I think you might have lost your baby fat. It’s common for people in late 20s to go through that change in a short period of time.
By - BracesHell
I think you might have lost your baby fat. It’s common for people in late 20s to go through that change in a short period of time.
Yea tbh she looks like she has hollow cheeks now, which can have a different appeal compared to what she had before. Idk about her face aging bc I can't see the rest, but that's my take.
I had a similar change without braces. It was around 30 and I thought I was being over sensitive about turning 30 but the pictures are super different from 29 to 31. Turns out some gals just lose that baby fat over night. I do fillers now and I love it.
What you are discussing is actually a major topic with orthodontics but typically it’s getting the braces on while young ( I was 8) and keeping them on for way too long ( 8 years) which then caused serious bone degeneration being these are prepubescent years. It is a whole study and has pretty much been my entire life of jaw replacement. Sad because they like to blame female hormones and bruxism, not acknowledging that no other joints have issues in your body, so why would the jaw be degenerating for no reason while kept in orthodontic controlled rubber bands for major growth and development years?
I was told it was hormonal, that pcos was also a factor- luckily those years of orthodontists blaming womens hormones is all wrong. I very unexpectedly got pregnant and never suspected it because I was told by those oral surgeons and orthodontists that the the TMJ, hormones and pcos were all factors in keeping me from ever having children.
Proving them wrong doesn’t give me my life back but it is a start.
What do we do about the estrogen bullshit then
Perhaps a physical therapist could help you rebuild those muscles? The loss of master muscle will also cause this look. I hope it is not severe bone loss. I am sorry this has happened to you. I looked this way after Botox treatment for tmj but it went away when my masseter built back up. Are you able to eat? Do you have nerve pain?
Could you have matured and grown into your face more?
No. It’s hard to see without my eyes in the photos I guess but I look very different in a short period of time, it’s just not natural aging. I only included a few stories from other people but I’ve found many more, and we all notice the same pattern of facial changes that only began when we got orthodontic treatment.
Is it a bad difference? Or just not used to it. I don’t think you look bad. Maybe it just contoured your cheeks cause your jaw and teeth are adjusting!
I never payed attention to this during and after my braces and I’m about to get them again as an adult lol 😆
I think you lost weight. Your jaw is stronger now.
I think you look better now, to be honest.
I actually gained 5 pounds that’s the weird part! Sorry forgot to mention that. It’s only my face that has atrophied. Also thanks for the kind words, the problem is my cheeks have also become flat since those last photos were taken, and now my eyes look hollow/sunken too. It’s like every month my face wastes away more and more.
You are your harshest critic. You say flat, I see strong cheek bones and naturally cheek hollows.
My guess is that the treatment fixed an overjet by bringing your jaw into proper position, which makes your jaw long strong and defined.
You. Look. Great.
No offence but I think you might have a case of body dysmorphic disorder as I see no dramatic changes here, let alone “wasting away.” BDD is a serious psychiatric disorder as it starts with one fixation and becomes many more if not treated. Our faces are going to change constantly, it’s ageing and happens to every living being. Becoming obsessed about it won’t help.
I am absolutely desperate for answers. I got braces put on last August and just a few weeks in I noticed my face start to distort and change. I figured it was just because I had bite blocks on so it was making my mouth area look weird, but with time I realized that my face was actually drooping and wasting away. After 7 months of treatment I had the ortho take the braces off because I couldn’t stand the changes and I didn’t trust him that it would get better. I’ve had the braces off for 3 months now but my face hasn’t gotten any better and has actually continued to get worse. My cheeks have now totally flattened and I look even worse now than I did in the “after” photos I provided.
I read that TMJ causes facial changes like this, is that what happened to me?? I’m absolutely miserable and I want my old face back. Can anything be done about this?
Also I’m not sure if this is important but my jaw on my right side has always clicked when opening and closing my mouth (even before braces).
I included some other testimonies I found online of people who experienced the same thing from braces in case I sound crazy. It was definitely the braces, and I’m not the only one this has happened to.
