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Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:38 pm
by LittleSern
I have seen many people mention that their face shape changed during braces, specifically that their face looked thinner and their cheekbones appeared to protrude more. That has definitely happened to me and I don't like it.

I've read various theories as to why this happens. The one that makes the most sense to me is that you are using your massetter muscles differently with braces on, so the muscles atrophy (especially if you have bumpers preventing closing of mouth all the way).Also, the bumpers preventing your mouth from closing can make it look longer.

What I haven't seen is anyone who has had their braces removed report back and tell us if their face shape went back to normal. Is there anyone out there who can provide an update for those of us still wearing braces?

Thanks!

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:48 am
by djspeece
I didn't notice much of a change while in braces, possibly because I ate so many "prohibited" foods, but my face is definitely back to normal 8 months post bracing. You may want to also post on the sub-forum that deals with life after braces, but that doesn't seem to get as much traffic as this one.

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:27 pm
by kribbo
LittleSern wrote:I have seen many people mention that their face shape changed during braces, specifically that their face looked thinner and their cheekbones appeared to protrude more. That has definitely happened to me and I don't like it.

I've read various theories as to why this happens. The one that makes the most sense to me is that you are using your massetter muscles differently with braces on, so the muscles atrophy (especially if you have bumpers preventing closing of mouth all the way).Also, the bumpers preventing your mouth from closing can make it look longer.

What I haven't seen is anyone who has had their braces removed report back and tell us if their face shape went back to normal. Is there anyone out there who can provide an update for those of us still wearing braces?

Thanks!
Hi LittleSern,

Sorry this has happened to you. My face changed in that way within about 4 months of getting braces in 2014. My lower cheeks sunk in causing jowls and saggy skin around my mouth. My upper cheeks then followed and I developed eye bags and crow's feet very quickly. People commented that I looked far too thin but I didn't lose any weight.

I was 30 when I got them on and looked about 5-10 years younger. A few months later I started to look older than I was. As with you, this sudden change was very distressing to me but I clung on to the hope that things would improve once they came off.

I got them off a year ago and unfortunately I've had no improvement at all. I still have the hollow cheeks and excess skin/jowls as well as deep lines around the sides of my mouth that definitely weren't there before.

The braces also made my teeth worse as it wasn't full orthodontic treatment, it was the cosmetic "6 month smiles" system. All the dentist (not an ortho) did was flare my front teeth forward and make me look buck toothed.

I've been depressed ever since they were removed and am about to start with some therapy to try to help me cope. I'd do anything to get my old teeth and face back.

I'm really sorry, I feel guilty for writing this as I know how you'll feel when you read it! :( But thought I should be honest. My state of mind isn't good at the moment so it may be that one day I learn to deal with it and not think about it so dramatically.

Also, everyone is different - your face may well bounce back. How old are you? I don't think my age helped as I'm guessing I was on the cusp of starting with age-related changes anyway. I've read a bit about orthotropics and tongue posture recently and it seems that it could help? I'm not trying anything until I'm out of the depression though. I've been tempted with fillers and further orthodontic work but should probably sort my brain out first...

Best of luck to you, I know it's hard (and I didn't manage it!) but try not to stress as I'm sure that only made the changes worse for me.

Sorry, I wish I could be more positive for you :( Solidarity though as I know how it feels. Really hope you see improvements once your treatment is over.

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:26 pm
by Dureena
If your arch widens then it's possible your swallowing pattern improves as it's easier to get the tongue on the roof of the month.

If there's not enough space for your tongue then you may use your buccinators to swallow i.e. you get chubby cheeks. When you swallow properly this muscle atrophies and you get hollow cheeks which is generally considered an attractive feature.

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:08 pm
by mmkay
I'm still in braces and have this, it's due to (minor-ish) weight loss IMO (in my case).

I can feel that my masseter muscles are assymetric, and this does cause one side's cheekbone to appear more prominent, but this would date back to pre-braces (due to bruxism, messed up bite, etc). I suspect the masseter muscles haven't changed much during braces. The appearance of asymmetry varies with my weight.

Questions for you to research: How long does it take for masseter muscles to atrophy? And more importantly how long does it take them to regenerate and methods to aid this (e.g. gum chewing)?

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:41 pm
by 33333
I now have sunken temples, sunken cheeks (masseter muscles), protruding cheekbones, crow feet (this one may or may not be braces related). It's tough for me to look at myself in the mirror.

I'm still in treatment and don't know when will it end.

I wish I never had braces.

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:52 pm
by LittleSern
I'm 29. Kribbo, your story definitely didn't make me feel hopeful but like you said, maybe it is different for everyone.

I've heard about the orthotropics and I actually started doing the tongue on roof of mouth thing the past few days - hoping to see a change.

I'm hoping the benefits to my smile will outweigh the effects I'm seeing. I can't do anything about the fact that I got braces - no going back in time, so I just need to accept it at this point. Things could be way worse, I suppose.

