The Sacramento Dentistry Group Answers: What is Average Arch Width?

Arch width is often a factor in various dental and health problems. Crowded teeth are connected with arch width. A higher risk of bruxism and sleep apnea are also found in people with narrow arches. So what is an average size dental arch and what is considered narrow?

Arch Width

A client recently questioned what constitutes a narrow arch width? When asked, the dentists at the Sacramento Dentistry Group usually explain how arch width is best measured. Also, there is more to a good bite than just the width of the arches. Other important factors are also involved.

Measuring Arch Width

The best measurement for arch width is the distance between the first molars. One study examining nearly eight hundred people in the Czech Republic found an average arch width of 47 millimeters for women and 48 millimeters for men. Given that everyone is different in size and bone structure, some variation is possible for people with a perfectly acceptable bite. If the arch width reaches 35 mm or less, however, this is considered quite narrow and likely causes problems such as crowded teeth, sleep apnea and bruxism.

Other Important Factors in Dental Arches

Another point of interest for dentists and orthodontists is the shape of the arch. An arch should be predominantly U-shaped, growing progressively wider as it moves towards the molars. If the jaw narrows at the molars, creating an omega shape, this is generally a sign of malocclusion. The same would apply to a jaw that is narrow at the front, creating a V-shape. These are not the only measurements made when considering the shape and size of the arch, however, and an orthodontic procedure is always preceded by a thorough examination of many different points on the jaws.

For more information about what constitutes a healthy arch and how techniques like Invisalign aligners, braces and the DNA Appliance system can help you, you may contact the Sacramento Dentistry Group for a free consultation. They can be reached at or by calling 916-538-6900. 

Source: Sacramento Dentistry Group