Deciding to fix gap in teeth early on can prevent further complications happening later. The longer you leave gaps between teeth, overcrowding or misaligned jaws, the more the resultant problems can compound. However – you have plenty of options for orthodontic treatment to fix gaps, and you can save yourself further hassle later down the line. Let’s take a look at some of your possible treatment options.
Why Do Gaps Form And Why Should They Be Treated?
Gaps between teeth (also known as diastema) really do give people a characteristic appearance – and lots of famous people have become known for a cute, gappy smile. But the reality is that misaligned teeth or teeth that are not straight, can cause costly complications. A gap is considered “too big” when it is bigger than 0.5mm.
- Small teeth are usually the reason why larger than average gaps form between teeth
- Missing teeth can cause the other teeth to shift around making uneven or big gaps open up between the remaining teeth
- Tongue thrusting can widen a gap between the front teeth
- Using pacifiers, sucking the thumb or drinking from a bottle for too long as a baby / toddler can cause a gap to form between the front two teeth
- Gum disease that causes teeth to move around can widen the gap between teeth
- In children it is quite common for temporary diastema to develop, as they lose their baby teeth and may need to wait for quite a long time before their adult teeth emerge so it usually isn’t necessary to fix gaps between children’s teeth.
The cause of the gap between your teeth should inform whether you have it treated or not. Some causes, such as gum disease and missing teeth should be addressed, as they can develop into bigger complications.
If your gap has a non-medical cause, you may only want to correct it for aesthetic or cosmetic purposes.
A new gap that has just formed or that is getting bigger should be reported to your dentist as soon as possible.
How To Fix Gap In Teeth With Orthodontic Treatment
Sometimes adults just want to fix gaps between their top front teeth but they may have postponed orthodontic treatment as they didn’t want the fuss of wearing metal orthodontic braces. Today clear aligners have really revolutionised orthodontic braces and made it possible for anyone of any age to correct their smile and straighten their teeth.
Clear aligners are made from special plastic which is hardly noticeable. They are discreet orthodontic braces that are fitted over the front of the teeth, and do not need to be adjusted by your dentist. They are removable, although you do need to wear them for most of the day, you can (and must) remove them before eating and drinking so that you do not stain or discolour the clear plastic they are crafted from.
Some adults may complete a course of orthodontics for minor tooth correction in just six to 12 months using the latest clear aligners, if they only need mild straightening. At the beginning of your treatment you will be given a few boxes of aligners, and you will change to a new set every two weeks. Each set moves your teeth slightly, along their way to their new position.
Metal orthodontic braces
Metal orthodontic braces is still a highly effective orthodontic treatment to fix gaps and jaw alignment. They have been modernised and had their design improved tremendously to make them more comfortable but essentially they work in the same way: to deliver the right amount of force to move the teeth into their correct position gradually over time.
Using Cosmetic Procedures To Increase The Size Of Teeth
If your gaps are caused by teeth that are too small, it is possible to add a little extra surface area and increase the size of your teeth, making use of dental veneers.
Veneers are thin shells or covers that are made from composite resin or porcelain, which can be used to alter the size, shape or colour of your teeth and thus fix gaps. They are cemented over the front of your teeth and can be made to look very natural so that they suit the rest of the teeth in your mouth.
If you need to create a bigger surface area, dental bonding can be done with composite resin. This process can be completed relatively quickly, in a single visit but it won’t be suitable for you if you’re a smoker because composite resin stains. This works best for bigger areas that need to be filled in.
Dental bonding is considered non invasive and only requires that a small amount of tooth enamel be removed in order to accommodate it. You don’t have any recovery time or discomfort after the procedure and can continue with your life as normal.
Do you still have questions about orthodontic braces or want to know how to fix gap in teeth? It’s always best to get a professional opinion about orthodontic treatment before making any decisions. Please contact us for an appointment.