Can Braces Change Your Jawline?
By Dr. Tyler Coles – Premier Orthodontics
Table of Contents
Many patients who start braces treatment often ask, “Can braces change my jawline?”
In this article we’ll break down what type of jawline changes are possible with braces and when that may be beneficial for you.
Changing a Jawline With Braces
Some patients may want to pursue orthodontic treatment in order to change their jawline or profile. Patients that have a retrusive chin may be hoping to get more chin projection. Alternatively, patients that have a very protrusive lower jaw may be wanting to reduce the amount of chin projection.
Example of retrusive lower jaw and a protrusive lower jaw.
An orthodontists’ ability to change the jawline of a patient will be determined by two major factors.
- If the patient is still growing (young teenagers and under)
- If that patient is open to jaw surgery (in addition to their braces)
Fixing a Retrusive Lower Jawline With Braces in a Growing Patient
If a patient is still growing (preteens and younger teenage patients) there are some growth modification appliances that can be used to change the jawline.
For young growing patients with a weak lower jaw, a herbst appliance may be used to help redirect the growth of the lower jaw into a more forward position.
Watch the video below to see what a herbst appliance looks like:
Orthodontists use a herbst appliance to fix overbites. It works by posturing the lower jaw forward for several months. If the lower jaw grows in a more forward direction, it will most likely fix the bite and hopefully improve the jawline as well.
Keep in mind that there are many different types of overbites. A herbst appliance may not be the appropriate choice for every patient, but in certain patients it may help to increase lower chin projection and improve the jawline.
The patient below was treated with a herbst appliance and you can clearly see an improvement to the jawline.
Fixing a Strong Lower Jawline With Braces in a Growing Patient
For young growing patients with an underbite and a stronger lower jawline, there are some reliable treatment options. These treatment options are usually only successful in much younger patients, usually age 8 – 11.
Depending on the severity of the underbite, an “orthodontic face mask” may be a good option to help correct an underbite and bring the upper jaw and upper teeth forward.
Below is a video of an orthodontic face mask appliance and how it works.
Orthodontic face masks are usually worn at night-time and after school, so there’s no worry about having to face public pressure. If worn 8-12 hours a day, it can help to bring the upper jaw forward and improve the jawline.
However, orthodontic face masks may not be the best treatment option for every patient. An orthodontist will best be able to determine if your child is a good candidate for this treatment at a braces consultation.
Fixing a Weak Lower Jawline With Surgery and Braces
Once a patient has finished growing orthodontics by itself cannot change the jawline. If a patient chooses to get orthognathic surgery with braces, then jawline changes can be achieved.
Orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery, can help to fix patients with a more severe bite problem or jawline problem.
For example, patients with a weak lower jaw can bring the lower jaw forward with orthognathic surgery.
A mandibular advancement surgery can be particularly effective in changing the jawline for the better. Watch the animation below to see how orthognathic surgery can fix a retrusive lower jaw.
Fixing a Protrusive Lower Jawline With Surgery and Braces
For adult patients with a protrusive lower jaw, orthognathic surgery combined with braces can make dramatic improvements to the jawline.
Here is an example of a patient treated in our office with both a maxillary advancement and mandibular setback surgery.
The animation below demonstrates what a maxillary advancement with mandibular setback looks like.
So whether you’re considering braces to help fix a jawline in a growing child or in an adult, it’s important to first consult with an orthodontist. They are your best path to determining the best treatment option for your specific case.
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