Taking your photos for your Home Impression Kit

To create the best treatment plan your SmartSmileCo orthodontist requires a close look at your teeth. If you have ordered an Impression Kit, rather than visiting a SmartSmileCo clinic, you need to take 8 photos, some standard profile shots and some weirder mouth shots. This article and your guide included in your Impression Kit helps you take the best photos.

Why good photos matter

Quality photos enable the doctors in our network determine whether you’re a good candidate for SmartSmileCo treatment and to create the more appropriate treatment plan.

Also, throughout your treatment you’re required to upload images to your portal so we are able to assess your progress.

The required photos

When using your Home Impression Kit we require these 8 photos:

The first 3 photos are selfies:

1. Front facing with smile: Look straight at the camera, think of your new smile and give us a grin ear to ear.

2. Front-facing without a smile: Look straight at the camera without a smile. No need to be serious, just natural.

3. Side-facing with a smile: Bite your teeth together naturally. Put the camera on a timer or get a friend to shoot you from the side without smiling.

The remaining photos pretty gummy:

You’ll need your cheek stretcher located in your kit. To fit your cheek stretcher in your mouth place the bigger tabs on the inside of your cheek and the handle facing down. Push the sides gently together to fit it in your mouth.

4. Front bite: Bite down on your back teeth, pull the cheek stretcher to the side and make sure your photo clearly captures your back teeth. Make sure we can see your top and bottom gums. You may need to get your lips out of the way. It can be tricky to pull the cheek stretcher and hold your phone at the same time so it might take a couple of tries to get it right.

5. Upper teeth: We need to see the surfaces of your upper teeth all the way to the back. This photo can also be tricky so it might take a couple of tries to get it right.

6. Lower teeth: Similarly, we need to see the surfaces of your bottom teeth all the way to the back. Make sure your tongue is not covering your bottom teeth.

7 & 8. Left and right bites: Bite down naturally on your back teeth like this. This is your natural bite. Make sure the photos clearly capture your back teeth.

Tips for getting great photos

For these photos your selfie front-facing camera won’t work as the quality of many selfie cameras is too low, so you’ll need to use your phone’s main camera. Be sure to turn your on flash so we can see all the way to your back teeth. Some tips are to get a friend to shoot your photos, put the camera on a timer, or use a mirror to help you.

While in front of a mirror, face the phone towards the mirror. Point your phone’s main camera at your mouth. Watch the reflection of your phone screen as you take your photos.

Photos that have gaps between your teeth, like this, or with the jaw askew, like this, will have to be retaken.

Brush and floss your teeth

Before you take any photos, make sure your smile is clean. This helps us clearly see and assess your smile. If you don’t floss often, rinse your mouth with warm saltwater for 30 seconds after you floss, before you take your photos. That will help bring down any swelling in your gumline.

Lighting is key

Take your photos in a brightly lit room. While a flash can help with the gummy shots to see the back teeth, it’s not always required. If the light is directly in front it can actually make it harder to see the image clearly. Also if the light is behind your head, distortions and shadows affect image making your teeth difficult to see.

Use the Cheek Stretcher

Your Home Impression Kit includes a Cheek Stretcher. It helps to gently push your lips out of the way so we can clearly see your full set of teeth.

Keep your Cheek Stretcher through your treatment to take more progress photos.

If you lose your Cheek Stretcher use your fingers to gently push your lips away for a better shot of your teeth.

Get close-up

For your gummy shots we only need to see your smile. Get in close so we can clearly see your teeth, gums, and lips. We don’t need to see your face. We also don’t need to see your nose or eyes.

Have someone else help take the photos

As they say, team work makes the dream work. It is much easier if someone helps. There are lot of small details to consider when taking your photos. If someone else takes the photos, they can make sure the photos are clear and close-up. Ask family or friends you know who take good photos.

Set up

If you are taking the photos yourself, put your phone on a stable surface at eye level and don’t use the front-facing camera. Stay still for the picture to prevent blurry photos.

Follow the Guide

Be sure to compare your photos to the photos in the guide. Don’t hesitate to take them again to get them right. It’s worth taking a little time to get them right so you won’t have to resubmit your photos.


Photos should have good quality and high resolution. Don’t send blurry or pixelated photos.

Uploading incorrect photos or ones that don’t meet the requirements can cause delays. Take the time to take good photos to get started on your treatment to a new smile ASAP.

Now what?

Once your photos are complete, upload all 8 photos to your SmartSmileCo portal.

If you have any questions, please contact us.


SmartSmileCo provides affordable clear aligners for a range of orthodontic cases, from simple to complex. Don’t pay a fortune! Give us a call on 0468 388 534 and we’ll help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. Click this link to get your easy, at-home impression kit.

Take this survey to test whether you are a good candidate for treatment: AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE?