Orthodontic Treatment is no longer simply about straightening crooked teeth. Orthodontists have the opportunity to positively affect the facial change and keep us looking younger longer. As well, older adults seeking care can knock off years of facial aging through the use of updated orthodontic techniques and technology.
In this series of 5 blogs, we look at the connection between orthodontic treatment and the face to further detail the ever changing world of orthodontic esthetics.
To start with, we never outgrow the need for a beautiful smile increasing our self esteem and allows us to relate to more positively towards others. It has been shown that this positive effect allows us to be more confident, attractive and successful. The benefit of a proper functioning set of teeth is an aid to consuming the nutrition needed at all ages especially in our older decades of life.
Yes, orthodontic treatment can be done at any age and although the considerations for treatment may vary in the pre-teen, teenager and adult, there is one element that these patients all have in common. They all get older!!! Yes, it’s true. We will not look the same next year or in the decades to come. Our facial contours change in shape and proportion. Perhaps earlier on for the better; but ultimately, for the worse. At some point we all want to look younger. That is why facelifts, Botox and fillers have risen to such prominence in recent years.
Did you know that the proper placement of teeth in your smile and in your profile can help combat some of the negative affects of affects of the aging face? This BRACELIFT affect can have more obvious benefits than you would imagine!
First; however, we must be aware of what the changes that occur naturally are and then we can talk about the treatment design and timing to put our “braces physiology” to work. We can zero in on the best treatment choices to select and also pinpoint those treatment choices which we would like to avoid if possible.
So what happens to our aging mouth and face? What can we expect?
Our lips get thinner and longer with age. The tissues around our lips sag due to loss of elasticity. The border between our lips and face become less defined. The corners of our mouth start to droop, making us look like we have a perpetual frown.
If that wasn’t enough, we start showing less upper teeth due to our sagging upper lip. There is loss of vertical facial proportions so that now more lower teeth show when smiling. Our loss of vertical height makes us look over-closed often resulting in our face looking as if it’s caved in.
Just compare your thirteen year old daughter with her seventy year old grandmother and you’ll see all of this come into view. What a great facial future to have!!
Next time we will talk about how to select orthodontic care that takes these future changes into consideration and what positive affects likely may result.
Dr. Joel Schacher