Skip to main content

A very common question we get from patients is “Why Are My Teeth on an Angle”? There are two main reasons behind why teeth may be angled forwards or backwards and we thought we would provide some insight. 

Let’s first talk about Crowding and Spacing. The space available for teeth and the size of teeth are not correlated at all. Someone can have big jaws and small teeth – which will result in spacing, or small jaws and big teeth – which will result in crowding. Very rarely is the space available and the size of teeth perfectly correlated. If that were the case, orthodontists would be out of business 🙂 


Side note – the space available for the teeth and the size of the teeth do not change. After about age 7, once the permanent first molars have erupted, we have an idea what we’re working with. In fact, when the baby second molars exfoliate (usually around the age of 11), the permanent first molars tend to move forwards, reducing the space available to align the front 10 teeth. When severe crowding is anticipated, oftentimes a lower lingual holding arch is recommended as a space maintainer to keep the permanent molars back. The message here is that even though the jaws grow (forward and downward) up until late teenage years, it does not give more space for the teeth. 


Crowded teeth need room/space to align. So when we align them with braces or Invisalign, two things happen – the teeth move outwards and forwards. In general, however, most of this is expressed by forward movement of the teeth and this causes protrusion. In these situations, the teeth may be angled out quite excessively. Teeth cannot be moved outwards that much as the bone size is fixed and moving them outwards too much leads to gum recession. That is why if you are a candidate, your orthodontist may prescribe a palatal expander. This appliance actually makes the upper jaw wider, creating more bone, so the teeth can be moved outwards (laterally) as opposed to forwards). Extractions and interproximal reduction are other solutions to help reduce the excessive forward angulation of teeth.


Conversely, in situations where there is a lot of extra space, closing all the space can lead to the front teeth angling backwards. In some of these situations, your orthodontist may recommend that you consider getting dental bonding. This is a conservative approach where your dentist will add tooth coloured filling material to the sides of some teeth to make them bigger. 


The second main reason that affects the angulation of teeth is jaw position. Most people’s jaws are not perfectly aligned. In situations where the upper jaw is ahead of the lower jaw, an “overbite” usually appears. An “underbite” often occurs in situations where the lower jaw is ahead of the upper jaw. Orthodontists are tasked with making the teeth fit together since the jaw positions are usually fixed and cannot be changed significantly. 


How is this done? In an “overbite” the orthodontist is applying a backwards force to the upper teeth and a forwards force to the lower teeth. In these situations the front teeth often appear angled backwards slightly and the lower teeth appear to be angled forwards. The opposite is true for underbites – where the upper teeth appear to be angled forwards and the lower teeth are angled backwards. 


Keep in mind there is always a limit to how much the teeth can be moved since they are housed within bone and gums. Moving teeth too far forwards and backwards can have the same effect as moving them too much outwards – gum recession or even tooth loss. In situations where the jaw discrepancies are too large, jaw surgery needs to be considered. 


In summary – the angulation of one’s teeth is dependent on a multitude of factors. When crowding is addressed with orthodontics, the tendency is that the front teeth can end up excessively angled forwards. When spacing is addressed with orthodontics, the tendency is that the front teeth can end up excessively angled backwards. In “overbites” the front teeth are more upright compared to “underbites” where the front teeth are angled more forwards.

If you wish to change the angulation on your teeth feel free to contact our Vaughan office or you can even submit photos for a virtual consultation.

In-Person Consultation

Use our handy online scheduler below to choose the date and time that works best for your initial complimentary consultation appointment!

Please note that while initial orthodontic consultations are complimentary, if you recently completed orthodontic treatment or currently are in active appliances with another provider, seeking a replacement/repair for a retainer, or looking to schedule a second consult after your initial one there is a fee for the consultation. Please contact us for more information.

Alternatively, please contact our office directly by phone/text if you are trying to book multiple consultations at the same time or are seeking consultation further out than 12 weeks.

Please note – If none of the available times on our online scheduler work for you we do have other consultation times available. Please contact us directly for more information.

Virtual Consultation

Skip the office visit and have your free consultation from the comfort of your home. The start to your beautiful smile is just a few photos and clicks away.

X-Ray Upload

Insurance Upload

When it comes to financing there’s no one size fits all solution. Likewise, there is no singular solution when it comes to financing. At LendCare, we get that and go deeper to understand your unique story and offer flexible options that work best for you, given your current financial situation. That means you get affordable financing, even if your credit is anything but top-tier.

Walt Orthodontics is pleased to offer interest-free payments up to 30 months. If you require payments over 30 months we are happy to offer the LendCare solution.


Dr. Walt received his dental (DDS) degree from the University of Western Ontario, graduating first in his class and receiving the Gold Medal as well as numerous awards recognizing his scholastic and clinical achievements, leadership and character. He then completed his orthodontic training at the University of Colorado, where he received both his Specialty Certificate and Master of Science Degree. During his residency, he was awarded the Rocky Mountain Orthodontics Scholarship for overall excellence.

After graduating from residency and opening Walt Orthodontics in 2013, Dr. Walt committed himself to applying his traditional orthodontic education into the digital world to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience. He currently serves as a Faculty Member, Key Opinion Leader, and Advisory Board Member for Align Technology which involves traveling around the world to teach other orthodontists about Invisalign. Being at the forefront of digital orthodontics, Dr. Walt was invited to be the first orthodontist in Canada to use custom LightForce braces. He also serves as an Orthodontic Coach/Mentor for other orthodontists looking to improve their knowledge of digital orthodontics.

In addition to practicing orthodontics, Dr. Walt is a “die-hard” Blue Jays fan and enjoys working out in his spare time.


Dr. Stephanie Grossman pursued her dental degree in sunny South Florida at Nova Southeastern University. She graduated with honours, at the top of her class, and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honour Society. She then completed her orthodontic training at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she received both a Specialty Certificate in Orthodontics and a Master of Science degree. She is both a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.

Dr. Grossman strives to provide the highest standard of orthodontic care for her patients. She attends numerous hours of continuing education and utilizes the latest advancements in orthodontics. Dr. Grossman is licensed to practice in both the United States and Canada.

Outside of the clinic, Dr. Grossman enjoys spending time with her friends and family and traveling the world. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and loves trying new restaurants!