Having a gap in your teeth can make you feel self-conscious and affect your confidence. However, with modern dentistry, there are various treatments available to close the gap and give you the perfect smile you always wanted. In this article, we will discuss the causes of gaps in your teeth, your treatment options, and tips for maintaining your new smile.
Types of gaps
Before we dive into the treatment options, it’s essential to understand the different types of gaps that can occur in your teeth. The three most common gaps are:
- Midline gap: This gap is located between the two front teeth, and it’s the most noticeable type of gap.
- Diastema: A diastema is a gap between two teeth, usually the top two front teeth.
- Rotated teeth: When your teeth are rotated, it can cause gaps to appear between your teeth.
What causes gaps in your teeth?
Gaps can occur due to various reasons, including:
- Genetics: Some people inherit a gap between their teeth from their parents.
- Tongue thrusting habits: When children suck their thumb or tongue, it can affect the alignment of their teeth.
- Gum disease: Gum disease can cause the teeth to shift and create gaps between them.
- Missing teeth: When you have missing teeth, the surrounding teeth can shift and create gaps.
- Mouth breathing: Chronic mouth breathing can dry out the mouth and cause teeth to shift, resulting in gaps.
The treatment option that will work best for you depends on the severity and cause of your gaps. Here are some of the most common treatment options:
Braces are a popular option for straightening teeth and closing gaps. They work by pulling the teeth together using pressure over time. Braces can be worn for six months to two years, depending on the severity of the gap. Once the gap is closed, a retainer is used to prevent it from opening up again.
Invisalign is a more discreet alternative to braces. It uses clear aligners that gradually shift teeth into place. Like braces, the length of treatment depends on the severity of the gap, but treatment typically lasts six to eighteen months. Invisalign is also removable, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene.
Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that involves adding tooth-colored material to fill in gaps. It’s a quick and easy procedure that can usually be completed in one visit. However, this treatment option is not as durable as other methods and may need to be repeated every five to ten years, depending on wear and tear.
Maintaining your new smile
Once your gap is closed, you’ll want to maintain your new smile. Here are some tips for keeping your teeth in tip-top shape:
Good oral hygiene
Brushing and flossing every day is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth.
Regular dental check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining a healthy smile. Your dentist will be able to spot any early signs of problems and give you advice on how to keep your teeth healthy.
Watch what you eat
Some foods, such as hard candies and popcorn, can damage your teeth. Try to avoid overly sugary or hard foods, as these can cause your teeth to shift and create gaps.
If you’re unhappy with your smile due to a gap in your teeth, there are multiple treatments available to help you achieve the perfect smile you’ve always wanted. Braces, Invisalign, and dental bonding are just a few of the options available to you. Once your gap is closed, remember to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid foods that can damage your teeth to keep your smile looking perfect for years to come.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to close a gap in teeth with braces?
The length of treatment depends on the severity of the gap, but it can take six months to two years for braces to close a gap in teeth.
Does Invisalign work for closing gaps?
Yes, Invisalign can be an effective treatment for closing gaps in teeth. However, the severity of the gap will determine the length of treatment required.
Is dental bonding a permanent solution for closing gaps?
No, dental bonding is not a permanent solution for closing gaps. It may need to be redone every five to ten years, depending on wear and tear.
Can gaps in teeth come back after treatment?
Yes, gaps in teeth can come back after treatment if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene or if you have a habit that affects the alignment of your teeth. Wearing a retainer as prescribed by your dentist can help prevent gaps from reopening.
Can gaps in teeth cause any health problems?
In most cases, gaps in teeth are purely cosmetic, and they do not cause any health problems. However, large gaps or gaps caused by gum disease may affect your bite and lead to further oral health problems.
- “Why Do I Have a Gap In My Teeth?|Colgate® Oral Care.” Colgate, Colgate-Palmolive Company, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/why-do-i-have-a-gap-in-my-teeth.
- Peninsula Dental, et al. “How Do Braces Work to Close Gaps in Teeth?” Peninsula Dental, Peninsula Dental, 15 June 2020, https://www.peninsuladental.com.au/blog/how-do-braces-work-to-close-gaps-in-teeth/.
- “Invisalign Clear Aligners.” Invisalign, Aligntechnology.Com, https://www.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works#invisalign-clear-aligners.
- “Dental Bonding: Improving Your Smile.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 16 July 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-bonding-improving-your-smile.