Hamilton Mountain Dental Group

Providing people with a positive experience centred around, but not limited to dental care. The product for both, our team and the people who trust us with their care will be a better quality of life.

Blog

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.

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.

Related Posts

Ankyloglossia (Tongue Tied) in adult male mouth

What Is Tongue Tie Surgery?

Ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue tie, is a condition that affects nearly 5% of newborns. Tongue tie occurs when the thin piece of skin beneath the tongue, called the lingual frenulum, restricts the tongue’s range of motion. This condition can

Read More
sweaty young boxer wearing mouthguard during

Protecting Your Teeth In Sports

Participating in sports and physical activities is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have fun. However, it’s crucial to remember that accidents can happen, and protecting your teeth during sports is essential. It’s important to take all

Read More

Book an Appointment