A well-defined jawline is one of the factors that people associate with attractiveness. This goes for both genders. The layout of your teeth, however, can affect your facial appearance.
Braces don’t alter your bone structure, so by themselves, they can’t improve the jawline. But by fixing dental problems, braces can improve your facial profile. Yet, if poorly done, braces can make your jawline worse, especially if they’re following an extraction or pull your teeth inwards.
For a good primer on how dental issues can affect facial aesthetics, check out the Looks Theory episode on malocclusions:
How Braces Improve Facial Aesthetics
Some issues that require the use of braces are underbites, open bites, and overbites. When your jaw aligns with the whole face, it produces a remarkable change to the overall appearance of the person.
An underbite, also known as a Class III malocclusion, is where the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth, with the chin sticking out. Essentially, your lower jaw is either too big for your face, or your upper jaw is recessed. Your lower lip is also protruding and is separated from the upper lip. If you use braces to correct the underbite, your lips will look more normal.
Surgical treatment for underbite requires a LeFort surgery to move the maxilla forward. This won’t affect the jawline but will greatly improve facial aesthetics. Moving the jaw backward though, will result in a worse jawline and make the patient more susceptible to conditions like sleep apnea. If you have an underbite, never let a physician take teeth out or decrease your mandible size to fix this type of malocclusion.
This is essentially the opposite of the underbite, which looks like a recessed chin. In a normal bite, the upper teeth are slightly in front of the lower teeth, but with an overbite, it is much more extreme. It’s important to note that for those who have an overbite, their upper lips jut out too far.
The girl above had her overbite fixed with braces. Braces help in bringing back the bite into its correct position. In some instances, performing surgery ensures that the jaw is brought forward, improving your jawline.
Horse teeth may seem like the most accurate description of an open bite. People who have this usually have lip incompetence and are mouth breathers because of underlying nasal airway obstruction.
The main aesthetic impact of the open bite is on the smile. Using braces will help ensure the mouth can open and close properly, and the smile will look more normal, showing off less of the lower teeth. Again, there’s no impact on your jawline here, though, unless you also get jaw surgery to fix any other underlying skeletal problems.
Braces for All Ages
Regardless of your age, if you have orthodontic problems, you might need to wear braces. Braces don’t just fix your teeth; they can improve your smile and lip aesthetics because the teeth are responsible for pushing on the lips and creating your facial profile.
Whatever you do, make sure that your doctor knows what he’s doing and doesn’t perform any unnecessary extractions. A good physician will always try to move your teeth forward, not backward. Braces, when used improperly, have been known to cause recession and weaken the jawline:
Braces for Pre-Adolescents
A regular visit to the orthodontist will be needed if children 7-10 years old have severe dental issues. Proper assessment is the first step in knowing what needs to be done to fix any facial problems. The most important thing is to get rid of habits that might cause problems in the future, such as thumb-sucking and mouth breathing. Orthodontists will also give parents realistic expectations for a child’s jaw growth.
The need for early intervention is paramount since bones are the most malleable at this stage, and orthotropic/myotropic treatments will be able to fix most problems without having to resort to surgery.
Braces for Adolescents
In the teenage years, a person will already have his full set of adult teeth. When orthodontists suggest braces, this is usually just to fix teeth alignment. At this stage, surgery will be necessary to fix most jawline problems.
People with teeth that are crooked, protruding, or have significant gaps are the ideal candidates for braces. Adolescents place considerable importance on how they look; thus, braces are important for attaining a great smile.
The adolescent stage is the time in our lives that we experience a tremendous amount of growth and change as we go through puberty. This means adolescents using braces during this time will notice the changes in their facial appearance far faster than when they get older.
Braces for Adults
The advanced technology we have now offers several treatment options for adults. They can choose from invisible (clear) braces, braces that are on the inside of the teeth, and even braces that have the same color as the teeth.
If an adult has severe facial imbalance, then other specialists should become part of the treatment. Various cosmetic procedures will not require surgery, but for severe cases, jaw surgery might be the only way.
Make sure that you go for highly skilled and experienced surgeons. When messing with your health and facial appearance, money should be the least of your concerns.
Will braces make my cheeks appear bigger?
Braces should have no significant impact on your cheeks. After treatment, there might be changes in your facial features, and depending on why you need braces, it will affect your face.
Will braces make me more attractive?
Some people wearing braces have reported feeling more attractive. After treatment, braces will bring your face closer to normal (more attractive) unless they’re implemented improperly, in which case braces might make you less attractive.
Do braces affect your voice?
Wearing braces will not affect your voice. However, some people have reported changes in their singing, but not in their speaking voice. After treatment, braces might improve your voice since your teeth will be closer to normal. Otherwise, only the vocal cords are responsible for your voice.
Will I get bad breath while using braces?
It’s quite common for people wearing braces to experience bad breath. Bad breath due to braces is because food particles can quickly get stuck in the wires where bacteria act. Make sure you practice good oral hygiene and brush your teeth after every meal.