Braces Stunting Jaw Growth?

is it possible for braces to stunt jaw growth in teens? the teeth are connected to the jawbone and with braces all movement is restricted unless done manually. pictures ive seen online of teens with braces have no facial change at all. usually in teens is when facial growth is most prominent it seems like braces have stunt the jaw growth. braces technically function like retainers, they keep the teeth from movement? if teeth can't move then the jaw won't move? please no biased answers ty

Doctor Answers 2

Orthodontics and Orthopedics?

Our speciality is called 'Orthodontics and Dento Facial Orthopedics'

The orthodontics part of this is the straightening of teeth. It sounds odd to hear but even though teeth are connected to jaws, movement of teeth does not stunt nor enhance jaw growth. Teeth are connected to the jaws by means of thin fibres (aka Periodontal ligament).This is why we are able to move teeth at almost any age. A growing jaw will continue to grow with braces on.

The second part Dento Facial Orthopedics is where we are able to modify or redirect growth (not stunt) in a growing child to be in a more favorable direction (positive or negative) with the help of devices like elastics, MARA, Herbst, Forsus, etc.


Vijay Bhagia, DMD, MS
Board Certified in Orthodontics

Houston TX

Houston Orthodontist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Can braces stunt jaw growth

Braces will not stunt jaw growth although they can have a favorable effect on growth in certain cases.  Even though the teeth are in the bone they are not fixed to the bone...if either the teeth or the bone want to change position then the forces produced cause bone to be removed in certain areas and new bone to be deposited in other areas so things are not "locked" in position

Robert Waxler, DMD, MS
Saint Louis Orthodontist

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