At McGrory Orthodontics, we always have our eye on what’s trending online, and it’s no secret that filters are all the rage! Gen Z is obsessed with Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok filters that alter your face to enhance your look. One of the most popular of these is the facial symmetry filter which shows you what you would look like with a perfectly symmetrical face.
While the filter was initially meant to be a fun way to edit photos, it’s gotten a little out of hand. Our team at McGrory Orthodontics has seen a huge increase in patients looking for a more permanent solution, so they can look like they have the facial symmetry filter on all the time. Everyone wants to know: can orthodontics fix my facial asymmetry?
Our team wants you to know that everyone has some degree of facial asymmetry! After all, we are human, and no one is perfect. But if you’re feeling insecure about your facial asymmetry and are searching for answers, look no further. Dr. McGrory and Dr. McCarty have all the information you need.
Facial asymmetry, defined
Even if you’ve used the filter, you may still be wondering what facial asymmetry really is. Facial asymmetry can indeed be a complicated issue with many different factors. Facial asymmetry is the imbalance of an individual’s facial features on either side of their face. Usually, most cases are slight and aren’t noticeable.
Generally, the biggest concern people have regarding facial asymmetry is aesthetics. Asymmetries can cause double chins, “weak chin,” or sunken cheeks. These conditions can be a source of anxiety for many patients who see their smile possibilities reflected in the symmetry filter. Many patients with more severe cases of facial asymmetry feel insecure about their smile, which is why they visit their orthodontist.
When it comes to the orthodontic side of facial asymmetry, the answer usually comes down to the type of bite you have.
Effects of facial asymmetry
Studies have found that the symmetry of one’s face can affect how attractive you appear to others and that humans usually prefer a more symmetrical look. This can lead some patients to seek orthodontic treatment to achieve the desired aesthetic.
While nobody has perfect facial symmetry, there are cases where your asymmetry may be more than just aesthetically complicated. When it comes to functionality, facial asymmetry can disrupt the way you speak and eat and even cause jaw or head pains.
What does bite have to do with it?
Every smile that Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty treats is different. Like fingerprints, no set of pearly whites is the same! Usually, this difference is tied to the bite pattern you have. Each bite pattern tells of your jaw structure, and jaw structure plays a considerable 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 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.
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 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.
Can my orthodontist 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. Young people’s jawlines are still developing, meaning an orthodontist can redirect their growth and stop asymmetry in its tracks. That means if you are reading this as a teenager or the parent of one, there is no time to waste! However, even if your jawline is already fully developed, Dr. McGrory or Dr. McCarty 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. McGrory and Dr. McCarty recommend 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. McGrory and Dr. McCarty offer the treatment options below to help you feel more attractive.
This removable treatment option uses a series of clear trays that adjust your teeth without wires or brackets. Because they are clear, Invisalign allows you to straighten your teeth with an almost invisible look. By wearing these trays for 22 hours per day for 9-15 months, you’ll see results in no time.
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.
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.
Fix your facial asymmetry without the filter at McGrory Orthodontics
Dr. McGrory and Dr. McCarty know that social media can be brutal. If you’re feeling insecure about your facial asymmetry, you aren’t alone, and McGrory Orthodontics can help! Schedule your free consultation with us today to learn more!