Do They Affect Your Facial Appearance?
Or Is It Just About Your Smile?
A common misconception about orthodontics is that they are just about straightening your teeth. In truth, when your jaws and arches are properly formed, it does more than improve your smile and your bite. It can also significantly improve your appearance! A recent study of more than 1600 middle-aged adults demonstrated how important it is to consider dental orthodontics when seeking cosmetic improvements to the soft tissues of the face.
Overbite and Overjet Affect Your Face
Overbite is when your top front teeth overlap the lower front teeth. In extreme cases, the lower teeth are not even visible when the patient smiles. Overjet, commonly called “buck teeth,” is caused by upper teeth that protrude outwards from the mouth at an angle, usually covering the lower teeth in the process. You can also have these problems in reverse, where the bottom teeth cover the top teeth when smiling or with the mouth closed. There may also be a noticeable gap between the lower and front teeth when the mouth is closed. And it is not uncommon for overjet and overbite to be present at the same time.
For this experiment, Finnish researchers examined 1630 46-year-old men and women. Besides examining their teeth, the scientists also took three pictures: one profile, one resting pose and one smiling pose, the last two from the front. They then examined how the facial characteristics could be used to predict the type of dental malocclusion (or bite abnormality).
Approximately 300 of the patients had no malocclusion. Of the others, the presence of overbite or overjet played a significant role in the position and appearance of the lips, especially whether they protrude in relation to one another. The type of malocclusion also affected the upper facial height (the distance between the top of the nose and the very bottom of the nose) and the lower facial height, the critical distance between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin.
Therefore, correcting problems with the length of your arches (as well as the width), and the angle of your front teeth, can significantly affect the appearance of your face for the better. While most people associate improvements to the face only with cosmetic surgery, orthodontics requires no surgery whatsoever! Steady pressure exerted on the bones of the facial area creates alterations in the teeth and even additional growth, providing you with the features you’ve always wanted and the smile you’ve always desired.