You can feel very unlike yourself when you have brackets and wires on your teeth or you’re wearing Invisalign trays. The goal of orthodontics is to functionally improve your bite and oral health, but the purpose of this treatment is also cosmetic and designed to improve the appearance of your smile. Just how much will braces affect the shape of your face?
How Braces Affect Your Lips
Braces only change your lips as much as the teeth that sit directly behind the lips change. Say you have an underbite and your upper and lower front teeth are shifted into alignment – this can create the illusion of a plumper upper lip. If you have an overbite or open bite and teeth stick out a bit, they will be shifted back slightly, which means the lip will fall back a little too.
During treatment, your lips can look temporarily bigger simply because you have something resting on top of your teeth, whether Invisalign trays or brackets and wires. This affect will change when the orthodontic treatment is complete.
How Orthodontics Affect Jawline
The jawline will not change significantly for adults who are wearing braces. It is younger patients who will notice a difference here if there is one at all, specifically kids who have interceptive orthodontics like spacers or expanders. These are designed to adjust the size and shape of the jaw to make room for a growing and changing bite, balance facial features, and, hopefully, minimize the need for extensive orthodontic treatment during adolescence.
How Braces Affect Profile
Many patients are get braces to correct an overbite, underbite, or open bite. These oral health diagnoses are obvious and they define the shape of your smile, lower face, and profile. Once braces have done their work, someone with an overbite will have a face that looks softer and more proportionate; someone with an underbite will have a more balanced profile and a stronger chin and jawline; and someone with an open bite will have beautiful cheeks that do not have to stretch to fit over the teeth.
A Gradual Change in Appearance
The soft tissues that lay over your teeth – namely, your lips and cheeks – are not changed by orthodontics, but they do conform to the new alignment of your bite. The good thing is that, with braces, any shift in your appearance is a gradual one, especially in adults who already have fully developed skeletal features. It can also be universally claimed that any orthodontic shift is an improvement over how you looked before – that is the point of braces after all, to make your teeth and smile look, feel, and function better than ever.
Find out if you’re a good candidate for braces or Invisalign and learn how this treatment will affect the shape of your face, your overall appearance, and your confidence. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Soleil Roberts at Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville.