Do Braces Change Your Face Shape?

The main goal of braces is to correctly align your teeth but can they actually alter the shape of your face? Read on to find out the impact braces can have on facial structure to help you make a more informed decision if you’re considering orthodontic treatment. 

The Mechanics of Braces: How They Work on Teeth

To understand the impact braces can have on your face, you first need to understand how they straighten your teeth.

The brackets (those little squares attached to each tooth), hold the archwire in place. The archwire is gradually tightened by an orthodontist to put pressure on the teeth and move them into the desired place.

The Impact of Braces on Jaw Alignment and Facial Symmetry

One of the lesser considered, yet significant, effects of braces involves the jaw. By correcting misalignments like overbites, underbites, and crossbites, braces can bring a better balance to your jaw positioning.

This doesn’t just stop at making chewing easier; it can subtly alter your facial symmetry too. A well-aligned jaw supports your facial muscles better, potentially enhancing your profile and giving your face a more symmetrical appearance.

Periodontal Ligament

To get more technical, fixed braces work by applying pressure to the periodontal ligament.

The Periodontal ligament, commonly known as PDL, is the connective tissue between the teeth and alveolar bone.

This ligament serves as a cushion between the tooth roots and the bone, anchoring the teeth in place and facilitating their movement.

Long-Term Effects: Do Braces Permanently Alter Facial Shape?

Wondering if braces will change your face forever? While braces make notable adjustments to the alignment of teeth and jaw, the changes to the actual shape of your face are more subtle and largely dependent on the individual case.

The adjustments in jaw alignment can make your face appear more symmetrical and sometimes, slightly elongated or more defined.

However, these changes are not as dramatic as some might think and typically enhance your natural features rather than transform them entirely.

Does Invisalign Change Your Face Shape? 

Similarly to fixed braces, Invisalign can have some effect on your facial structure. In particular, those with an overbite, underbite, or crossbite may find that by correcting bite alignment, facial structure is also indirectly impacted. 

Factors Beyond Braces: Genetics and Age

It is important to note that there are other factors that impact your face shape, and also how much of an impact braces are likely to have on your face shape. Let’s look into how genetics and age play a part in your bone structure… 

Genetics and Face Shape

Your genes play a primary role in determining your facial structure—braces or no braces. While orthodontic treatment can tweak and refine your appearance, your basic bone structure—dictated by your DNA—sets the stage. For example, if wide jaws run in your family, braces won’t make your jawline narrow; they’ll just help align and optimise what you naturally have.

Age and Face Shape

Age is another crucial factor. Younger patients, whose bones are still developing, may see more noticeable changes from braces because their facial structure is still somewhat malleable. In adults, the changes are generally subtler, since their bones have stopped growing. This doesn’t mean adults can’t benefit from braces; it simply means the aesthetic changes might be less pronounced.

Conclusion: Do Braces Change Your Face Shape?

So, do braces change your face shape? Yes, but maybe not as drastically as you might hope—or fear. The primary goal of braces is to improve oral function by realigning teeth and correcting the jaw position.

Any changes to the face shape are usually mild and serve to enhance your natural facial features. If you’re considering braces, think of them as a way to bring out the best in your smile and add a bit of symmetry to your facial aesthetics.

Interested in Getting Braces?

We wouldn’t recommend getting braces solely to alter the shape of your face, but if you are interested in getting a straighter smile, we would love to help you!

Reach out to our team at Duthie Dental, who will be able to talk you through treatment options and the benefits of both fixed braces and Invisalign treatment.  


Do braces change your cheekbones?

Braces primarily focus on straightening teeth and correcting jaw alignment rather than directly altering cheekbones. However, improved dental alignment can sometimes have subtle effects on facial appearance, potentially influencing the prominence of cheekbones in certain cases.

Do braces change lip shape?

Braces can indirectly affect lip shape by repositioning teeth and adjusting jaw alignment. For instance, correcting overbites or underbites may alter the position of the lips relative to the teeth. Additionally, braces can sometimes create space or close gaps between teeth, which may impact lip support and appearance.

Can braces fix a long face?

Braces can contribute to addressing dental and skeletal issues that may be associated with a long face, such as malocclusions or jaw misalignments. By optimising dental alignment and jaw position, braces may help create a more proportionate facial profile. However, braces alone may not directly “fix” a long face, as other factors like skeletal structure and soft tissue dynamics also play a role.

Do braces change jawline?

Improvements in dental alignment and bite can sometimes have secondary effects on jaw appearance. For example, correcting an overbite or underbite may influence the position of the lower jaw relative to the upper jaw, potentially impacting the appearance of the jawline.

Do braces make your face symmetrical?

Braces can contribute to improving facial symmetry indirectly by correcting dental misalignments and jaw discrepancies. However, achieving perfect facial symmetry is often influenced by factors beyond braces, such as genetics and individual facial anatomy. So, while braces can enhance facial symmetry to some extent, complete symmetry may not always be attainable.

Will braces make you look younger?

Braces can improve your smile and enhance facial aesthetics, which may contribute to a more youthful appearance. By correcting crooked teeth, closing gaps, and aligning the bite, braces can help create a brighter, more attractive smile that can have a rejuvenating effect on your overall look.

Improved dental alignment and facial symmetry achieved through orthodontic treatment may also contribute to a more youthful appearance. However, the extent to which braces can make you look younger varies depending on individual factors such as age, facial structure, and overall oral health.

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