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Home / Blog / Braces / How To Fix Gaps Between Teeth

How To Fix Gaps Between Teeth

Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  / Jun 27, 2024  
Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  
Jun 27, 2024  
How To Fix Gaps Between Teeth

Gaps between teeth are common for a number of reasons, but that doesn't make them any less annoying when you feel like you've been doing everything right with your dental hygiene routine. You brush twice a day, you floss, you keep up to date with your dentist appointments - but you still have gaps in your teeth that refuse to close! Is there any way to fix them?

Luckily for us, yes, there are several ways you can fix gaps between your teeth, all ranging in price and severity. Keep reading for everything you need to know about fixing gaps between teeth!

Why do you need to fix teeth gaps?

Some people don't mind their gapped teeth at all, and as long as they're not causing you any pain or discomfort, you might not need to fix them at all. However, most of our patients want to fix the gaps between their teeth for self-confidence reasons, especially if the gaps are in their front teeth.

Not only does fixing gaps cause many good cosmetic outcomes, but it can also improve your oral hygiene. Food is much more likely to get trapped in teeth gaps, which can cause a build-up of bacteria and plaque along your gums. When left untreated, this can lead to a number of potential issues like tooth decay and gum disease.

We've also seen gaps in teeth result in a misaligned bite, which can make chewing food and speaking a challenge. Of course, this is only in severe cases - but it can never hurt to get ahead of the issue before your condition worsens.

What causes gaps in the teeth?

The most common cause of gapped teeth is a fraenum that sits lower than it should, keeping the two upper front teeth apart. Go to the mirror and lift up your upper lip. See that skin fold stretching from the upper gum and top lip? That's the fraenum!

Not everyone has an extended fraenum, so this might not be the cause of your gapped teeth. Here are a few other common causes we see:

  • Natural development: It's very common for adult teeth to come through with gaps between them, and although these usually close when the other adult teeth come through, sometimes the gaps don't close completely

  • Extra teeth: Sometimes babies are born with extra teeth in the jaw bone, and there's not enough space on the jaw for all the teeth to come through, meaning gaps are left over

  • Missing teeth: When you lose teeth, whether that be through planned surgery or injuries, you give your teeth extra room to move around can create gaps between them

  • Small teeth and large jaws: Some adults have small teeth which can allow for gaps between them; likewise, larger jaws mean more space for gapped teeth

How to fix gaps in your teeth?

There are plenty of ways to fix the gaps between your teeth, with the most common option being braces. When you go to a dentist about fixing gap teeth, we'll almost always recommend braces. This is because it's a permanent fix with minimal tooth preparation or damage. However, you're not subjected to two years of metal braces - let's look at some more options open to you now:

Traditional braces

Traditional braces, otherwise known as metal braces, are the most common type of brace that we recommend. Not only are they easy to fit and the cheapest type of brace to choose, but they're often the most effective. Metal braces are made from small brackets that attach to the teeth and are connected with flexible wire and elastic bands. The plastic bands make a chain that gently pulls the teeth into their correct position, closing gaps between teeth permanently.

The issue with traditional braces, of course, is that many adults don't want them to obstruct their smiles. Many of our patients are worried that metal braces are unprofessional and will affect their self-confidence, so they want to opt for an alternative. However, traditional braces are the most cost-effective option and the most readily available.

To learn more about traditional braces, keep reading here.

Invisible aligners

One of the most popular alternatives to traditional braces that we're asked about is Invisalign, which are clear aligners that are almost invisible to anyone who sees you. They're excellent for patients who are worried about their self-esteem and the integrity of their smile. We usually recommend Invisalign for minor dental issues only, and the good news is that most gaps between teeth are minor. So, invisible aligners are usually a great fix for this issue!

Invisalign retainers need to be worn for around 22 hours a day, only being removed for eating and cleaning. As they're easier to lose, some patients find them more expensive in the long run and the treatment time longer due to the setbacks.

To learn more about Invisalign aligners, keep reading here.

Aesthetic brace alternatives

While Invisalign is great for minor gaps, it might not be best for more severe gaps. Don't worry, though, all hope is not lost! When you want a minimally noninvasive orthodontic treatment that won't look as obvious as metal braces, there are aesthetic alternatives like ceramic and lingual braces.

Ceramic braces are very similar to traditional braces, but rather than being made from metal, they're made from tooth-coloured ceramic instead. While they might not be as obvious to other people looking at you, they're also more fragile and can break more easily than metal. We often see our patients more regularly when they opt for ceramic braces, which can lengthen your treatment time.

Lingual braces are another excellent aesthetic option that doesn't affect your smile at all. They are made from metal but instead of bonding the brackets onto the front of your teeth, we'll attach them to the back. This means they can't be seen when you smile and talk, although they do tend to be more expensive than traditional braces.

Dental bonding

When you don't want to go through the lengthy process time of wearing braces, you can opt for an alternative like dental bonding. With this method of closing gaps, we'll use a composite resin material on top of your teeth to reshape them and close the gap - all in one day! In fact, some minor gaps between teeth will only take an hour to close!

The great news about dental bonding is that it's minimally invasive and completely reversible, so you can choose to remove the bonding whenever you choose. However, dental bonding isn't a permanent fix and they'll need to be replaced every three to ten years, unlike braces.

To learn more about dental bonding, keep reading here.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers are another option some patients come to discuss with us, but we won't often recommend them for closing gaps unless you have multiple to close. Veneers often come with very good cosmetic outcomes, but we'll often have to remove some of your teeth enamel before fitting the veneers, making this procedure irreversible.

When opting for porcelain veneers, we'll place a thin layer of porcelain over your natural teeth which can expand the tooth's surface, closing gaps as well as brightening teeth and fixing any misalignment. This option is one of the most expensive fixes for gapped teeth, so we might recommend a cheaper alternative if you only have one gap to fix.

To learn more about porcelain veneers, keep reading here.

Dental implants

Dental implants are a great option if your tooth gaps are from missing teeth, whether that be from injury or gum disease. Dental implants involve placing a titanium screw into your jaw bone where the missing tooth should be. We'll need to wait between four and nine months for the bone to fuse with the screw before we're able to fit your new permanent teeth, so it's not the quickest fix. However, it's permanent and a good option for patients looking to close larger teeth gaps.

The obvious drawback of dental implants is that they take a long time to fix and you'll be left with your gap while you're waiting for the bone to fuse with the implant. Some patients aren't happy to wait this long, so they want to explore other options. Dental implants also won't work if you only have small teeth gaps, such as a small gap in the two upper front teeth.

To learn more about dental implants, keep reading here.

Final thoughts

Teeth gaps are incredibly common, and the good news is that we can help you fix them with a number of orthodontic treatment options readily available to you. The most common is braces, which can close gaps permanently within a year or two. However, if you don't want the long treatment time and for your smile to be obstructed, we also recommend alternative treatments like teeth implants, dental veneers, and teeth bonding. The best way to figure out the right treatment plan for you is to work with a dental professional, so give us a call today!

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