Isn’t the goal for all our smiles to be bright, full, and symmetrical? If you are living with gapped teeth you might feel frustrated by the lack of symmetry in your smile. Essentially, gap teeth is the term that refers to open spaces between adult teeth; these are commonly seen spaces in front teeth. Although not a medical issue or malady, a gap can give you the pesky appearance of spaced out teeth. The space in your teeth could have you asking how or why do you have a gap between teeth? More importantly, though, you are likely wondering how to close a gap in your teeth. At Voss Dental, there are many possible solutions to fix gap in teeth. Below, we’ll review some of the main causes for the occurrence of gap teeth and solutions for eliminating them.
What Causes Gap Teeth?
A gap between teeth may be caused by a few factors, most of which begin in childhood. Simply, small children have fewer teeth in their mouths than they’ll have as adults. This means that there is extra room in a small child’s mouth for adult teeth that will come in later. As such, toddlers are left with more room in their mouths for spaced out teeth. Therefore, it is common for children to have gaps in their teeth until all of their teeth come in, which is usually by eight or nine years old. If by that time the gap between teeth hasn’t closed, it likely will not close at all.
One cause for the gap between teeth in children may be attributed to genetics. If genetically-speaking, the size of your child’s jaw and tooth structure do not jive, the result may be a gap in front teeth or gap in bottom teeth. In other words, if the jaw is bigger than the teeth, the extra space in the jaw allows the teeth to space out more than they otherwise would, thereby causing the gap.
Furthermore, another genetic anomaly that may cause the problem of gap teeth is an abnormal frenum. Simply, the frenum is the small piece of skin that connects your upper lip to the gums. This is the typically thin strip of skin set between the two front teeth. If that skin is thicker than it should be, the result could be a wider gap in front teeth.
Finally, gap teeth can also be caused by habits such as thumbsucking, pacifier use, and tongue thrusting. These are all common habits to small children however, if not broken at an early age, they can lead to gap teeth in adulthood. Consider remediating these habits early in childhood to avoid gap teeth in older children and adults.
Problems Caused by Gap Teeth
Large spaces in your teeth are a breeding ground for bacteria. In essence, these large spaces create extra room in your mouth for small bits of food to become wedged. Those small bits of food can cause bacteria to develop. The development of bacteria and plaque can lead to the harmful effect of sore gums and even gum disease. These are serious problems that could occur as the result of a gap in your front teeth. If your oral hygiene and gum health are negatively impacted by your gap teeth, it may be time to consider how to close a gap in your teeth. At Voss Dental, we can help guide you to the course of action that’s best for you.
How to Fix Gap Teeth
Thankfully, if you’ve wondered how to fix gap teeth, there are many possible solutions. At Voss Dental in Houston, Texas we can guide you through the process of choosing the best treatment plan for your goals. Whether your gap teeth are aesthetically bothersome or they are causing gum issues, there are options for fixing them. From inexpensive and lengthier processes to quick fixes and permanent solutions, there are many ways to fix gap teeth. Take a look at some of the ways to remedy gap teeth.
Braces for Gap Teeth
One of the many ways to remedy gap teeth is through orthodontics. Orthodontics, or braces, are generally used to move or shift teeth into their rightful position in the mouth. Just like when regulating crooked or misaligned teeth, braces can be used to move the spaced out teeth together, thereby closing the gap. Although braces for gap teeth are a common solution, they don’t work for all gap teeth. It’s important to determine the cause of gap teeth before deciding if braces are the best option for you.
Through an evaluation by an orthodontist at Voss Dental, an assessment can be made. If the cause of your gap teeth is thicker than normal frenum, braces will not rectify the problem. However, if the cause of your gap teeth is habits like thumb-sucking, just like your habit moved your teeth into their spaced out position, braces can move them to their rightful position. The installation of orthodontic braces for gap teeth might be a solution to your problem.
