Dental health issues can affect the alignment of your teeth and bite. By using braces to correct these issues, patients can often see changes in their facial structure as well. Thankfully, these changes are all positive, often giving patients a more symmetrical look at the same time that they’re getting a new smile.
Continue reading to learn how braces can affect your facial structure and why you should consider the change a positive when undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
How Do Braces Change the Shape of Your Face?
Braces work by applying force to one or more arches of teeth, which over time redirects teeth to healthier positions that are less crowded, less unevenly spaced, and more aligned between the jaws. This means that braces can fix crookedness and underbites, overbites, and open bites.
These bite problems can result from structural differences, such as an upper jaw that is too small for the patient’s adult teeth, childhood habits like thumb-sucking, oral trauma, genetics, and more. But once malocclusion forms, your bones and ligaments must adjust to an uneven distribution of forces when you bite down. Even something seemingly simple as crooked teeth can eventually lead to jaw pain, chronic headaches, and face pain.
Once teeth have been vertically aligned by your orthodontist’s treatment, fixing your bite problem, your mouth will be able to close properly, and your jaw will be in a healthier default position. All of this can change the way your face looks, but the changes are all positive.
Do Other Treatments Affect Face Shape?
Alternatives to braces, such as Invisalign, can make similar changes to your facial structure by fixing some of the same issues. Remember that not every treatment is right for every situation, so the changes that need to be made may call for less extreme (or more extreme) measures.
For example, a severe bite problem may only be fixable with jaw surgery, which would also change the shape of your face. To fix malocclusions, your orthodontist may suggest removing one or more teeth (baby or permanent), prescribing braces or other structural devices, or even performing surgery. If you’re concerned about how these treatments could affect your face shape, ask your orthodontist about the changes you can expect. Just remember that your facial structure may be partly to blame for your symptoms, so changes will likely result in less jaw pain and dysfunction overall.
To prevent chronic issues from developing, many orthodontic treatments change the shape of your face in some way. But this means they’re working!
Factors that Change the Shape of Your Face
Orthodontic treatments usually change the shape of the patient’s face, though many patients don’t notice. Other than the severity of the issues being treated, other factors can affect the degree of change you will experience.
One of these factors is age. Children have more flexible muscles and bones when they are still developing, so braces could potentially change their facial structure more than in an older patient. The older you are, the slower and less noticeable changes will be, though some older patients have said that they looked younger after getting braces.
This is likely because an unhealthy jaw alignment may have been allowing the skin in that area to appear more wrinkled. As a result of adjusting to a healthier position, the wrinkles could smooth out as well, leaving you looking younger despite changing nothing but your bite.
Another factor influencing the degree of change is your oral hygiene routine. Tooth and gum diseases can affect the bone density in your teeth, which can make it more difficult to make lasting changes to your facial structure. Alternatively, if you successfully treat oral health diseases, your orthodontist may have an easier time changing your teeth, jaw, and face for the better.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.