Hamilton Mountain Dental Group

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portrait of teen girl showing dental braces

Do Braces Change the Shape of Your Face?

posted January 16, 2024

If you have misaligned teeth or an uneven bite, your dentist may have recommended braces or an Invisalign treatment to correct your misalignments. Getting your teeth straightened is important, not just for a more even smile, but to facilitate proper eating and speaking and for a range of oral health benefits.

However, you may have concerns about whether braces will affect the shape of your face. Orthodontic treatment can affect facial structure somewhat; however, the extent of these changes depends on the type of correction required and your specific facial features.

Braces and Invisalign reshape your face by applying pressure to the periodontal ligament, the connective tissue linking teeth to surrounding bones. This pressure prompts the gradual remodeling of facial bones, altering your face’s shape.

Your dentist considers potential changes to your facial structure when planning your treatment, and will discuss these changes with you, so you fully understand any impacts. Your dentist understands how the correction of your bite may alter facial features and can ensure aesthetics are addressed.

Key Takeaways

Braces Influence Facial Shape: Braces have the potential to alter the shape of your face by correcting dental misalignments and improving jaw positioning, ultimately enhancing facial symmetry and appearance.

Gradual Transformation: The changes to facial structure resulting from braces are typically gradual, occurring as the teeth and jaws are gradually repositioned throughout the course of treatment.

Individualized Impact: The extent of facial changes induced by braces varies among individuals, influenced by factors such as the severity of misalignment and the unique anatomy of the patient’s face and jaw.

Consider Lip and Muscle Positioning: As braces work to align teeth and jaws, there may be subtle adjustments in the positioning of the lips and facial muscles, contributing to a more balanced facial profile.

Patience is Key: Significant alterations to facial appearance may take time to manifest fully, highlighting the importance of patience and consistent adherence to the orthodontic treatment plan.

Professional Guidance: Prior to undergoing orthodontic treatment, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified orthodontist to assess individual needs, discuss potential outcomes, and develop a personalized treatment approach tailored to achieve desired facial changes.

How Dramatic Are Any Changes?

In most cases, any changes are very subtle, although the impacts on facial structure will depend on the type and severity of the malocclusion (poor bite) or teeth misalignment that is being treated by the braces. Younger patients are more likely to have more noticeable changes than adults.

Some changes, such as an initial puffiness in the cheeks when braces are placed, due to tissue inflammation, adjusting muscles, and increased blood flow, are only temporary. On the other hand, changes from corrected alignments are permanent.

Impacts on the Jawline and Chin

In certain cases, orthodontic treatments can influence the prominence of the jawline and chin. For individuals with a prominent or receding chin, braces can be part of a comprehensive orthodontic plan to address such concerns. By adjusting the position of the teeth and jaws, orthodontists can contribute to a more harmonious balance between facial features. These changes are often more noticeable and may have a more lasting impact on facial appearance, even after the removal of braces.

Impacts on the Mouth

Conditions such as an open bite can hinder the ability to fully close the mouth, resulting in a stretched appearance. Correcting the bite can contribute to a noticeable change in the shape of your mouth when closed. Also, in some situations where front teeth become better aligned, lips can look fuller.

Types of Corrections and Impacts on Facial Structures

The type of orthodontic correction will affect how facial features may be influenced.

Overbites

An overbite is caused by the upper front teeth protruding over the lower front teeth. During the treatment period for this. An orthodontic treatment can bring the upper teeth and jaw into alignment with the lower half. Overbites often create the appearance of a weak or recessed chin and lips may protrude with the teeth; correcting an overbite will create a more even profile.
overbite dental occlusion malocclusion teeth medically accurate tooth illustration

Underbites

Underbites are the opposite situation; the lower front teeth protrude over the upper teeth. Orthodontic treatments may be used to gradually move the lower teeth and jaw backward, into alignment with the upper jaw. An underbite may make the lower jaw and chin appear very prominent and can cause cheeks to look sunken. Treating an underbite will reduce the corresponding facial appearance associated with this condition.
underbite dental occlusion malocclusion teeth medically accurate tooth illustration

Crossbites

Crossbites involve a lateral misalignment of the upper and lower jaws, leading to a skewed bite. Braces for crossbite correction aim to realign the jaws, ensuring that the upper and lower teeth fit together properly. The changes in facial appearance during crossbite correction are typically minimal; however, facial symmetry may be slightly increased.
anterior crossbite dental occlusion malocclusion teeth medically accurate tooth illustration

Spacing and Crowding

Braces are often used to address issues related to spacing and crowding of teeth. While these corrections primarily target dental alignment, the resulting changes in the arrangement of teeth can have subtle effects on facial appearance.

Correcting misalignment can make a lip and facial profile seem more even. In cases of crowding, where teeth are tightly packed, braces work to create space, potentially allowing for a broader smile and increased symmetry. Also, a narrow smile results in the cheek muscles not being supported well, causing sagging, which can be adjusted through orthodontic treatment that widens the narrow smile.

overcrowded teeth abnormal dental occlusion medically accurate tooth illustration

Orthodontic Treatments Aim to Correct Dental Misalignment, Not Change Facial Features

Although braces, Invisalign, and other orthodontic treatments may impact facial structures, generally increasing symmetry which may improve aesthetics, it is important to remember the purpose of these treatments is not for correcting facial appearances, but to address the oral health concerns that misaligned teeth and a poor bite are associated with.

Hamilton Mountain Dental Group offers Invisalign treatments to straighten teeth and correct misaligned bites. If you have concerns about how straightening your teeth may change the shape of your face, we will answer all of your questions and discuss a suitable treatment plan.

For expert cosmetic dentistry in Hamilton , including Invisalign treatments, contact Hamilton Mountain Dental Group at 905-388-1977 or visit us at 79 Rymal Road West, Hamilton, ON L9B 1B5.

FAQS

Will braces make my face thinner or fuller?

  • The effects of braces on facial shape vary depending on individual factors such as the severity of misalignment and jaw structure. In some cases, braces may help achieve a more balanced facial profile, while in others, they may contribute to a slightly fuller or thinner appearance.

 Can braces fix a receding chin or protruding jaw?

  • Braces, in combination with other orthodontic treatments, can often address issues such as a receding chin or protruding jaw by realigning the teeth and jaws. However, the extent of improvement depends on the specific condition and its underlying causes.

Will braces make my lips look different?

  • As braces correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws, there may be subtle changes in the position of your lips. In some cases, this can result in a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing lip appearance.

 Do braces affect facial muscles?

  • While braces primarily target the alignment of teeth and jaws, they can indirectly impact facial muscles by altering the way the jaws come together and the position of the lips and cheeks. Over time, these changes may lead to improved muscle function and facial symmetry.

 How long does it take to see facial changes with braces?

  • Facial changes resulting from braces are typically gradual and may become more noticeable as treatment progresses. While some patients may see early improvements within a few months, significant changes may take a year or longer to fully manifest.

 Are there any risks of facial changes with braces?

  • While braces are generally safe and effective, there is a slight risk of unintended facial changes, particularly if the treatment is not properly managed or if there are underlying structural issues. It’s important to consult with an experienced orthodontist to discuss any concerns before starting treatment.
 

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