If you have a long face, shortening your midface can enhance your facial harmony and attractiveness.
You can get a shorter midface by mewing. You may also get a subnasal lip lift, lip fillers, and cheek implants to create the illusion of a smaller midface. In more severe cases, LeFort surgery can shorten their midface.
Why Do I Have a Long Midface?
Some people naturally have longer midfaces due to their genetics. You likely inherited it from one or both your parents. Some ethnicities and races naturally have long faces. For instance, people of the Dinaric race often have longer faces.
Mouth breathers have poor oral posture, and it can significantly affect facial development. The low tongue posture eventually leads to a narrow palate, because the tongue is not taking up space on the roof of the mouth.
This improper breathing pattern creates deficiencies in the midface’s features. Mouth breathing causes thin upper lips, underbites, deep overbites (due to a recessed jaw and chin), crowded teeth, weak chins, and a prominent nose.
You will develop a narrow, V-shaped upper jaw if your mouth is open and you have poor tongue posture.
Moreover, people with any type of malocclusion and/or are mouth breathers typically have longer faces. Mouth breathing and midface deficiencies often lead to a host of problems like:
- Teeth grinding
- Poor sleeping patterns
- TMJ symptoms
- Misaligned bite
- Crooked teeth
How to Make Your Midface Shorter
LeFort moves the midface and/or upper jaw to correct facial abnormalities. There are three different types of LeFort surgeries:
LeFort I Osteotomy
This procedure is the most common one out of the three. It repositions the upper jaw to correct overbites, long faces, and gummy smiles. It can also fix other issues you may have like experiencing strain or difficulty when swallowing or chewing, constricted airways, etc.
They may reposition the upper jaw bone and remove part of the bone, but it depends on your needs. A surgeon will use screws and plates to secure the bones, allowing them to heal and grow naturally.
LeFort II Osteotomy
You may need this procedure if you have a midface deformity like growth abnormalities. It can also treat problems like malocclusions and sleep apnea. The procedure repositions the upper jaw and some facial bone.
LeFort III Osteotomy
This surgery is a lot like LeFort 2 osteotomy, but the surgeon will reposition more facial bone. It is usually done to treat obstructive sleep apnea, underdeveloped eye sockets, short midfaces, etc.
Doctors will not do a LeFort surgery on you unless you have an actual medical condition that warrants it. The higher LeFort surgeries are mainly reconstructive in nature. Getting a LeFort 1 Osteotomy just to shorten your midface will be difficult. Luckily there are other options that can help your midface issues.
As stated earlier, poor or low tongue posture and breathing through your mouth can lead to a long midface. When you mew, you do the exact opposite of what mouth breathers do.
Mewing makes you correct your tongue posture and encourage you to breathe from your nose. The proper tongue posture will stimulate your palate, which will encourage your midface to grow up and forward, helping your midface look shorter.
It will also help you expand your palate. People with long midfaces usually have narrow palates. When you expand the palate, you encourage your cheekbones to become more prominent.
The extra cheekbone prominence can make your face look more harmonious since it makes your midface look shorter in comparison. Mewing can also enhance your jaw’s projection, which can help further decrease the length of your midface.
Some people have extremely small palates and cannot mew. If your palate is too narrow, you cannot rest your tongue flat on your palate without touching your teeth or feeling discomfort.
You can get an MSE (Maxillary Skeletal Expander) to expand your palate and upper jaw. MSE may not shorten your midface alone. However, it can help make your cheekbones look wider to increase your facial width, enhancing facial harmony.
An MSE slowly pulls the two halves of your palate apart. The midline suture (where the halves separate) will slowly get bigger to expand your palate.
Most people will wear an MSE for 6-8 months, but it depends on your needs and what kind of expander you used.
Palatal expansion is complete after you wear the device for 3-6 weeks (depending on your case). However, it would be best if you let the new bone mature since you separated the halves. Removing the MSE too early can lead to a relapse.
In addition, if you combine MSE with a facemask, you might be able to get more forward growth and decrease the vertical height of your midface.
Cheek implants are another way to create the illusion of a shorter midface by making it wider. When you make the midface wider, it makes your midface look shorter vertically.
There are two kinds of cheek implants. Submalar implants help enhance projection. A surgeon will place them under the lower eye line, which is where your cheekbone begins.
Malar implants help create fullness and create sharper, more angular cheekbones. A surgeon will put malar implants below the submalar area. Many people get a mix of submalar and malar implants to achieve a fuller, wider midface.
If you do not want to commit to cheek fillers, then you can opt for dermal fillers. These are injections made of hyaluronic acid, collagen, etc. that can add fullness to your cheekbones to make your midface wider.
However, cheek fillers may not give you the cheekbone shape that you want. It can add fullness and enhance projection, but cheek fillers cannot create sharp and angular lines like cheek implants. The filler’s materials are much softer than implants, so they cannot hold a defined shape.
Cheek fillers typically last for 6-24 months. You will need to get them done again if you want to keep your results.
The downside of fillers is they don’t hold their shape well and only look good after injection.
Lip fillers are injections that make your lips look fuller and plumper. Lip fillers are usually made of hyaluronic acid, which naturally occurs in your body.
Most people who have long midfaces have thin upper lips. The thin upper lip often draws more attention to the midface’s length because of the distance between the upper lip to the nose.
You can ask a surgeon to use lip fillers to make your upper lip look fuller (and the bottom lip if you need to balance the lip’s proportions). The procedure is minimally invasive and usually only takes several minutes to complete. You may experience bruising and tenderness/swelling after the injections, but is generally very minor. The lip fillers’ effects are temporary since they are made out of naturally occurring materials that your body metabolizes over time. Most lip fillers last for 6-9 months.
Subnasal Lip Lift
Another way to decrease how long the philtrum looks is by getting a subnasal lip lift. It is also a good option if you do not want to get lip fillers. This lip lift creates a continuous scar from each nostril, creating a bull horn shape. It rolls up and exposes more of the lip.
You will receive general anesthesia to start the procedure. A surgeon or nurse will apply numbing anesthesia to the procedure area. A surgeon will make incisions right under your nostrils. The incisions follow the nostrils (without crossing). They connect across the columella’s base and extend to outside your nostril’s corners.
The surgeon will then make a skin excision of up to ⅓ of the distance between the lip and nose. The surgeon will close the incision once it is done. You may experience very minimal scarring.