This happened to me when I got Botox for my jaw & migraines
You should look up "mewing transformation" online (mewing is basically an underground non-medical term for proper tongue posture thar's gained popularity online for jaw and cheekbone growth in a good way) to see if it looks similar to your facial change. What might've happened is that through this treatment you gained what would be considered "proper" myofunction [tongue at the roof of the mouth and swallowing without the cheeks so they atrophy] (not saying there was anything wrong, but by proper I mean what's representative of our ancestors and such, which is ideal for health and such).
So if you DO notice a similarity between yourself and these "mewers" if you want you can revert to improper myofunction which would be tongue not touching the roof of the mouth and using your cheeks to swallow.
Again this is if you REALLY WANT to. Personally if you do have the tongue at the roof of the mouth and proper swallowing I would just keep it that way bc it's ideal for health and ensuring the teeth stay straight (also you look sick, imo that's a good facial transformation but I can't tell about the upper part of the face since you're mentioning that). Just my opinion, you do whatever you want OP.
Do you know if this happens for guys? I'm 18 rn and gonna get braces soon. What changes about the upper part of the face in terms of aging? Honestly if I gained the changes from what I'm seeing that you got, I think I'd be happy so I'm unsure what to think based on what you're saying.
Most of the people meeting in the Reddit sub that have significant difference are males in late teens to twenties and that is prob going to happen anyway.
Did it go back to normal??
Did they also remove your 3rd molars? Dentists are savages who don't want to admit it to be honest
I got braces as a kid and I swear it may have led to my TMJ. Every night after wearing retainers I'd wake up with face pain. I think they even caused some of my teeth cracking. I had an occasional mild jaw click on one side but it got worse after wearing retainers. I always feel like a crazy person when I say it since dentist says braces should help relieve TMJ.
Did you have teeth extracted? Super common especially causing bone loss around front of mandible
There are loads of people who have been damaged by orthodontic mistreatment [https://www.facebook.com/groups/orthodonticnegligencevictims/](https://www.facebook.com/groups/orthodonticnegligencevictims/)
I think we can all agree, you look just fine. :)
Most people don’t get the same face for life. We all change and our society is rough on the body. I still think you look beautiful!
Tbh once I got braces it made my face more asymmetrical and also bent my nose a little. I get major jaw cracks as well
Same thing happened to me. I got braces for the second time at 30 and off at 31 ish and I completely lost my dimples. They over corrected my jaw a little bit now so it's possible I'd need a third round. My bite was off in the back so I didn't think it would have been as extreme for braces but I had bands and all that annoying stuff. Now I'm in my 40s with slight gum recession from the braces and some recession from my bite being off and TMJ.
Nahhh I see what u mean wtf is everybody talking about? U don’t loose all ur cheeks in that short amount of time
I am going through the same. I have TMJ, and over time my face has become narrow and it looks gaunt. I don't know if it's fat loss, or muscle atrophy, but it's just something that's not pleasing. People say I look exhausted, that my face looks too small, and other such things. I don't know what to do about it..
Did anyone ever get any follow up on this? This happened to me as well, after a fairly mild invisalign treatment with no extractions. The changes happened two months into treatment, so very quick, and with no weight loss. From what I can tell it's some kind of atrophy, and I've heard some people say it improves, and some say it doesn't. If it is atrophy (which appears very likely), it becomes a question of what the underlying mechanism causing it is, e.g. damage from a virus, compression of the trigeminal nerve due to structures shifting, or possibly a blood flow issue (among other potential things). I'm seeing my primary care physician to follow up on this, as my orthodontist had nothing useful to tell me.
I didn't, actually. I just had a pretty standard treatment with the aligner trays to correct mild to moderate crowding and slight overjet/overbite. At one point I had elastics, but only for about four months (in the year and a half I was in treatment), and by the time I had those, the atrophy had already set in.
It's not better, unfortunately and it has actually gotten worse :-( I recently found a physical therapist that specializes in orofacial myofunctional therapy, and she says it can be rehabilitated over a period of months. She's the first person I've talked to that has any idea what is going on. So far my jaw is feeling a bit better (I can open my mouth wider than before), and it has only been one month of PT.
