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.
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
Types of Corrections and Impacts on Facial Structures
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.
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.