La Habra Office : 562-690-1199
Chino Hills Office : 909-393-9911

2250 West Whittier Blvd. Suite 200, La Habra, CA 90631

15944 Los Serranos Country Club Dr #100, Chino Hills, CA 91709


Will Orthodontic Treatment Change the Shape of My Face?

Orthodontic Treatment Can Affect Face Shape

La Habra/Chino Hills, CA – Orthodontic treatment can absolutely bring about beautiful changes to your smile and bite. But did you know that it can also make subtle changes to your face? Orthodontic treatment will not make you look like a different person but the result may lead to a more symmetrical facial result depending on the nature of the orthodontic treatment rendered.

“Certain malocclusions can have an effect not just on our bites but on our outward appearances, too,” says Dr. Gire, a Chino Hills orthodontist. “Your face changes based on how your body reacts to your orthodontic treatment. Even subtle changes can improve your jawline and provide a more symmetrical appearance.”

How do braces change your face?

The orthodontic experience takes the entire facial anatomy into account when developing treatment plans. Your orthodontist is looking not only at how to straighten your teeth but how to improve your jawline, ensure your lips fit together comfortably, and improve your facial profile. 

Most people probably don’t notice if their faces are perfectly symmetrical. But if you have significant discrepancies in jaw growth, symmetry issues are much more obvious. 

These issues are much easier to correct in younger patients who have the benefit of a jaw that is still growing. Early interceptive orthodontics (Phase I treatment) can address discrepancies and guide jaw growth to correct facial imbalances. Orthodontic treatment can still be successful for older patients, however, surgery may be required to address jaw discrepancies. 

Let’s look at the most common malocclusions and how they can change facial appearance. 

  • Underbites occur when the bottom teeth overlap the top teeth. This makes a patient’s chin extend farther than it should, resulting in the lower jaw appearing too forward. Orthodontic treatment can help the lower jaw align with the upper jaw to prevent that protrusive appearance.
  • Overbites occur when the upper teeth stick too far over the bottom teeth. They give the appearance of a weak or underdeveloped chin. Orthodontic treatment will help correct the bite, providing a stronger jawline as the teeth are aligned. 
  • Open bites occur when the back teeth touch but the front teeth don’t. They can make the patient’s lips and mouth appear open and unnatural. The lips may appear “incompetent” and the mouth may not be able to close properly. Orthodontic treatment can help correct the alignment and level the bite to allow the lips and mouth to close properly. 

Correction of the above may or may not involve the removal of teeth during orthodontic treatment. When orthodontists remove teeth, the patient may see more changes related to facial appearance depending on the specific mechanics of tooth movement. There may still be noticeable changes in facial symmetry without removal of teeth but that is rarer than not. 

In some rare cases, orthodontists may need to move the jaws, in addition to the teeth, to obtain proper alignment. These are the cases where you’ll see the largest and more dramatic facial changes. 

One of the most significant ways braces change your appearance is through increased confidence. If you’ve hidden a smile because it made you self-conscious, orthodontic treatment will give you the confidence boost to proudly show off your new smile. Your friends and family will love seeing you proudly show off your new grin!

If you’ve been living with a less than ideal smile or your child is ready for orthodontic treatment, schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Gire by calling 562-690-1199 (La Habra) or 909-393-9911 (Chino Hills).

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