I would have to ask her again what the exact mechanism behind the atrophy is, but my understanding is that it's related to a neuro-muscular oral-facial dysfunction, which usually starts pretty young in people (especially mouth breathers, thumb suckers, people with underdeveloped structures, etc.). A lot of people (particularly orthodontics patients) have these issues, and for some people having ortho devices in your mouth exacerbates the already improper use of the facial muscles. She said the masseter muscle is usually the one that takes a beating, which would explain why you see that muscle atrophy in some patients after invisalign and traditional braces.
Seems to be going well, still, luckily. I'm at the 3 and a half month mark, and I've definitely had progress with the mobility and parasthesias (I had, and sometimes still have, weird nervy sensations across my cheeks since my orthodontic treatment).
That's interesting that wearing your trays backward caused the sunken look to reverse. I seem to remember someone on reddit (or another ortho thread?) saying that he would get the sunken/ gaunt look whenever his braces were tightened, but that it would go back to normal after awhile. Makes me wonder if it's the irritation of the nerves somehow, and therefore the atrophy is neurogenic in nature, as opposed to mechanical/disuse related.
It's possible a myofunctional therapist could explain what happened to your face as they seem to be pretty knowledgeable about that whole area and how all the parts interact, but it might depend on the specific therapist. Regardless, it's a great therapy to help the mouth and teeth in general, and they say proper positioning of the tongue can help prevent the teeth shifting back after orthodontic treatment is over. So there's another plus!
Hi! I was just wondering how your face is now? I went trough the same thing so quit Invisalign after 3 months. I figured it was the thickness of the trays preventing me from engaging my masseters properly. However, 5 months later my face is back to normal and so are my teeth, so I can’t determine the cause, which is annoying as I was hoping I could try traditional braces instead.
What I’ve noticed is it does seem to affect people with a deep bite more, and also people whose teeth at the back incline inwards, whose treatment then pushes them outwards, seem to have it worse I guess because the masseters can’t engage as well? Can I ask what kind of bite you had and if your teeth were inclined inwards before treatment?
Hey there, I went through 7 months of myofunctional therapy, which is a specialized orofacial physical therapy, and it seems like the muscles are starting to look normal again, but only sometimes. I had a set regimen of exercises I did that changed every week or few weeks, and at about the 4 month mark I noticed that my muscles would start to look normal again after I did a lot of chewing. Kind of like when people work out and they get that temporary "pump" to their muscles. My PT said that was a good sign, but that it would probably take awhile for it to go back to normal completely. Before starting PT, however, I never got that temporary fullness of the muscles, so hopefully it's a sign of progress.
Hi! It’s so crazy seeing your after photos because that’s exactly how my face looks now too! I’m 2 years into braces and I’m 31 this September. My face has changed drastically. I don’t know if I love it or hate it, depends on the day or the photos I see of myself. I know exactly what you mean when you say you have new Jowels and cheek fat loss. I’m in the exact same situation as you it’s crazy. Glad I’m not alone! The only difference is - I did lose weight and I’ve been super active the last 2 years. My best friend constantly tells me how thin my face is - and I truly think it’s more from the braces than the weight loss.
When I got braces I assumed my side profile would actually improve but I’m finding my chin is more recessed and my cheeks are so hollow. It’s bizarre. I also have TMJ, have since 2017. I’m sure this plays a role in how my face has changed since.
I’m sorry to hear this has happened to you too! I’ve found so many people online who are going through the same thing, so it’s incredibly frustrating that there’s apparently no explanation for it. I found a couple academic articles that confirm this happens but still no real explanation why or how to fix it. I absolutely hate it! Can I ask how your teeth were moved and what they were trying to fix? Wondering if it’s similar to what I had done.
Study about this in case you’re interested: https://bmcoralhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12903-021-01425-2#ref-CR10
This is kind of unrelated to tmj but have you looked into the studies of Dr. Mew and his studies?. He heavily criticized lots of orthodontic treatments and came up with the whole concept of mewing. Maybe that’ll give you more of an insight.
Yes so, I fixed my deep bite and cross bite! so everything sits proper now. I should be getting them off within the next 3 months.. but yeah, my face has changed so much. Even my chiropractor finally saw me without a mask last week for the first time since before the pandemic and he commented on how much my face changed / how different I looked. But it didn’t seem like it was a compliment .. LOL
How’s is your face now?
Picture 3 is before braces as well?
