- Published Date: 27 May 2020
- Updated Date: 02 Jun 2021
- Reading Time: 8 min
There can be many issues we recognize about ourselves that can affect our self-esteem. Still, while some supposed matters, such as balding, birthmarks, and a hairy back, can be fixed quickly, or at least hidden most of the time, teeth problems have no such luxury.
This is because we see ourselves every single day when we look in a mirror. We see ourselves in pictures, in the reflections of store windows, and even in each other’s sunglasses. What’s more, if we see ourselves every day, so does everybody else, and that’s where insecurity about crooked, yellow, or gapped teeth can arise.
Gaps in your teeth, however, may seem like something that you just need to live with, but this is not the case. With modern advancements in dental & oral health and hygiene, it’s easier than ever before to find the treatment that you need to fix your gapped teeth and feel confident smiling again. Today, we will go over everything you need to know about gapped teeth, what it is, why it happens, and how you can fix it yourself.
How do we get gaps in our teeth?
Gaps in our teeth, or to use the more professional term diastema, is used most commonly to describe a gap between the two front incisors. It can happen to anybody at any age, and there have been instances where the gap will close by itself. Typically, this occurs as a child in the stage between losing your baby teeth and developing permanent adult teeth. The gap is there because your body is still growing and forming. However, if the issue does not fix itself, then you are left with a gap between your teeth forever.
Several factors can lead to diastema. The first one is that it is hereditary, passed down from a parent, and it is something that you cannot do anything about until you are sure that you have a gap (or gaps) in your teeth that are here to stay.
This isn’t the only cause of tooth gaps, however. You may find that your teeth have gaps in them because they are too small for the jawbone. If this is the case, the teeth will spread out along the gums, leaving apparent gaps. The severity of this can vary between people.
Aside from this, it could also be to do with the labial frenulum, which is the tissue that runs along with your front teeth and the gum line, having overgrown between your teeth, which causes gaps. Both of these causes are genetic, but there are also personal habits that could impact and cause tooth gaps.
One of the most prominent and common causes of developing gaps in your teeth is by thumb-sucking, especially if you continue it past infancy. When children suck their thumb, it puts pressure on the front teeth and can drive them apart while still developing. This leads to gaps in the teeth & could also make your teeth crooked.
Tongue-thrusting, which happens when swallowing, could also lead to diastema. Much like thumb sucking, it affects the front teeth, pushing them outwards, rather than pushing your tongue against the top of the mouth as most people do.
Finally, gum disease caused by infections and bad oral hygiene could cause diastema. Inflammation around the gums and supportive tissue will fail to provide adequate alignment, and this could progress to creating tooth gaps.
What are the problems associated with gapped teeth?
Even if you already have gaps in your teeth and are aware of some of the problems that come with it, you may not realize all of them. Because of this, it’s essential to cover the potential issues that people with gaps in their teeth can face if they choose not to treat it and have it corrected.
Potential issues caused by diastema include:
If your diastema is the result of gum disease and infection, then this is a significant issue that you should get treated immediately. This disease can affect your mouth, harm your teeth and the muscle and tissues, which may require surgery to remove or replace your teeth or other parts of the mouth.
If you have ever had a mouth infection before, you know how unpleasant it can be, so it’s in your best interest to minimize exacerbating further problems by getting any gum disease treated as soon as possible.
Food bits can get stuck in your teeth even when your teeth are perfectly straight & close together. However, with gaps in your teeth, there is a risk of getting crumbs trapped between the offending teeth. This can be uncomfortable and distracting, and if you don’t fix it, there’s the chance of causing an infection.
There is also the social, personal, and professional aspect to consider. You don’t want to be the person with food stuck in their teeth when meeting someone for the first time or leading a large conference meeting in front of valuable clients.
Wear and Tear
Misaligned and gapped teeth can cause accelerated wear and tear on your teeth. While regular teeth will line up correctly and feed into each other naturally, gapped teeth, whether the bottom or upper row, can collide with other teeth, which could chip, damage, and compromise the strength and integrity.
All teeth will naturally degrade over time, the risk that comes from ignoring diastema could damage your teeth faster than expected, and it could mean you require replacements.
Everyone has a natural mouth, tongue, and tooth position. For the majority of people, it’s not something that you notice. Like breathing and blinking, you find it without thinking about it. However, for anyone with gapped teeth, there is the chance that it is impossible to find the perfect position and comfort for your teeth.
As you want your tongue to rest somewhere naturally, it can be distracting if it rubs against the gap in your teeth constantly. By ignoring the opportunity to close the gap, there is a risk of discomfort and distraction last throughout your lifetime.
