Laughing and smiling are usually the best parts of life, but for people who have gaps between their teeth, it may be a source of embarrassment or anxiety.
Fortunately, there are many solutions to help you get rid of these gaps, improve your smile, and restore your confidence. From braces to veneers, here are the best ways to fix gap teeth and all the information you need to decide which option is best for you.
What Causes Gap Teeth, Or Diastema?
Several factors cause gap teeth, or diastema, and most of them are completely natural and fixable. Let's explore some of the most common causes of gap teeth to see which one may be the root of your issue, which should help you to find the best possible solution.
Gap teeth may be just another thing to blame mom and dad for. Even if you never saw it, your parents may have had the same issue and passed it down to you. If this is the case, there is not much to be done except wearing braces or using other forms of orthodontic treatment to close the gap, just like they probably had to. You should talk to your parents about what solutions they used, as they may be right for you, too.
Size Mismatch Between Your Jaw And Teeth
One of the most common causes of gap teeth is that the size of your jaw and teeth don’t match. This happens for a variety of reasons, such as genetics, an orthodontic issue, or even trauma. When you have a size mismatch, it causes the two sets of teeth to not fit together properly, leaving gaps between them.
This is usually fixed by:
These treatments help realign the teeth and jaw, bringing everything back into balance. The treatment that is right for you will depend on your case, so it's best to speak with a dentist or orthodontist to discuss which option would be best for you.
We all had bad habits as a child, but the effects of some of them follow you into adulthood and make your life a lot more difficult, like those that cause gap teeth.
Thumb-sucking and using a pacifier for too long cause the upper and lower front teeth to separate. If you had these habits as a child, then you may want to consider orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, to correct your smile.
An Oversized Labial Frenum
The labial frenum is a small piece of tissue located beneath your upper lip that connects it to the gum line. If this frenum is too large, it restricts movement in the midline and causes a gap between the two front teeth.
To combat this issue and get rid of your gap, your options are only orthodontic or dental procedures, such as cutting by scalpel, braces, or corrective jaw surgery.
Missing Or Undersized Teeth
If you have lost a tooth for any reason or your teeth did not grow properly, it is easy for your teeth to shift to compensate and cause a gap. This happens if you have lost a baby tooth and the adult tooth growing in behind it is too small, or if your wisdom teeth are missing, or if your wisdom teeth are growing in too small.
In all of these cases, you may need to have braces put on your teeth to reposition them correctly, or you may need to have a dental implant put in place of the missing tooth.
Bad habits that you've retained as an adult from childhood, like thumb sucking, will cause a gap in your teeth. When you suck on your thumb, it forces the front teeth to spread apart and also causes other dental issues like an overbite. To prevent yourself from sucking your thumb, try wearing a mouthguard or using behavioral therapy to break the habit.
Another bad habit that contributes to gap teeth is tongue thrusting. Pushing your tongue against the front teeth causes them to spread apart and create a gap in between. To stop this bad habit, try using a mouthguard or practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing after meals and flossing regularly.
Perhaps the most serious cause of gap teeth, gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene over a lengthy period. If left untreated, it causes the gums to recede and create gaps between your teeth. To prevent this from happening, make sure you brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
How To Close Gaps Between Teeth
There are many ways to close the gaps between your teeth, but they all depend on what is best for you and your health situation. Let's examine the various solutions that are currently offered for closing gaps between teeth to help you find out which one might be right for you.
Dental bonding involves applying a material to your teeth that will fill in the gaps between them. The material is usually made of composite resin and is colored to match the rest of your teeth. This procedure is generally quick and painless, but it needs to be redone every few years as it wears down over time.
Dental bonding is usually used if the gap is small and not very deep. If your gap is caused by a misaligned bite or crooked teeth, then this may not be the right solution for you.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are permanently applied to your teeth. They close gaps between two or more front teeth and make them look straighter, whiter, and more even. Veneers typically last for up to 10 years before they need to be replaced.