Yes. I wish I had added more recent photos from the last month or so. I have cheek fat in photo 3 that I no longer have anymore, the fat that’s on the “front” of the cheek is gone.
Chewing muscles can strengthen and weaken depending on how much we chew. Things also change as we age.
I have had braces as well for the past 2,5y. Same happened to me. My face looks rough, aged, my cheeks got more prominent, my eye socket deepened, and it just looks i have a long face now.
I had bite blockers, I thought this happened because of those. I am scheduled to get my braces removed in a month as i am toward the end of the treatment. I was hoping after i get them removed my face would get back to the “original” state. After reading this post my hopes went down the drain. A bit sad this happened, but trying to see the bright side.. i will no longer have issues with my bite, my teeth won’t get more blunt than they already got because of the incorrect bite i had. Win some, lose some?
I’m sorry this is happening to you too. I also feel like mine was caused by bite blockers! No idea how that would be the case, but it seems like a really common theme that keeps coming up with these cases. I’m trying to learn everything I can and I’m planning to meet with TMJ specialists, airway and facial focused orthodontists, and myofunctional therapists. I can let you know if I figure out anything that helps!
Hi, did your face get better after braces?
Hi there! Can’t say it did. But also, i am starting to believe that maybe these are just natural aging sings?
You be the judge of that 😥
Hi, just out of interest for you think your bite is less deep at the back after braces? I believe this happens when the muscle wastes away due to biting with less force when your teeth don’t bite together with as much force after braces
Yes, it actually did. I feel i bite more with my front teeth rather than my jaw teeth. Tho at my last appointment 6 months ago, the bite was even. Doctor said I had to go back to “recreate” some of my back teeth, as they got smaller due to improper bite. But I’ve been pregnant and then gave birth, i keep postponing the visit
How is your face now? Did it improve or stay the same?
The same. No improvement
I know what you mean. I feel like (no, I AM) biting on my front teeth instead of my back teeth/molars. There’s not enough space between the back of my front top teeth and front of the bottom front teeth. I feel the entire force of my bite in the front and it hurts. It’s been this way for years through treatment. I’m getting fractures in my front teeth from the force. My Ortho keeps denying that I am (says that he can see with his eyes and a mirror that I’m not touching those teeth together) and says I’m almost done treatment. I’m the one that feels it. I don’t understand why he can’t see or understand that. :(
I mean there are several reasons this happens. Pm me if you’d like, it’s a lengthy explanation. But to summarize if your braces treatment was to the neglect of the dimensions, width and development of your cranio - facial complex, then it can lengthen the face quite quickly.
Ortho can lengthen the the face quickly in an adult? Yes please explain.
Probably shouldn’t have said lengthen. Because yes, even though that is true, it doesn’t lengthen much visibly that quickly, but with some it definitely does. It is probably dominantly a soft tissue problem, and if the braces made the tmj issue worse/ caused it, then this can definitely be correlated. It’s hard to say exactly what happened with the given info, without seeing her teeth, pre and post, her bite, imw, etc.
can you please give me an explanation? I've been trying to figure out what's going on in my own case.
I would also be interested to know why people get the sunken face look during Invisalign/braces?
I’m trying to PM you but Reddit keeps telling me “sorry, try again later.” Please don’t delete your comment because I’ll be messaging you as soon as they let me. Very interested to hear more!
TMJ disorder doesn’t change your face? Someone can prove me wrong, but the only thing I know is ICR can (what I have).
The only time your face will change is if you have condylar degeneration and your chin recedes. Why is everyone so obsessed with how they’re look, and always looking for possible problems??
You look better imo
Have you weighed yourself?..
Yes I didn’t lose any weight
I was told the same about the babies. I just had twins lol
It almost looks like buccal fat removal was done
I thought the same thing! It’s like I got buccal fat removal without my consent, it’s aged me significantly in such a short period of time.
I’ve had braces since April 2021 and honestly I have noticed any changes in my face. I think you’ve lost baby fat/ lost muscle in the face because you’re eating less or chewing softer foods. These changes aren’t permanent. Braces at your age, can’t change the shape of the bone.
Has this ever happened to guys? What does it look like on them?
Yes it can but seems more common in women.
