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Jake Gyllenhaal 's 2 front teeth are very square (no rounded edges). The teeth next to the front ones (lateral incisors) are small and the one on his right side is higher than the left side. While not ideal, he still looks good in my book!

There is a gold standard that all orthodontists try to follow when it comes to the perfect teeth! Read below to find out more.

1) Shape of the teeth - Teeth can be more triangular shaped or rectangular shaped. The more rectangular shaped teeth are preferred. However, they can't be too rectangular since then they look like horse teeth - the edges around the teeth should be rounded and curved.

2) Proportions - The 2 front teeth should be rectangular in shape and not square. Teeth should be taller in height than in width, giving them a rectangular shape. For all you math majors out there, the proportion is 1.0mm tall : 0.8mm wide.

The 2 teeth on either side of the front teeth (called lateral incisors) should be smaller and about 80% the width of the 2 front teeth. A common problem is to have small or "peg shaped" lateral incisors. Look at this picture below and how small the side teeth are compared to the 2 front teeth. The "after" picture shows how the size was fixed with veneers.

3) Edges - Some patients want all of the front teeth to line up in one straight line but this is not esthetic! The 2 lateral incisors should be half a millimeter higher than the 2 front teeth. The canine teeth should not be too pointy since then people don't like that they look like vampires! The canine teeth should be at the same level as the 2 front teeth.

The edges of all the teeth should be smooth. See how in this picture, the edges are a bit bumpy. Your orthodontist can fix this by a little "manicuring" and smoothing out the edges of the teeth to make them more even.

4) Gum line - The gums around the front teeth should look like this picture. Sometimes, there are uneven gum lines and it doesn't look good when a person smiles.

Keep in mind, teeth have normal variations and that's what makes us unique! That's all folks!

Some people notice that they can have bad breath with braces. There are a few causes of bad breath but the most common one comes from food stuck around the braces and in between teeth. When you don't brush and floss your teeth well, plaque, which is made up of bacteria, collects on the teeth. These bacteria can lead to bad breath. Not to worry though! The best way to control bad breath is to brush at least twice per day, floss around your braces, and use mouthwash. Try a few different kinds of toothpaste to see which one you like best. From my personal experience, Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste is effective to give you minty breath and Breath Rx or Act mouthwash works well in addition. Mouthwash alone isn't going to cure any bad breath problems - so make sure you brush and floss well. See this post on How to Keep your Braces Clean.

I get very excited about these kinds of braces! Invisible braces are called "lingual braces." They go on the inside of your teeth and no one can see them when you are smiling or speaking. They are a great option for adults and teens that don't want to be wearing traditional braces. A lot of times people go back and forth between Invisalign and lingual braces. Both are excellent options. Let's go over the pros and cons of invisible braces.


  • Completely esthetic since no one can see them.

  • Easier to clean than regular braces.

  • No white spots after taking the braces off.

  • Can fix anything that traditional braces can fix.

  • They are completely customized to fit your teeth, with individual sets of wires and braces for you, which are more accurate.


  • Interfere with speaking for a few days-2 weeks until you get used to them.

  • Might cause little sores on your tongue until it toughens up.

  • Expensive! The companies charge a lot to manufacture these braces since they are completely customized for you.

  • More emergency appointments if the wire is sticking out since you can feel it on the inside with your tongue.

Ask Dr. Markova about invisible braces today! Call our office for a FREE consultation: 703-774-3070.

Here is a patient talking about their experience with lingual braces:

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