You should get veneers if you have a wide gap between your front teeth, or if your gapped teeth cause difficulty biting or chewing food. They look like real teeth, so they also help with self-confidence issues related to gap teeth. The only problem is they are often expensive, but not as expensive as braces or Invisalign.
Orthodontics, such as braces and Invisalign, are the most common methods for closing gaps between teeth. These methods use brackets, wires, rubber bands, and other appliances to move your teeth into position over time. The process takes a long time—sometimes up to two years—and involves a lifetime of aftercare using a retainer at night, but the results are worth it when you have beautiful, straight teeth.
Tooth Gap Bands
These bands aren't the rock-n-roll kind, but rather elastic bands that are placed over the teeth and adjusted to fit. These bands help close gaps without the need for braces or any other dental work. They are worn at night while you sleep, and when removed, they will leave your smile looking straighter than before.
The main issue with tooth gap bands is the dangers associated with them, like a risk of abrasion and gum recession, an increased risk of periodontal disease due to bacteria build-up, and difficulty cleaning the bands properly.
If you are experiencing gap teeth because of a missing adult tooth, implants may be the way to go. Implants are titanium rods that are surgically placed in the jawbone, where they act as a replacement for the missing tooth. They are used to replace one or more teeth and provide a much stronger bond than dentures or bridges.
Implants are very helpful to those with missing teeth, but implant cost is high and the procedure may require a long recovery period. The procedure is very safe, though, with WebMD reporting a success rate of up to 98%.
This procedure involves placing porcelain or ceramic crowns over the existing teeth and bonding them together to form a bridge. This is an effective way to close gaps in your smile, but it requires multiple visits to your dentist and is sometimes uncomfortable. Forbes reports that crowns last anywhere from 5-20 years, though, so they are a long-lasting solution.
Should I Keep My Tooth Gap?
Many people are comfortable keeping their tooth gap, and that's fine. You will have a unique and memorable smile and no need for braces or other treatments. There are, however, a few risks involved with keeping your gap.
Keeping your tooth gap leaves you with a higher risk for periodontal disease or gum problems, difficulty with dental hygiene, and more. Additionally, it may be difficult to find a dental professional that is comfortable working with your gap teeth, as they may not have the experience required.
Overall, it's up to you, but you should talk to your dentist about what they recommend.
Will Whitening My Teeth Help?
Some people find that using teeth whitening kits will increase the attractiveness of their teeth and distract people from the fact that they have a tooth gap.
However, it's important to note that whitening your teeth won't close the gap; it just makes them appear whiter and brighter while masking any noticeable gaps between your teeth.
There are a variety of teeth whitening options on the market today, including over-the-counter kits, professional in-office treatments, and at-home trays.
Before you choose one of these options, it's important to speak with your dentist to ensure that the whitening procedure is safe for your teeth.
Can Teeth Gaps Close Naturally?
The answer is yes, but it depends on the cause of your gap. Some gaps are caused by genetics or poor dental hygiene and cannot be closed without intervention from a dentist or orthodontist. Other gaps close naturally over time as the jaw grows and develops during childhood, or you lose the bad habits that caused your tooth gap.
Can Teeth Gaps Lead To A Major Issue?
In some cases, gap teeth may lead to major issues if left untreated, such as problems with chewing and even speaking. There is also an increased risk of gum disease due to food particles becoming trapped between the gaps.
Gaps in your teeth may also be indicative of pre-existing gum disease, which cause even more significant problems if left untreated, like receding gums and even tooth loss. While these are relatively uncommon, it is important to be conscious of your symptoms and talk to a medical professional if you believe your tooth gap may be caused by or causing a larger issue.
Can Gap Teeth Be Fixed Without Braces?
While braces may be the best option for many cases of tooth gap, there are other options to explore. Two of these options are the use of dental bonding or veneers. Dental bonding involves applying a tooth-colored composite resin material to the front surface of your teeth, which fills in gaps and makes them look more symmetrical. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that cover the front surface of the teeth and help correct gaps in the smile line. Both options are much less costly than braces, making them attractive alternatives for those seeking an affordable solution to fixing gap teeth.
