Braces are wire-based appliances used to correct crowded and misaligned teeth or jaws. Most commonly adolescents get braces, but with the increasing importance of cosmetics in dentistry, more and more adults are getting corrective dental braces as well.

Braces not only affect the alignment of your teeth, but they also considerably influence the appearance of other orofacial structures such as lips, jawline, and overall facial profile.

So, do braces alter the shape of your face? Yes and no at the same time is the answer! 

Continue reading to learn more! 

What Effects Do Braces Have on Your Facial Structure And Shape? 

The goal of braces therapy is to straighten teeth and produce a proper bite connection between the upper and lower teeth. Regardless of whether fixed braces or transparent aligners are used, tooth alignment forces the soft tissues that cover them (gums, lips, and cheeks) to adjust to the new alignment of your teeth and bite. 

The fibrous connective tissue structure called the periodontal ligament connects your teeth to the surrounding bone. Your face will start to remodel to the new bone formed as the wire, brackets, and bands of your braces apply light and constant pressure on the periodontal ligament.

Your body reacts to it by producing bone-growing and bone-destroying cells, thus changing the teeth' alignment and the shape of your face.

How Do Braces Affect Your Lips?

In most cases, patients with protruding front teeth, frequently have protruding lips and lip incompetency (meaning their upper and lower lips are commonly apart at rest and the patient usually has to make a conscious effort to keep their mouth closed). 

Braces or orthodontic treatment often necessitates dental extractions for such patients. Dental extractions assist in the creation of spaces within the dental arch for the projecting front teeth to recede backward. 

The covering lips also migrate backward as the protruding front teeth withdraw, assisting in the enhancement of lip competency. This change is usually gradual with braces.

However, if you have an underbite (your chin sticks out, leading to the jaw looking too big in relation to your face) the alignment of your upper and lower teeth properly, might give you the illusion of a “plumper” upper lip.

Do Braces Change Your Jawline?

Braces to improve jawline may require expansion appliances, functional appliances, elastics, or surgery, in addition to braces or aligners to achieve a noticeable change. The efficient goal of orthodontic treatment should be to achieve a balance of cosmetic improvement to the teeth, smile, face, and jawline along with a comfortable, stable, and functional bite.

This is possible for developing children with interceptive orthodontic therapy (also known as dentofacial orthopedics or growth modifying treatment). 

These are recommended for children who have skeletal growth differences or imbalances between their upper and lower jaws, resulting in a misaligned or inappropriate bite relationship. Only growing children with still-developing bones can benefit from this most effectively.

Will Braces Change The Shape of Your Face Depending on Your Age? 

The extent of change with braces affecting the shape of your face depends on your age and circumstances.

The bodies of growing children and adolescents are still developing and the teeth, gums, jawbones, and muscles are more adaptable to the change. Orthodontic treatment is usually recommended for teenagers as braces can influence development at this stage more heavily. 

However, with all the information and understanding about the importance of braces, adults also can achieve their ideal smile and even an improvement in their facial symmetry with orthodontic treatment. 

Orthodontic treatment is a sophisticated and individualized service because it requires an understanding of the delicate link between your teeth’ alignment, jaws, and facial features. Your overall appearance may differ depending on your orthodontic issues. But good teeth and a better symmetrical face can enhance your confidence exponentially. 

If you have been avoiding smiling because you are conscious of your crooked teeth, then having orthodontic treatment can remove those insecurities.


Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.