Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt like your face looks different on one side than it does on the other? If you have, you’re not alone. Since kindergarten, we are taught how to check for symmetry, and usually, we are told that symmetry is more visually appealing. However, feeling self-conscious about the way your face is shaped can leave you feeling down.
The best thing to do is turn to Scaffidi Orthodontics for help. If you’re wondering if orthodontics can fix facial asymmetry, the short answer is yes! Keep reading to learn how we can turn your frown upside down in Kenner, New Orleans, or Slidell.
Facial Asymmetry: What is it?
Facial asymmetry is a complicated issue with several different factors and potential causes. In general, facial asymmetry is known as the imbalance of an individual’s facial features on either side of their face. Almost everyone has some degree of facial asymmetry – no one is perfect, after all – but usually, most cases are slight and hardly noticeable.
Typically, facial asymmetry is only an issue if you’re feeling insecure about the misalignment. Asymmetries can cause double chins, sunken cheeks, or “weak chins” that recede into your neckline. Depending on the level of severity, 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 Scaffidi Orthodontics to see how we can help.
When it comes to the orthodontic causes of facial asymmetry, the answer usually comes down to the type of bite you have.
Bite Problems & Asymmetrical Faces
First thing’s first: every smile is different. Each set of pearly whites is so unique that they’re almost as individualized 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. Scaffidi 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can Orthodontics Fix My Facial Asymmetry?
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. Scaffidi 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. Dr. Scaffidi recommends 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. Scaffidi offers the treatment options below to help you feel more attractive.
Our clear aligner treatment is an excellent option for patients looking to straighten their smile without the bulky brackets and wires of braces. Using a series of clear plastic trays that we custom-make to fit your unique smile, clear aligners straighten your teeth with comfort and ease.
As the traditional option, metal braces are often the first method that comes 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 12-36 months, depending on the severity of your case, your mouth’s response to treatment, and your desired outcome.
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.
Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder
Although facial asymmetry can be a difficult topic to talk about and can cause insecurities for many people, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Facial asymmetries are common and are oftentimes 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.
Get Your Confidence Back at Scaffidi Orthodontics!
Life is too short to feel self-conscious about your smile. No matter your age or orthodontic condition, Dr. Scaffidi and our team have the experience to help transform your grin, so you feel comfortable in your own skin. If you’re ready to get started with orthodontic treatment, schedule your free consultation at one of our offices in Kenner, New Orleans, or Slidell today!