist might recommend further treatments such as those listed above.  

Do braces look good on small teeth? 


If you opt for traditional braces, you might notice that the brackets look larger if your teeth are smaller. However, with the new sizes and colours available, braces on small teeth shouldn’t look different from those on larger ones. 
 
If you’re still worried that having braces might make your teeth appear even smaller, your orthodontist might recommend clear aligners so that the full surface of your teeth is still visible.  

If you’d like to find out more about orthodontics, find your local orthodontist and book a consultation today! No referral needed.

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