The first thing most people notice when they meet someone is their smile. The second thing is the symmetry of their facial features. Even without recognizing that you’re doing it, your brain is scanning for signs of imbalance, be it uneven brow lines or a misaligned jawline. Subconscious indicators of facial asymmetry may even signal to the person you’re on a date with that you are not quite as compatible as you could be. For those reasons, it is no wonder that fears of facial asymmetry are wreaking havoc on our society!
While everyone has some degree of asymmetry – after all, no one is perfect – some more pronounced cases are the cause of significant insecurity. The anxiety that creeps in has been sending people in droves to their local orthodontists with one question in mind: can orthodontics fix my facial asymmetry?
Here at Bowen Family Orthodontics, we take all of our patients’ concerns very seriously. While we think every smile is unique and beautiful, we are here to explain the orthodontics behind facial asymmetry – and whether or not we can help.
Effects of Facial Asymmetry
Research shows that attractiveness can be traced back to the degree of symmetry found in an individual’s face. Humans typically prefer a more symmetrical look. Aesthetics aside, facial asymmetry can be an indicator of multiple health problems, from TMJ disorder to sleep apnea. Facial asymmetry can disrupt the way you speak and eat, and can even cause chronic headaches. To achieve their desired aesthetic or prevent further health issues, many people turn to their orthodontists for help.
Causes of Facial Asymmetry
The most common culprit of facial asymmetry is your jaw alignment or bite. For ideal symmetry and function, you should have a very slight overbite to allow for talking and chewing and prevent excess wear and strain on your teeth and gums. Patients with severe overbites or other bite issues like a crossbite or underbite notice more disruption in the uniformity of their facial structure. Let’s take a look at the different bite patterns that may cause facial asymmetry:
Overbites are arguably the most common bite pattern. If your top teeth overlap your bottom teeth when your mouth is closed, you may have an overbite. Not every overbite is in need of correction, but more severe overbites may cause your chin to have a receding appearance known as a “weak” chin.
Underbites are recognized by a protruding lower jaw that causes the bottom teeth to rest in front of the top teeth when your mouth is closed. People with underbites may see the greatest change in facial symmetry with the implementation of an orthodontic treatment plan.
Crossbites consist of what looks like a mix of the above two malocclusions (bite patterns), so that in this pattern, some of the front teeth overlap the bottom teeth and some rest behind the bottom teeth.
You will recognize an open bite by the distinctive gap between the top and bottom teeth – they don’t meet in the middle. While this bite pattern can pose a range of issues including difficulty chewing, it can also cause the face to appear longer, meaning that people with this bite pattern may also see significant results with orthodontic treatment.
How can Orthodontics help?
If you struggle with insecurity surrounding facial asymmetry, there is a good chance you already know many of the causes and effects and are instead looking for solutions. Fortunately, Dr. Jess has your back. With years of experience correcting facial asymmetry using orthodontics, Bowen Family Orthodontics has a handful of tools to make sure you feel confident in your smile.
As the traditional option, metal braces are often the first that come to mind when considering orthodontic treatment. These braces work by tightening the wire attached to a bracket glued to each tooth. With gentle, continuous pressure, your teeth are aligned over a period of 12-36 months, depending on the severity of your case, your mouth’s response to treatment, and your desired outcome.
Clear braces work the same way as metal braces. The difference is that clear braces use white, ceramic brackets that blend in with the color of your teeth and provide a less noticeable appearance.
This removable treatment option uses a series of clear trays that adjust your teeth without the use of wires or brackets. Because they are clear, this option allows you to straighten your teeth with a look that is almost invisible. By wearing these trays for 22 hours per day for 9-15 months, you’ll see results in no time.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Usually reserved for extreme cases that are unresponsive to alternative treatments, corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is a relatively simple procedure that has outstanding effects on facial symmetry. This surgery is performed by a trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon, so you will know you are in good hands. Ask Dr. Jess if this option is right for you.
Bowen Family Orthodontics has your back – and your smile!
Your smile is in the best hands – our expert doctors have the training and the caring attitude you’re looking for in your orthodontic treatment process. Our Bowen Family Orthodontics team is knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to guide you through your orthodontic procedure.
Our dedication to our patients shines through our exceptional care, and we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on the latest orthodontic treatments and technologies. Schedule a FREE consultation with us when you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey to facial symmetry! We can’t wait to help you discover your hidden smile! You can expect a memorable, fun, and rewarding orthodontic experience!