How Braces Can Affect Your Face and Jaw

Orthodontist holding teeth model with braces

Orthodontic treatment can be used for both pediatric and adult patients to correct the look and even feel of their dentition. Braces can correct issues with overcrowding, misalignment, spacing, and even malocclusion problems like overbites and underbites.

However, while it’s obvious to see that braces can affect the look of your teeth, you may not realize that this will have a severe impact on the way that your face looks. Orthodontic problems can cause lips, cheeks, and even your chin to look uneven. Braces help to bring your teeth into proper intercuspation, which means that your teeth will align properly over one another.

Here are some ways that braces can improve and affect your face and jaw:

Helps with Improving Asymmetrical Faces

Severe overcrowding and spacing issues can cause your face to look asymmetrical. One side of your face may look more lifted than the other, or you might notice that your lips are uneven. In many cases, braces can help in improving the look of your lips, causing them to look more or less pronounced as needed. Symmetry improves your overall appearance and can help boost your confidence in the way that you look.

Improves the Alignment of the Jaw

When you have an overbite or underbite, this has an impact on how your jaw is positioned. For patients with an underbite, the jaw extends outward because the teeth are misaligned. For overbites, the chin may look weak, and the lips may protrude from the face in a harsh, unflattering manner.

Braces can correct misalignment of both the teeth and jaw, bringing the jaw back into a more favorable position. Not only is this beneficial to the look of your face, but it can also help in improving problems related to overbites and underbites. If you find that you grind your teeth or find it difficult to chew because of your malocclusion problem, braces can fix the issue while simultaneously improving the alignment of the jaw.

Creates a More Natural Bite

Ideally, teeth should come down evenly and rest on top of each other. This is known as intercuspation, and it is a term used in orthodontics that simply refers to correcting misalignment issues that are affecting a patient’s bite. A natural bite doesn’t just feel better, but it looks better for the entire face. There is less likelihood that your lips will protrude unevenly or that your face will look asymmetrical. What’s more, intercuspation improves oral health, as you’re less likely to grind your teeth or fracture a tooth when chewing.

Creates More Distinct Cheekbones and Jawlines

Certain orthodontic conditions, especially underbites and overbites, can cause problems with the jaw and cheeks. The uneven spacing of the teeth may cause your cheeks to look sunken in rather than pronounced. You may even find that your lips either look too thin or pronounced because of the way that your teeth are positioned.

Braces can help to improve the look of your smile, which has a direct impact on your cheekbones and jawline. Your cheeks will look more distinct and sharp as a result, which can improve your facial structure and give a more youthful appearance. A more even, streamlined jawline can also help in enhancing the look of your face. It’s not uncommon for orthodontic treatment to help in reducing or eliminating double chins, as the jawline is put into a more even position.

Helps in Creating a Natural Appearance

Certain malocclusion problems can affect the way that you’re able to close your mouth. Severe underbites and overbites, as well as open bites, can prevent your lips from touching. Not only does this affect the look of your face at any given time, but it can also contribute to dry mouth and bad breath. Braces help to eradicate malocclusion problems, which will help your lips to touch more evenly. When your face is more symmetrical because of orthodontic treatment, you look more natural and can appreciate your newfound smile.

Maintaining Your Treatment is Crucial

Orthodontic treatment is essential in correcting a range of malocclusion and misalignment problems. Most often, braces are worn for anywhere from six months to about three years until treatment is considered finished. It is important that patients maintain their results by wearing a retainer nightly or every other night even after treatment has finished. By maintaining your results, you’ll always have a smile that you can feel proud to show off as well as a face that looks youthful, symmetrical, and aesthetically pleasing.

Braces, as well as other orthodontic treatment appliances, can be worn by children, teens as well as adults. Treatment is effective regardless of age, so it’s never too late to get braces to correct misalignment and malocclusion problems. In fact, it’s not uncommon for adults who have worn braces in the past to want or need re-treatment simply because they failed to maintain their results after the braces were removed.

By improving your smile, not only will you find that you feel more confident in talking and laughing with the people around you, but you’ll find that your face benefits as a result of braces. With a more even facial structure, smooth jawline, and distinct cheekbones with lips that come into contact with one another, you’ll find that this improves your overall appearance and the way that you feel about yourself.

About the Author

Dr. Scott Futch

Dr. Scott F. Futch, DDS

Dr. Scott Futch has been a clinical director for Absolute Dental since April 2017. Dr. Futch graduated from University of Michigan School of Dentistry and completed his training at the Dawson Academy; a postgraduate multi-disciplinary education clinical research facility dedicated to the advancement of dentistry. Dr. Futch has had over 25 years of experience as a skilled clinician, mentor and coach.

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