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FAQ:  Adult Orthodontics

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Mouth Closing Problem: When I was younger my dentist said I had to have my top jaw widened or it would collapse or something.

I had that done and then had braces for several years. My teeth are now quite straight but ever since I cannnot actually close my lips anymore and I'm really angry because I feel they ruined my mouth.

My teeth don't stick out and aren't in the way but my mouth has obviously changed so much that my lips do not naturally close any more and I hate it.

Have you seen this before? Is there any way it could not have been the brace thing and could just be how I have grown. I've never seen anyone else that can't keep their lips together. ....Visitor from Bedfordshire England UK

Lips Don't Close Over Teeth
Did the braces you wore cause the problem of the lips unable to close over your teeth? The answer is no.

The reason that your lips cannot go over your teeth is due to facial growth. Most people getting braces are approximately 12 years old and are not fully grown. The orthodontist has to make an educated guess as to how much you are going to grow.

The fact is, nobody knows how much future growth there is nor do they know the ratio of that growth between your upper and lower jaw. Your upper jaw could grow more than your lower jaw. The angle of your jaw could grow too steep.

All of the unpredictable growth problems are not the fault of your dentist. They are biologically uncontrollable factors involved in your care.

The good news is that your problem is treatable today. You may have to lose biscuspid teeth, have your front teeth moved back in the empty space and then your lips will be able to go over your teeth.

You may still not be happy with how your look is, so planning is very important. The advantage of treatment now is that you have stopped growing. Your dentist has more predictability of treatment because of stability in your facial structures.

Get a consultation with the same or another orthodontist and develop a plan that can make you happy with your lips, smile and facial profile.

Editorial Staff

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