Don’t Make These 7 Mistakes on Your Photo Assessment

For patients using an impression kit, the online photo assessment is the first step in determining if you’re a candidate for SmileDirectClub aligners. Having clear, easy-to-see photos is the easiest way to speed up your SmileDirectClub evaluation process.

1. Make sure your photos match the samples.

When you upload your photos, you’ll be able to see samples of what your images should look like. If the angle or focus (or really any part) of your pictures doesn’t match these images, you need to retake them!

2. Don’t take the photos yourself.

Unless you absolutely have to, don’t take your own photos. It’s difficult to take close, in-focus photos that capture all of your teeth when you take them yourself. If you don’t want to have to send in new photos, don’t take them yourself. If you have to take them yourself, don’t use a front-facing camera, as this actually flips the image, making it difficult for the dental professional to determine which side of your mouth they are seeing.

3. Don’t take your photos from far away.

Your smile should take up the full frame when taking your picture (and not be cause you cropped the photo after you took it). We need to see your teeth up close and personal, so get close to that camera lens! If your whole head (or even more than your whole head) is in the photo, then you need to try again.

4. Capture all of your teeth, even the back ones.

If the dental professional reviewing your case can’t see your molars (the very last teeth in your mouth), they can’t assess your smile. This goes for all photos—whether your mouth is open or your teeth are closed, and you’re pulling your lips back to capture the sides of your teeth. Make sure you aren’t covering up any of your teeth (molars included) with your fingers or lips! Use the handy smile stretcher tool including in your impression kit to ensure your entire smile is visible!

5. Bite down on your back teeth, not your front teeth.

Some of the photos require you to bite down. For these images, you should be biting down on your molars to show your natural bite. Don’t bite so that your front teeth line up directly with your bottom teeth. This type of posturing forward doesn’t showcase your actual bite, and these photos will be rejected.

6. Use bright light, but not too bright.

It’s best to take your photos in a brightly lit room, but don’t stand directly in front of the light source. If the light is behind your head, it distorts the image, making your teeth difficult to see. We also don’t want to see light reflected off your teeth. If you use a flash, and it’s causing reflections or making your teeth shine, turn it off.

7. Don’t take photos without cleaning your teeth.

Brush and floss before you take your photos. If your teeth aren’t clean, it makes it difficult to clearly see and assess your smile. If you don’t floss often, you’ll want to rinse your mouth with warm salt water for 30 seconds after you floss, before you take your photos.

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