Today I’m going to talk about enhancing your facial beauty. I’m not going to talk about wrinkles, skin creams, or the usual advice about staying out of the sun, or any of that. Instead, we’re going to look at facial beauty from a different standpoint: dentistry and orthodontics.
We all know that a smile with straight, healthy teeth is attractive, and that’s certainly one component of facial beauty. But what I’m talking about goes beyond teeth to look at the shape and health of the jaw and the surrounding facial structure. Altogether, these components have a huge impact on the symmetry and beauty of the face. And, you may be surprised to learn, orthodontics can have a huge impact on these components.
When Health and Beauty Go Together
As a physiological dentist with a practice focusing on physiologic orthodontics, I’m primarily concerned with health over cosmetic concerns. Still, the fact is that often health and beauty go hand-in-hand, and that’s true when it comes to the teeth, jaw, and mouth.
For example, a parent may bring their child to us for dental care. The child has a midface that’s “sunken in,” with small nostrils and underdeveloped sinuses. This may be the result of improper breathing in childhood, which didn’t allow the midface to develop correctly. By working to develop the child’s cheekbones and the area under the nose, we are ultimately able to give the child straighter teeth, a more balanced profile, and a more beautiful face.
This improvement isn’t just esthetic but has real health consequences, too. A much lower percentage of patients who have been seeing me since childhood later develop common disorders like obstructive sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). These kinds of results typically don’t require surgery, either, only specialized appliances and an understanding of the underlying cause of the problem.
Focusing on the Wrong Thing
Most patients want the same thing: straight teeth. A treatment plan is created with that goal in mind that doesn’t address why teeth were crooked in the first place. While the treatment plan will work to straighten teeth, it will do nothing to fix the underlying problem.
Take crowding for instance. Crowding is a common problem where there’s not enough space in the mouth for all the adult teeth to comfortably come in. A common solution to this problem is extraction; by taking some permanent teeth out, it creates room for other teeth to come in straight.
Yet this can lead to a narrow smile that crowds the tongue which may be forced back into the mouth during sleep and cause breathing problems like obstructive sleep apnea. It can force the lower jaw back, which can lead to TMD and can also lead to a flatter profile because the midface is pulled back.
Here, again, you can see that health and beauty are very closely related. Instead of focusing solely on the goal of straight teeth, a better approach is to focus on the goal of creating the healthiest teeth, jaw, and mouth – which will naturally lead to improved beauty.
What Can You Do to Enhance Your Facial Beauty?
Many dentists and orthodontics want to give you a beautiful smile; at my practice, Villanova Dental Studio, we want to give you a beautiful face. We do this by putting health first and practicing “face forward” orthodontics, which means we develop the upper jaw and the midface. We look at the underlying problems and take into account airway passages, the shape and function of the jaw joint, the shape of the mouth, the health of the sinuses, and much, much more to create a treatment plan that does more than simply straighten teeth, but improve health and facial beauty, too.
If you’re interested in exploring your options when it comes to enhancing your facial beauty while improving your oral health, then I’d love for you to make an appointment with me at my practice. If you don’t live in the Ottawa area, look for someone in your area who practices physiologic orthodontics. Unfortunately, the percentage of dentists and orthodontists who practice physiologic orthodontics is small (I’d guess less than 5%), but I believe we’re growing in number. It may take some legwork to find a dentist with this experience and philosophy, but it will be well worth it in the end.