As our teeth are something that everyone sees every day, knowing that you have gapped teeth could affect your self-esteem. The idea of the ‘Perfect Smile’ is one of straight white teeth, and if you feel that your teeth are even slightly different from the supposed norm, you may be resistant to putting yourself out there, meeting new people, even giving a toothy smile on photographs. Such self-esteem issues can impact your social life as well as your professional life and could lead to further mental health issues later on.
Should you fix tooth gaps?
Fixing gaps between your teeth is something that is entirely up to you. But, for most people, closing the gap gives them the confidence they need to be more social and happier with their appearances. Furthermore, those concerned about worsening existing conditions, such as gum disease or infections, should consider fixing their tooth gaps.
Despite this, some people will consider the gaps in their teeth as a personal quirk and something that makes them different.
As with anything in life, it is your decision, and unless the problem could lead to severe medical issues, hygiene issues, and harm, then you can choose whether fixing tooth gaps are right for you.
How can you correct gapped teeth?
Should you decide that teeth straightening to close the diastema is the right move for you, then you have a broad range of options to explore. Rather than being resigned to a single treatment plan, there are various options depending on the severity of the tooth gaps and your preference.
Braces have always been an effective way for people to fix misaligned or gapped teeth. You can choose between traditional braces, which use brackets and wires or select clear braces, which are more discreet, modern, and easy to care for. While both methods are effective, transparent or invisible braces (or retainers) are more convenient. You can remove them at will for eating, and they do not take as much getting used to as other options.
Another type of braces you may need is orthodontic braces, but these are more of a last resort, they apply pressure and draw the teeth together. Still, while they are undoubtedly useful, they are not the most comfortable option around.
Implants are one of the most expensive options around, and while they are not relevant to everybody, they can still help fix gaps in the teeth. However, you would not need to use implants if you have a slight gap in your teeth, but they are something to consider if you needed to fix a tooth gap caused by losing or significantly damaging one of your teeth, especially at the front.
Veneers or Crowns
Crowns are typically used for cosmetic purposes and will be beneficial for repairing a cracked tooth. The porcelain shell covers the problem area, and you can also use it to act as a ‘fake tooth’ that is added to the bottom or side of the tooth to create a more even appearance. Even if you don’t have vertical gaps in your teeth, crowns can fix horizontal gaps effectively.
Conversely, veneers are a thin piece of porcelain that bonds to the tooth after removing the top layer of existing enamel. This method is popular, but it can also be expensive, depending on how many teeth you need to treat. Even so, if you have serious concerns over the quality, straightness, or overall appearance of your teeth, then veneers are a long-lasting solution that also boasts excellent quality and will ensure satisfaction.
Teeth gap bands may not be the most attractive solution around, and if it seems like the dentist got bored and handed someone a rubber band as a solution, you wouldn’t be too far off. Still, they are practical and proof that sometimes the simplest solution is the best one.
You might be concerned that you will need to walk around with a band on your tooth all day long, but this isn’t the case. You should only wear teeth gap bands overnight. This is an affordable option, but it is not a magical cure-all solution. The gap between your teeth cannot be too large, and they must already be straight to get the best results. The larger the gap, the longer they will take to be effective, with some taking as much as six months. You may also encounter additional dental issues after wearing them, such as discomfort with the band rubbing against the gums.
Can I do teeth straightening at home?
If you are unable to consult a dentist in person, you may be able to undergo teeth straightening at home. However, this isn’t to say you should try to perform the treatment by yourself. You’ll still need to speak to a qualified dentist through teleconferencing.
If you elect for clear braces, also known as invisible aligners, you can minimize the number of times that you need to visit the dentist for a progress check-up. As long as you’ve the mould for your teeth and use it consistently, then you can keep appointments as infrequent as once every two months, and even then, this is only to provide a new mould to match your improved teeth. The AignerCo Invisible Aligners are one solution to making this possible.
How do ALIGNERCO Invisible Aligners work?
ALIGNERCO invisible aligners are one of the best ways to treat a range of misaligned teeth or diastema issues. The process is simple. We provide an impression kit for you to take home with you and then send back to the team. Once they receive it, they will analyze the pattern of your teeth to develop customized aligners. From there, you can place the aligners on your teeth and watch the results.
Closing the Gap
Fixing gapped teeth can have a massive impact on your oral health and your self-esteem. Furthermore, with the option of clear braces, you can avoid the awkward appearance that comes with traditional bracket and wire options, while also using a solution that is easier and more effective than other treatments.
If you want to fix the gap in your teeth today, take our Free Assessment and get started with ALIGNERCO today.