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The ways braces can change your appearance

October 24, 2022
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:

Does orthodontic treatment change your facial shape?

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.

how do braces affect your face

Can an “overbite” or “bucky teeth” be corrected with braces?

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.

Do braces improve your jawline?

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.

Does your smile change after braces?

From an aesthetic perspective, it’s likely you’ll notice a change in your smile after having braces. Generally speaking, braces are used to align and correct your teeth or bite. Depending on the treatment you need, as advised by your orthodontist, you might notice your smile appears straighter or less crowded or that your teeth are in different positions.

Will orthodontic treatment change the shape of your mouth?

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.

Does orthodontic treatment change your lips?

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.

how braces change your face

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.

Do braces give you a perfect smile?

At their core, braces are used to move your teeth into a position that is more desirable, comfortable or necessary for function. Everyone’s definition of ‘perfect’ is a little different – but after talking with your orthodontist, and understanding your treatment plan, we think your smile will look pretty perfect at the end!

Can 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?

How can I improve my smile after braces?

There’s lots of things you can do after having braces to keep your smile looking its best. This includes:

  • Wearing your retainer: when you get your braces off, you’ll be fitted with a retainer. This will either be a removable plastic retainer, or a fixed wire glued behind your teeth. It’s important you wear and look after your retainer to keep your teeth in place.
  • Flossing regularly: flossing helps remove any food or plaque build-up in your teeth. By flossing regularly, you’ll keep your smile looking fresh and free of any gum disease.
  • General hygiene: brushing your teeth regularly and looking after the general hygiene of your mouth will help ensure your teeth stay healthy.

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.

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