Braces don’t just change your teeth alignment, but they also take into account other orofacial anatomies, such as the lips, jawline, and overall facial profile. Hence, a lot of people would wonder if braces can change the structure or shape of their faces. So do braces change your face shape? The answer is a yes and no at the same time! Read on to find out more!
How Do Braces Change Your Facial Structure or Shape?
Braces treatment aims to bring teeth into good teeth alignment and also achieve a good bite relationship between the upper and lower teeth.
Regardless of whether fixed braces or clear aligners are used, alignment of the teeth causes the soft tissues overlaying them (the lips and the cheeks) to conform to the new alignment of your teeth and bite.
For example, patients with badly protruding front teeth often have protrusive lips and lip incompetency (meaning their upper and lips are commonly apart at rest and the patient usually has to make a conscious effort to keep their mouth closed).
Such patients usually require dental extractions to facilitate their braces or orthodontic treatment. Dental extractions help to create spaces within the dental arch for the protruding front teeth to move into a backward position. As the protruding front teeth retract backwards, the overlying lips move backwards as well, thereby aiding in the improvement of lip competency. With braces, this change is usually a gradual one.
On the other hand, if you have an underbite and we bring your upper and lower teeth into proper alignment and bite, it can create the appearance of a “plumper” upper lip.
To summarise, braces can indeed change the position of your lips, but only as much as the teeth behind them change. However, braces cannot change your lips as far as the fullness, tone and shape of your lips are concerned.
Do Braces Change Your Jawline?
For growing children, this is possible with interceptive orthodontic treatment (also known as dento-facial orthopaedics or growth modifying treatment). These are indicated in children with discrepancies or imbalances in skeletal growth between the upper and lower jaws, resulting in a misaligned or improper bite relationship. This can only work well in growing children whose bones are still developing.
If you are a grown adult, the answer to this question will be a No. Braces cannot change your jawline. The only way to achieve a change in the jawline is through jaw surgery. This involves complex planning and treatment and is done by a close collaboration between the Orthodontist and the Oral Surgeon.
Understanding the delicate relationship between your teeth alignment, your jaws and your facial features is what makes orthodontic treatment a complex and personalised service. If you are thinking about that beautiful smile you have always wanted, make an appointment to see your orthodontist for a personalised diagnosis and treatment plan today!