The ways braces can change your appearance
Did you know that some forms of orthodontic treatment can change the shape of your face as well as your smile? While your smile’s transition from crooked to straight is usually the most prominent difference, there are a number of more subtle changes that happen during the course of your treatment that may be a little more difficult to spot.
Here are some frequently asked questions about braces and facial appearance:
If you have a large “overbite” or “underbite”, your misaligned jaw or protruding teeth will impact your facial appearance. An overbite (also called an “overjet” by orthodontists) can give the appearance of undefined lower jaw and weak chin, while an underbite makes the lower jaw look more prominent and the cheeks appear sunken. Changes to your facial shape from orthodontic treatment can be minor, depending on the severity of the problems being treated.
Braces, often in conjunction with orthodontic elastics and/or bite correcting springs, are effective for treating most overbite problems however you should book a consultation with a specialist orthodontist to find out what type of treatment is best for your individual circumstances. During your assessment, your orthodontist will take jaw x-rays to determine the nature and severity of your malocclusion and create a treatment plan to ensure that your overbite is corrected safety and effectively with maximum benefit to your facial appearance.
Orthodontic treatment might change or improve the “jawline”, but this may require expansion appliances, functional appliances, elastics or surgery, in addition to braces or aligners to achieve a noticeable change. Concurrent correction of a misaligned bite will also be the priority for your specialist orthodontist. Optimal orthodontic treatment outcomes should achieve a balance of cosmetic improvement to the teeth, smile, face and “jawline” as well as a stable, comfortable and functional bite.
Depending on the type of malocclusion that is being corrected, you might notice a change in how your mouth itself looks. This is because some conditions – such as an open bite – can make it difficult to close the mouth completely. This can give the mouth a stretched appearance. By correcting the bite you’ll help change the shape of your mouth when it’s closed.
Yes, you may notice your lips look different after getting braces and other forms of orthodontic treatment. This is because the prominence or “fullness” of the lips is directly affected by the forward position and alignment of the front teeth. So as the front teeth move into better positions, the shape of your lips will also change somewhat too. As part of the initial patient assessment, orthodontists carefully assess the lips and face and take any expected changes into account when planning your treatment. This means you can be confident that the final treatment result leaves your teeth, smile, lips and face as beautiful and balanced as possible.
Will braces make you look younger?
While undergoing orthodontic treatment as an adult can make you feel like you’re back in your teens – especially if you are wearing braces – it’s actually after your treatment is completed that people really notice a more youthful appearance. In some cases, correcting the jaw alignment can also make the skin under the chin appear tighter, softening the look of wrinkles and effectively winds back the ageing process a little.
Braces change your appearance through confidence too!
Depending on the orthodontic issues that are corrected with your treatment you might experience different results to those we mentioned above. However, once your treatment is completed, it is very likely that you’ll be more confident and wanting to showcase your new smile at every opportunity!
The fact is that if you tend to avoid smiling because you’re self-conscious about your crooked teeth, then having orthodontic treatment will remove those fears entirely! What better way to embrace your new smile than by beaming confidently at passers-by?
Find an orthodontist near you
An orthodontist will be able to tell you what type of malocclusion you’re experiencing and give you an accurate representation of the type of aesthetic transformation you can expect from your treatment.
If you’re ready to begin your orthodontic journey, you can find an orthodontist near you using our finder tool to search the ASO database for registered specialist orthodontists in your area.