Here’s an example of before/after of a guy who only had braces on for a couple months:
Thanks OP, tbh I thought it'd be WAY worse when he said they ruined his face.
Tbh I'd be happy with that, since having a leaner more angular face is considered an attractive feature for a male to have generally.
I think what happens is that the braces might force the proper swallowing technique which causes you to use the muscles in your cheek less (buccinators) and then it atrophies overtime. (That's why you see some people with hollow cheeks).
Yeah I agree his face isn’t ruined however I think the issue is less the cheeks and more the under eye hollows and concave temples. You can see in the after photo his whole head thinned compared to before. Same thing happened to me and the eyes and temples are the same too. It isn’t natural for the face to change that much in 2 months without weight loss.
Your lips also look bigger now. It looks like you got plastic surgery. I personally agree with others, that your face looks better. More even, fuller lips, nice cheekbones.
Change is scary. I hope you find peace with it. I guess the other option is to stop wearing your retainer.
I have a similar jawline to you and overall build (from what I can tell). When I was 25, my cheeks were nice and full just like yours. But by the end of my 20s, I had moved into a more slim-faced look (you might even say "gaunt"). We all definitely thin out, as others on this thread have said (even as we also usually gain weight overall). You don't notice this until it happens to you. From the vantage point of being older (now in my mid-40s), you definitely notice it and you start to pay attention to "what lies ahead" (if I make it to my 80s, I will have vertical hollows in my cheeks like my father does....the look will just get gaunter and more lined). One clear place to notice this change is one's driver's license pic.
I understand that others you have cited say that braces caused similar major changes. I concede that anything is possible. And you have to trust your powers of observation.
But, is it also possible, that you happened to get braces during a natural period of thinning out? And, is it possible that you take a lot of pictures of yourself, so you have well-documented the thinning out. Maybe it's not the braces, but just Mother Nature's gift to you for getting older (which is a gift, I promise you). This thinning out happens to EVERYONE in our 20s unless, perhaps, you gain a ton of weight.
The look of your face from plumper to less plump looks exactly like my personal development across my 20s, and the changes happen very quickly. Another change in my 20s around the same time was with the nature of my hairline on the forehead. I still have plenty of wonderful hair, but it does change, and I admit I spent way too much time obsessing over the changes in my late 20s. I panicked I was going bald, when, in fact I was not. The hair was thinning, become more brittle, less shiny, probably as a result of the same hormonal processes that effected the thinning of my face (and arms and legs, too, come to think of it...the skin hangs more slackly...we look less buttered and full).
How did you get back to normal did you solve the tm
I know this is an old post but have you seen any changes over the last year for the better? I’ve gone through the same thing (just finished Invisalign/braces) a couple of months ago. I think a little bit of the fullness is returning but overall the narrowness in my lower face seems like it is here to stay.
I quit Invisalign after 3 months because my face was wasting away, and I saw little improvement afterwards until a few months after and then my face rapidly gained back all of the muscle it lost. I’m now 3 months out of Invisalign and my face is back to normal. However, I think my teeth have shifted too so I can’t determine if it was the change in teeth position or the aligners keeping my teeth from touching properly that caused the muscle wastage. I’m not sure at this point if I will go back to Invisalign or not 😕
Wow that is very interesting. Thank you for sharing! You must be relieved to at least be back to normal, but I’m sure that’s still frustrating if you were intending to go through a treatment for your teeth.
I am hoping my muscles settle and revert a bit more once I am down to only nightly wear of my trays. I am still wearing them a couple of hours during the day (in addition to nighttime wear) while my bite settles. I was a heavy grinder with Invisalign which really opened up my bite. I think this played a large role in the facial changes, including an enlarged masseter. Good luck to you, you look lovely in both before and after photos but I completely understand the emotional toll this all takes!
Hey! Joining the band, I am in the exact same situation. I am hopping my face go back to normal… I have been using Invisalign for 3 months and now my face has the shape of a peanut! This comment made me really hopeful
Me too i went to a jaw specialist and was told its because the muscles in my face have shrank. Im now starting to do face yoga excercises. Im still due a set of refinements so I haven't finished treatment yet.
Did you keep any of your aligners to see if they still fit?
Hey I have the same issue, I wanna know how it turned out for you after, I sent you a PM!