Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, TikTok trends have had us all under their influence in a way that no social media outlet ever has before. From dances to mass inside jokes, these trends have brought us together to have the same conversations and enjoy each other’s virtual company. But while social media has its perks, it certainly isn’t immune to error. Thanks to face-tuning filters, the Booth Orthodontics Team has seen some of its negative side effects firsthand.
We know them; we love them. Filters have the potential to make our selfies flawless, which is great – that is, until we put the camera down. One filter, in particular, rises to the top of our list: the facial symmetry effect. This filter copies one side of your face over the other, claiming to show what you would look like with a perfectly symmetrical – and therefore, more attractive – face. This face-altering effect has caused an uproar, sending many people to their orthodontists for similar, more permanent results. This trend begs the question: can orthodontics fix my facial asymmetry?
It is the question on everyone’s mind. Because Booth Orthodontics wants you to feel confident in your own smile, we are here to explain the orthodontics behind facial asymmetry so that you can regain your self-confidence with #NoFilter.
What is facial asymmetry?
Facial asymmetry is the imbalance in the arrangement of an individual’s facial features. Nearly everyone has some degree of facial asymmetry. It is part of being human to have some slight asymmetry which could be caused by genetics, facial growth as a part of the aging process, or the way your jaw is structured. Usually, this slight asymmetry goes unnoticed or is even considered to be an integral part of what makes you you, but in some more severe cases of asymmetry, anxieties and insecurities may arise.
Most people’s internal struggle with facial asymmetry is due to aesthetics. It has often been said that humans subconsciously prefer individuals with more symmetrical faces, and that knowledge could send anyone into an anxiety-ridden frenzy! In fact, asymmetries may cause what is known as a “weak chin,” double chin, or sunken cheeks, among other effects.
However, in addition to the aesthetic value of a symmetrical face, there are also health concerns when it comes to asymmetry. Asymmetry could indicate deeper problems such as sleep apnea or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.
When it comes to the orthodontic side of facial asymmetry, we typically chalk it up to the type of bite you have…
Everyone’s mouth is different, and everyone has some type of bite that falls into one of several categories. Each bite pattern is telling of your jaw structure, and jaw structure plays a huge role in facial symmetry. The first step your orthodontist will take toward addressing your facial asymmetry concerns is determining your bite pattern.
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 is in need of correction, but more severe overbites may cause your chin to have a receding appearance known as a “weak” chin.
Underbites are recognized 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 greatest change in facial symmetry with the implementation of an orthodontic treatment plan.
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.
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 a range of issues including difficulty chewing, it can also cause the face to appear longer, meaning that people with this bite pattern may also see significant results with orthodontic treatment.
How can my orthodontist help with asymmetry?
Asymmetry is best addressed when caught at a young age. This is because your jawline is still growing and changing which means it is much more readily influenced by orthodontic treatment. Even still, facial asymmetry can still be corrected in older patients as well with the use of braces and, in more severe cases, corrective jaw surgery.
Typically, however, depending on the unique characteristics of your teeth, your orthodontist will use one of several treatment methods to attempt to bring your bite pattern to a more neutral position in a process called intercuspation. The goal of intercuspation is to align your teeth, and the hope is that by aligning your teeth, the angles of your face and jaw are adjusted to produce a more symmetrical effect without actually physically changing any of your other facial features. Booth Orthodontics offers the treatment options below to help you feel more attractive.
As the traditional option, metal braces are often the first that come 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 a period of 12-36 months, depending on the severity of your case, your mouth’s response to treatment, and your desired outcome.
Clear braces work the same way as metal braces. The difference is that clear braces use white, ceramic brackets that blend in with the color of your teeth and provide a less noticeable appearance.
This removable treatment option uses a series of clear trays that adjust your teeth without the use of wires or brackets. Because they are clear, this option allows you to straighten your teeth with a look that is almost invisible. By wearing these trays for 22 hours per day for 9-15 months, you’ll see results in no time.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
While this option may sound intense, corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is a relatively simple procedure that Booth Orthodontics uses when regular orthodontic treatments don’t yield the desired effects. This surgery is performed by a trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon, so you will know you are in good hands.
Booth Orthodontics: Making Natural Smiles Confident Smiles
Social media can be great, but don’t let it get you down. Dr. Ryan and the Booth Orthodontics team are dedicated to helping you feel confident in your own smile, without the filter. There is a solution, and we are here to help you discover the right solution for you. Schedule a free consultation today to find out how orthodontics can fix your facial asymmetry today!