Invisalign for Gap Teeth
If you want to fix gap in teeth, whether a gap in bottom teeth or a gap in front teeth, Invisalign may be a solution for you. Although quite a bit more expensive than regular braces, Invisalign is a modern and wonderfully discreet alternative to traditional braces. If you want to fix a gap in teeth and you are a candidate for braces, Invisalign for gap teeth may work wonders.
If, as an adult, the idea of traditional metal braces is horrifying and embarrassing, consider Invisalign for gap teeth. Invisalign, like braces, will close the gap between teeth in a nearly invisible way. With Invisalign, you don’t have to worry about the embarrassment of traditional braces as an adult because the alignment tray is imperceivable when in use. Voss Dental specializes in fitting Invisalign for adult patients; call to determine whether Invisalign is a recommended solution for your gap teeth.
Dental bonding is a more simple and cost-effective way to fix gap teeth than the aforementioned therapies. Whether you have a gap in bottom teeth or a gap in front teeth, bonding your gap may be an optimal solution for you. Dental bonding is a process by which the space in your teeth is professionally filled with a tooth-colored, natural-looking resin that hardens upon application.
Dental bonding is a relatively inexpensive and effective way to fix gap in teeth. What’s more, it’s a quick-fix. Unlike braces or Invisalign that require wearing fixtures for many months or even years, dental bonding can be accomplished in one visit to Voss Dental. One of the few pitfalls of dental bonding however is that it can be fragile and therefore susceptible to breaking. If it does break, it can easily be re-bonded with a quick office visit. Consult our Voss Dental Office and make an appointment to assess if this is a good approach for your gap teeth.
Using dental veneers to resolve gap teeth is a quick, albeit expensive, solution to gap teeth. It is however a long-lasting solution for how to fix gap teeth. Veneers can be fashioned out of either composite or porcelain false teeth that are permanently affixed to your natural teeth. The major benefit of veneers in improving the gap teeth with a durable, stain-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing fixture.
Essentially, veneers are thin coverings affixed to the front of your natural teeth. Simply, veneers can fix your gap teeth by veiling them with natural-looking, false teeth. Furthermore, veneers can also address other imperfections in your teeth at the same time as your gap teeth. Dental veneers, composite or porcelain, are a beautiful and permanent solution to improving your smile and your confidence while remedying the space between your gap teeth.
See Also: Cost of Veneers
Although not typically the first line of defense against gaps in teeth, a retainer may be a cost-effective solution to your problem. Retainers are typically used to “retain” the adjustments made by braces, but retainers may help your gap as well. If your gap is caused by the shifting of teeth following the removal of braces or Invisalign, wearing a removable retainer will help your teeth realign, thereby closing the gap. Furthermore, retainers can be used to impede worsening your gap teeth. Consult your dentist or orthodontist to assess if a retainer is the best option for your gap teeth. At Voss Dental, we can walk you through the process of deciding the best treatment plan for you based on your goals and budget.
Generally speaking, dental implants are a great way to remedy your gap teeth. If you hope to achieve a more permanent solution to improving your overall smile, beyond just your gap, dental implants are a beautiful option. Dental implants are affixed to your jaw bone using titanium roots. The implanted teeth are a natural-looking solution, but only for particular gaps. For instance, if your gap is too wide, implants may only conceal the gap if they are large enough to do so. This may give an unnatural appearance to the implants. As a result, although dental implants may resolve some dental gaps, they are not the right solution for all dental gaps. Reach out to us at Voss Dental to see if dental implants are the right solution for your gap teeth.
Keep Your Gap
Although you’ve surely not visited this blog because you want to keep your gap teeth, we’d be remiss if we didn’t state the obvious. Gap teeth are not a medical or dental issue. Simply, they’re an aesthetic issue. If you’re happy with the character added to your smile by your gap teeth, then there’s certainly no harm in keeping the space. Many before you, celebrities included, have opted not to fix their gap teeth. From Madonna to Zac Efron and Michael Strahan to Elton John, many famous faces don a gap-toothed smile. Your gap teeth make you uniquely you, so if you embrace it, keep it! However, if like many Americans you’re not happy with your smile, Voss Dental can help you find the perfect solution for your gap teeth.