People's faces age at very different rates. Facial aging has to do with many factors such as sun exposure, genetics, and skin care. At our practice, we focus on the factors we can control such as gravity and muscle tension.
The effects of gravity can be controlled by supporting the facial structure properly with the teeth. Narrow arches, caved in or sloped in teeth, or teeth set too far back in the face doesn't give the support it needs. I akin the facial tissue as a tent that lays on the teeth which act as tent poles. If the tent poles are too short, slanted, or in the wrong position, the tent(or face) will droop.
The picture below illustrates the effects of a broader smile created by uprighting the side teeth. Without them sloped in, her facial tent can relax on the support they provide instead of using muscular activity to fight the effects of gravity.
One of the most popular methods to slow facial aging is Botox injections which decrease muscle activity and thus wrinkling of the skin tissue that lays on top of it. Similarly, a good posture of the jaw and bite decreases muscle activity and thus wrinkles and lines. The gentleman below had his bite corrected in an effort to not damage his new porcelain veneers. The side effect of decreased deep lines is obvious in the picture below.
Now imagine the long term effects of having facial support and a good posture of the jaw(and resulting decrease in muscle activty). For this reason, we discuss the possibilty of slowing the facial aging process as early as possible. We even recommend the children of our patients see an Orthodontist that understands these details so that they are set up for gracefull aging from the beginning. Please don't hesitate to ask about this for yourself, your children, or loved ones.