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:19 am
by mmkay
33333 wrote:I now have sunken temples, sunken cheeks (masseter muscles), protruding cheekbones, crow feet (this one may or may not be braces related).
I think it's pretty hard to blame sunken temples on braces...sounds like weight loss (coupled with bone structure). At a guess the loss of fat makes the crows feet worse, hence why some women have it injected.

I didn't lose weight until after I'd been in braces some time (made some dietary decisions independent of braces), and that's when I experienced facial changes - all round increased definition of bones (area around eyes AKA sunken temples, cheekbones, jawline).

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:27 am
by 33333
mmkay wrote: I think it's pretty hard to blame sunken temples on braces...sounds like weight loss (coupled with bone structure). At a guess the loss of fat makes the crows feet worse, hence why some women have it injected.

I didn't lose weight until after I'd been in braces some time (made some dietary decisions independent of braces), and that's when I experienced facial changes - all round increased definition of bones (area around eyes AKA sunken temples, cheekbones, jawline).
I'm sure it's not weight loss. I'm now heavier than ever, but I look like I've lost 20 lbs. My own theory is that when we chew with a proper bite, the muscle in the temple area (try to feel that area with your fingers while chewing) and the masseter muscle get worked. My back teeth have not been touching for at least 3 years, so I've been pretty much "swallowing" food and I lost a significant amount of chewing related tissues.

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:48 pm
by mmkay
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_muscle
https://meded.ucsd.edu/clinicalimg/head ... sting2.htm

Shows you how much I know about anatomy :)

Of course if you haven't been chewing food for 3 years, that's kind of different to the 'my face has been destroyed after a few months' claims.

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:38 pm
by pw1981
[quote="mmkay"] 'my face has been destroyed after a few months' claims.[/quote]

thats happened to me after 1 year

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:46 pm
by elena
Dear all,

Apologies for the long post and for sort of jumping on this thread, as I don't know how to create posts.

I started treatment 8 months ago (ceramic braces). I had three extractions, two bicuspids in the upper jaw and one in the lower jaw. (I know this is unusual but my ortho said sometimes it is possible to take one tooth from one side only, and this was a root canal so I was happy with that choice... the top ones were healthy teeth though! )

8 months into the treatment, I look older, gaunt face, wrinkles around the mouth, flat lips. I have always looked youngish for my age (now 46 so I am middle aged). Any way, I am terrified. Does anybody know of someone in London who does reverse orthodontics? I still have fairly big gaps in my upper jaw. I am not about to close those gaps as I am afraid that that would make me look even older. I had a photograph taken in September right before the extractions and the difference is so dramatic to photographs taken in the last few months. I talked to my ortho a few days ago... I think he is one of those old fashioned orthos who don't know anything about facial balance, only care about the bite and getting the teeth straight and that's it. My face was fairly round ... now it's longish. My ex boyfriend hand't seen me in 8 months and I asked him the other day, "do you notice any changes in my face" and he told me straight away, making a gesture , "skinny face, wrinkles at the sides of your mouth". ... My teeth were a bit overcrowded yes... but in 6 weeks they were straight and there was so much space left... the gaps have definitely closed a few millimeters since february, slowly but relentlessly. So I haven't had any adjustment for nearly two months now as I am so freaked out. I would like to have the gaps re opened a bit and then use implants. I can't believe I am in this situation.

Does anybody know about any good ortho doing this in the UK? They all seem to be in the US.

Thank you, Elena

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:53 pm
by elena
- sorry one more thing... to the person who mentions the temples.

Well that was the FIRST thing that I noticed, like in March. My friends were like, your lips look different, etc. OK, I didn't mind. But one day looking in the mirror I see my temples sinking. I'm like, wow. Let's apply moisturizer there blah blah. My ortho says: "the temples have nothing to do with the braces". Well it may be so. But I noticed that change first and foremost. Anyway, the cheeks are now flaccid. Etc etc. I don't even want to start the list again! :-)

Good evening all

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:56 pm
by TheProfessor
My cheeks started to look hollow during my second year of braces and people who hadn't seen me in a while would tell me that I looked like I had lost weight. One friend even commented that my face looked different, but not in a bad way. I've now had my braces off for just over 2 months and my face has returned to normal (well, normal but with straight teeth :). In my case, I'm pretty sure that it was loss of jaw muscle tone that made my face change during braces. My cheeks filled back out now that I can chew like a normal person again!

Re: Has anyone's face shape gone back to normal after braces removed?

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:57 pm
by LittleSern
Elena, I'm so sorry to hear about the changes you're seeing. I have heard that getting extractions can lead to undesirable changes in the face, but it's also happening for people like me who have had no extractions. So I would think that there is a basic thinning of the face, probably due to changes in the use of our muscles, that comes with braces in general, and in in a case like yours where there has also been extractions, you may see an ever more dramatic effect.

The Professor's story has given me hope - at the very least it appears that there is some reversal we may be able to expect.