Most patients who want to straighten their teeth know that orthodontic treatments will improve the appearance of their smiles. However, fewer people are aware that without orthodontic intervention, their facial shape may be adversely impacted. Patients with untreated alignment issues may notice an uneven jaw line (bone that is higher on one side or the other), chin that juts forward, jaw that tilts in toward the neck, and other serious issues. When this occurs, braces can do more than improve the alignment of your teeth. You can completely transform your face shape.
Malocclusion and Facial Shape
Patients with serious alignment issues like over, under, and crossbite may have a noticeably distorted face shape. When the top and bottom teeth do not fit together properly, the face may stick out or sag in certain areas rather than being smoothly shaped by the soft tissue and bone structures. People can even experience pain or difficulty opening and closing the mouth that occurs due to an unbalanced bite. This is often indicative of an oral health condition called TMJ dysfunction.
How do Braces Help?
Braces place pressure on teeth to move them into their ideal alignment. They can also adjust the way the jaw is positioned and how the bite fits together. Traditional braces work by using brackets attached to the front surfaces of teeth and connected with metal wires to shift teeth. These wires are tightened, causing the top of the tooth to move, and the root of the tooth moves to match the visible portion. In addition to evenly aligning teeth, these brackets and wires can also reposition the entire arch of teeth to create a comfortable, even bite.
What other Orthodontic Services may be Necessary?
For some patients, achieving the ideal facial shape may not be possible with braces or other alignment procedures alone. In these situations, advanced orthognathic (jaw) surgery or combined treatment with oral appliances and other orthodontic treatments may be required. Patients will receive a customized treatment plan that fits their unique situation.
Meet Dr. Colalillo
Dr. Alex Colalillo loves working with patients to improve their understanding of orthodontics and how to maintain their straight, healthy smiles. This orthodontics blog is just one more way we keep our patients in the know about all their orthodontic options. We hope you’ve learned more about how proper smile alignment can improve your face shape, and you’ll continue to read our blog each month. Contact Alex Colalillo Orthodontics to find out more or schedule a consultation in our Collingswood orthodontist’s office.