PDF: The Influence of the Soft Tissues on Facial and Occlusal Characteristics

Many of our patients are referred because they or their dentist is concerned that their facial proportions are not ideal.

This is a delicate matter to discuss, as most parents love their children as they are and any suggestion of change can cause anxiety.

The strength of the emotion can be judged by the acceptability of the following two statements “your daughter has irregular teeth” and “your daughter has an unattractive face”.

Many parents think that a slightly flat face or protruding chin is an attractive feature of their child’s face but I warn them that if their child does not look quite like their friends they should watch out for increasing disproportion as they get older.

The mother of nine year old Louisa came to see me with a photograph of her as a six year old in her hand. Her mother had watched the lengthening of her face with mounting concern but remained unaware of its cause or what she could do about it. 

Clearly there had been a lot of vertical growth which was much more obvious from a lateral view.