Do The Gaps Between Teeth Get Bigger With Age?
The gaps between your teeth naturally get larger as you age because of a decrease in the amount of collagen that is produced as you age, which causes your teeth to move apart. While gaps are usually harmless and don't need any treatment, some people may opt for cosmetic dentistry procedures to close them if they're feeling self-conscious about their smile.
If you already have a large gap, chances are it's only going to get larger with age, so you should look into treatments as soon as possible if you would like to get rid of your gap.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Gap Teeth?
It depends on which solution you go with. Veneer cost ranges from $925-$2,500 per tooth, according to the American Dental Association. Braces are much more expensive no matter which type you choose, ranging anywhere from $3,000 to over $12,000, according to GoodRx. Dentaly.org reports an average cost for dental bonding to be between $250-$600.
The fact of the matter is that every solution has a wildly different cost, so it’s important to do your research and prioritize what works best for your teeth and your economic situation.
Can Teeth Gaps Be Fixed Permanently?
Unfortunately, no solution is permanent because it is so easy for teeth to shift and for implants to break. However, most solutions will last you for years if you take good care of your teeth, such as braces, the effects of which will stay in place your entire life if you wear a retainer regularly while sleeping.
How Long Does It Take For Braces To Close The Gap?
It depends on the severity of your gap, but braces usually take an average of 1-3 years to align your teeth, according to Healthline. In some cases, it takes even longer because of the size and shape of your teeth. If you have an extreme gap or complicated orthodontic issues, you may need a more specialized treatment plan, like dental bonding or veneers.
Do Braces Help Gap Teeth?
Braces are intended for gapped and misaligned teeth, so they are able to help, but only if braces are the right solution for you. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to help you decide what kind of braces are best for your situation, or if another solution is better suited for your case.
What If Braces Can’t Close A Gap?
While braces are one of the most common solutions for a tooth gap, they certainly aren't the only solution. Most of these treatments involve reshaping or bonding the teeth to fill in the space. These solutions range from cosmetic procedures like veneers and bonding to more specialized options such as crowns and bridges. All of these methods help close a tooth gap without involving braces or orthodontic surgery.
Can A Gap Come Back After Braces?
A gap will come back after braces if you do not wear your retainer regularly.
Over time, your bone structure will slowly shift back into its original position, and the space between your teeth will reappear. If you want to maintain a gap-free smile after braces, it is important to wear your retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist.
A gap may also return after braces if braces were not the right treatment for you. For example, if your gap was caused by a misalignment of your jawbone, braces may be unable to fix the issue. Once the braces are removed and you stop wearing your retainer, the misaligned jawbone will cause the gap to reappear.
It's important to be certain of the reason why you have a gap tooth before seeking treatment, so consult with your dentist or orthodontist about all your symptoms thoroughly.
How Can I Fix A Gap In My Front Teeth Fast?
The fastest solution to fixing a gap in your front teeth is dental bonding or veneers.
Dental bonding is a procedure where a dentist will affix a resin-like material to your teeth to close the gap between them. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are applied to the front surface of your teeth and may also be used to close gaps in your front teeth.
Both procedures require multiple visits with the dentist, but they are a much shorter process than others and provide a long-lasting solution to your gap.
How Do You Fix A Big Gap In Your Front Teeth?
For a big gap, you need to visit a qualified orthodontist. Orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and will discuss the best options for closing your gap with you. Invisalign, braces, and veneers are all popular and effective treatments that an orthodontist might recommend. All of these solutions help, but it's important to find the one best tailored to you and your needs to help your issue effectively, which an orthodontist will help you to do.
How Do You Fix A Tooth Gap?
Gap teeth are a source of insecurity for many people. Fortunately, there are several solutions available to help close the gap and restore your confidence in your smile. Depending on the severity of the gap, braces may be necessary or more straightforward methods such as bonding and veneers may provide satisfactory results. Always consult with an orthodontist to determine which treatment is best for you and how much it will cost. With proper care, you will have a beautiful smile that makes you proud!