Braces change not just the alignment of your teeth but also other orofacial anatomies like your jaws, lips, and overall facial profile. Does this mean there would be a considerable and potentially permanent impact on their appearance? Well, yes and no. It depends on a few factors. Read on to find out why.
- 1 What Effect Do Braces Have On Facial Structure?
- 2 Do Braces Make Your Lips Pop Out?
- 3 Other Common Concerns About Lips During Braces Treatment
- 4 Caring For Your Lips While Wearing Braces
- 5 Is There Anything I Can Do To Avoid My Lips Looking Bigger?
- 6 Do Braces Make You Look More Attractive?
- 7 Conclusion
What Effect Do Braces Have On Facial Structure?
Many people wearing braces feel that their cheeks sink after their teeth are extracted during the treatment plan. It is because our teeth are surrounded by soft tissues like those in your lips and your cheek. When you wear braces, these tissues change according to the alignment of your teeth.
Braces are dental appliances meant to change the alignment of your teeth. So yes, there will be a slight change in the appearance of your lips during the treatment, but these are not significant. Treatment plans determine how your teeth will change and the extent of the change.
If your skeletal features are already developed, the change in lips and the shape of the face will not be prominent. Rest assured that the changes to your face will be uniform with braces.
Do Braces Make Your Lips Pop Out?
Your dental arch and teeth are the base on which lips and jaws rest. When the base moves, it is natural for what’s resting on it to move. Your lips may move as a result of braces. But only enough to conform to the alignment of your teeth behind them.
For instance, if you have an underbite, your lower jaw protrudes beyond your upper jaw, making your upper lip look smallish. But during the treatment, when the braces help align your bite and your lower jaw and lip “move” back, it can make your upper lip look more prominent.
If you have an overbite, on the other hand, your top teeth stick out. Braces will cause your lips to fall back when your braces pull your teeth back.
Your lips are shifting with your front teeth. So, braces don’t alter the fullness or shape of your lips, and it only redirects their position, which might make them appear more significant than it is typically. It is a temporary side effect and will take care of itself once your braces come off.
Another reason you might notice your lips looking fuller is that wearing a dental appliance like metal or ceramic braces with brackets and wires creates extra space between your lips and teeth. It gives the appearance of your lips popping out.
Other Common Concerns About Lips During Braces Treatment
Some irritation, pain, or discomfort in the soft oral tissues of the lip, tongue, and cheek is common. There could also be some specific issues, such as:
If you notice a change in the appearance of your lips after braces, then you must note that your lips have been in an unnatural position for a while. It could lead to some temporary stretching of your lips. Since your lips are sensitive, this stretching can cause cracking of the skin on your lips. Moisture escapes from these causes cracks resulting in dry, chapped lips.
Swelling of the lip is also possible as the braces can rub against your lips. You might see some minor bruises or spots that are red and sore.
For some, numbness can result as the nerve endings in their lips cease to transmit pain signals to the brain.
Caring For Your Lips While Wearing Braces
Traditional metallic or ceramic braces stay on your teeth for a very long time, and unlike Invisalign, they are not removable. But the good news is that there are some easy-to-follow solutions to the pain arising from wearing them.
Follow these simple remedies to alleviate the discomfort on your lips caused by wearing braces.
- Wear a good lip balm that moistens your lips and keeps them from drying. There are plenty of over-the-counter products. Choose one that suits you. Avoid picking the dry flakes on your lips. Although tempting, they cause more harm and delay the healing process of your lips. It is best to keep your balm handy and reapply regularly to keep the moisture locked in and prevent flaking.
- Hydration is the body’s natural way of healing. Sip on cool water often. The cold temperature should reduce the pain and give your lips the necessary moisture.
- Give your mouth some rest. The constant movement of your lip aggravates inflammation and pain. So, give talking and eating a break.
- If you have prolonged or unbearable pain, try some over-the-counter pain relievers. They will only give your lips temporary relief. Never take them without the approval of your orthodontist.
- Orthodontic wax could also resolve your problem. Your orthodontist can apply some wax on your brackets, preventing them from scraping over your lips. Consult your service provider to explore this option. Again, this is only recommended in case of acute pain.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Avoid My Lips Looking Bigger?
It is natural for many patients to push their lips far away from their brackets to avoid pain and discomfort. It can contribute to the appearance of more extensive and fuller lips, giving you an unnatural-looking mouth. Being mindful of the lip position should help. Accept and embrace your “big” lips as a temporary setback in attaining that stunning smile.
Remember that the irritation in your mouth caused by wearing braces is only temporary. As your mouth adjusts to the changes, the pain will go away.
Do Braces Make You Look More Attractive?
Wearing braces is all about improving your smile and the overall aesthetics of your face. Having aligned teeth and better dental health is reassuring and makes you feel more confident. In short, braces can make you look more attractive.
Orthodontic treatment requires understanding how your teeth, jaws, and facial features interact. Your orthodontist can provide you with all the information you need about how and if your lips would change before and after treatment with braces. Get an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan from your orthodontist if you’re thinking about that gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted!
Do Braces Make Your Lips Bigger? (What You Need to Know)
Dr. Bill Redmond is a native of Southern California, the son of an orthodontist and the husband of a general dentist. That makes family gatherings pretty interesting…if you like teeth!