Orthodontic treatment comes in many forms. Sometimes our patients look for a quick smile tune-up, and other times, they want an entire smile makeover. Fortunately, Petrunic Orthodontics is here to help with any and all orthodontic needs – including facial asymmetry! If you’re feeling insecure about the shape of your face and you’re wondering how braces can fix facial asymmetry, look no further! We’ve got all the answers, so keep reading below.
About Facial Asymmetry
Remember learning about symmetry in elementary school? You learned that for an object to be symmetrical, it had to look the same on both sides of an imaginary middle line. The same goes for symmetrical faces: when your face has perfect symmetry, your features are balanced on both sides of your face.
On the other hand, asymmetrical faces do not look the same on either side of an imaginary middle line. This effect may leave you with an imbalanced appearance. Studies have shown that most humans find symmetrical faces more attractive, even on a subconscious level, so when you worry that your face is asymmetrical, you may feel a little insecure about how you look.
Asymmetries can cause double chins, sunken cheeks, or “weak chins” that recede into your neckline. Depending on the severity level, these conditions can be a major source of anxiety for many patients. If you’re feeling extremely self-conscious about your facial asymmetry, it might be time to visit Petrunic Orthodontics to see how we can help.
Causes of Facial Asymmetry
Not every case of facial asymmetry has the same root cause. Maybe asymmetries just run in your family, or maybe years of smoking have caused you to develop an asymmetrical face over time. Everything from sun damage to injuries to strokes can cause facial asymmetry, but one of the most common reasons is orthodontics.
When it comes to the orthodontic causes of facial asymmetry, the answer usually comes down to your bite type.
Your Bite’s Role in Facial Asymmetry
First thing’s first: every smile is different. Each set of pearly whites is so unique that it’s almost as personal to you as your fingerprint! As your jaw grows and develops, different factors can cause it to create bite problems, meaning your top and bottom jaws are misaligned in some way that causes issues for you.
Each bite pattern is telling of your jaw structure, and jaw structure plays a considerable role in facial symmetry. The first step Dr. Petrunic will take toward addressing your facial asymmetry concerns is determining your bite pattern.
During your free consultation at our office, we’ll take X-rays and digital images of your mouth to help us determine what type of bite you have. You’ll likely fit in one of the following categories.
Underbite: It is easy to recognize an underbite 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 most significant change in facial symmetry by implementing an orthodontic treatment plan.
Overbite: 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 requires correction, but more severe overbites may cause your chin to have a receding appearance known as a “weak” chin.
Open Bite: 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 various issues, including difficulty chewing, it can also cause the face to appear longer. People with this bite pattern may also see significant results with orthodontic treatment.
Crossbite: 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.
Orthodontic Treatment: The Cure for Your Facial Asymmetry Concerns
The best way to prevent facial asymmetry from causing problems with your smile is to start treatment as early as you can, at the earliest possible age. When you’re young, your jawline is still developing, meaning an orthodontist can redirect its growth and stop asymmetry in its tracks. So if you are reading this as a teenager or a parent, there is no time to waste! However, even if your jawline is already fully developed, Dr. Petrunic can still help!
No matter your age, the easiest way to correct facial asymmetry is with the help of either braces or, in more severe cases, corrective jaw surgery. Our doctors recommend a series of treatment methods designed to realign your bite pattern in a process called intercuspation. The hope is that by aligning your teeth, the angles of your face and jaw adjust to produce a more symmetrical effect without physically changing any of your other facial features. Dr. Petrunic offers the treatment options below to help you feel more attractive.
This treatment method is excellent for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. With a system of brackets and wires, these braces straighten your teeth by applying constant, gentle pressure. They’re a durable and reliable option that ensures your treatment runs smoothly and effectively.
Like metal braces, this treatment option uses a system of brackets and wires to straighten your teeth and is effective for patients with moderate to severe orthodontic issues. Instead of metal braces, clear braces use white ceramic brackets that match the color of your teeth, so your treatment is less visible.
Straightening your teeth with clear aligners can be a great option if you want the least noticeable treatment possible. Using a series of customized clear aligner trays, clear aligners straighten your smile without the bulky brackets and wires of traditional metal or clear braces.
Although facial asymmetry can be a difficult topic to discuss and can cause many people’s insecurities, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Facial asymmetries are common and often the very reason we find a person attractive.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember that orthodontic treatment can help you on your way to confidence.
Smiles On Us
At Petrunic Orthodontics, we want you to feel like your best self, and we believe your best self starts with a smile. Whether you’re struggling with an asymmetrical smile or you just want a smile tune-up, Dr. Petrunic has the treatment plan to give you the confidence you need. Schedule your free consultation with our team in Prattville to get started today!