Individuals with a gap between their front teeth often wonder, “Can you get braces just to close a gap?” Given that nearly 60% of people develop this condition at some point during their lives, they often look to orthodontists for help closing the gap. Depending on the size of the gap and the cause, braces may be an effective treatment for closing the space.
A skilled orthodontist can use braces to fix gaps in teeth and help you achieve the confident smile that you’ve always desired. In this article, we’ll address some of the most commonly asked questions, including:
- What causes a gap in teeth?
- Do I need braces if I have a gap in my teeth?
- Can I get braces for a small gap?
- Will braces close my gap for good?
Keep reading to learn more about the process and how you can best close the gap between your teeth with braces!
What Is A Gap In Teeth?
A gap, or diastema, is a space that can form between two teeth when the size of the teeth is disproportionate to the jawbone. Gaps can form in any part of your mouth, but they’re most commonly seen between your two front teeth. As a result, people with this condition ask, “Will braces fix the gap in my front teeth?”
What Causes A Gap In Teeth?
There are a variety of causes for gaps in teeth. While some are more common than others, understanding the cause of your gap can help you and your orthodontist decide what treatment options are best for you.
- Genetic factors: A person’s dental and jaw structure is influenced by genetics, which may predispose them to develop gaps between teeth.
- Size mismatch between teeth and jaw: If the teeth are too small or the jawbone is too large, there will be extra space between the teeth.
- Missing or undersized teeth: A gap can occur if a person has missing teeth or teeth that are smaller than average, leaving extra space between the remaining teeth.
- Dental habits: Bad habits such as thumb-sucking or tongue thrusting can push the teeth apart over time, creating a gap.
- Gum disease: Periodontal (gum) disease can lead to bone loss around the teeth, causing them to shift and create gaps.
- Late loss or early eruption of baby teeth: If baby teeth are lost too late, or the permanent teeth erupt too early, it can cause spacing issues, leading to gaps.
- Improperly fitted dental restorations: If dental work like crowns or bridges isn’t fitted properly, it can create gaps between teeth.
It’s important to consult with a dental professional if you’re concerned about a gap in your teeth. They can help determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Can You Get Braces Just To Close A Gap?
A common question that orthodontists receive is, “Do I need braces if I have a gap?”
The good news is that braces — both traditional and invisible — can close gaps in the teeth. In most cases, treatment will move the teeth back into proper alignment, reducing or eliminating gaps. Braces may also reduce overcrowding and restore a healthy balance and beautiful symmetry to your smile.
Here are some of the most common questions when it comes to using metal braces for gap teeth:
Can I Get Braces For A Small Gap?
While small gaps can be normal and harmless, they may cause you to be self-conscious. Thankfully, it’s possible to fix small gaps in teeth with braces.
How Long Do I Need Braces For A Gap?
The duration of orthodontic treatment with braces for closing a gap depends on the size of the gap, the type of braces being used, and individual factors such as the patient’s age, oral health, and how quickly their teeth respond to treatment. Generally, closing a small gap with braces can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
Will Braces Close My Gap Permanently?
Braces are effective in closing gaps between teeth, and the results can be long-lasting. However, the permanency of the results depends on several factors, including the cause of the gap and post-treatment care.
After braces are removed, teeth have a tendency to shift or relapse to their original position. To maintain the results achieved by braces, you’ll need to wear a retainer, which helps stabilize and maintain the new position of the teeth.
In some cases, if the underlying cause of the gap was not addressed (e.g., tongue thrusting or gum disease), there is a risk that the gap may reappear over time.
Benefits of Using Braces To Close Gaps In Teeth
There are a variety of reasons to get braces to fix gaps in teeth:
- Improved appearance: Closing gaps between teeth can enhance the overall aesthetics of your smile, boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Better oral hygiene: Gaps between teeth can trap food particles, making it difficult to clean them effectively. By closing the gaps, you can reduce the risk of plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.
- Correcting bite problems: Closing gaps may help correct bite problems, such as overbite, underbite, or crossbite, which can improve the functionality of your teeth and reduce the risk of long-term dental issues.
- Enhanced speech: Gaps between teeth can sometimes affect speech, causing lisps or other speech impediments. Closing these gaps can improve speech clarity.
- Preventing tooth damage: Closing gaps can help distribute bite forces evenly across all teeth, reducing the risk of excessive wear, chipping, or cracking.
It’s important to consult with an orthodontist to determine if braces are the right treatment option for you. They can provide a comprehensive evaluation and discuss the best course of action to address gaps and any other dental concerns you may have.
Get Braces To Fix Gaps In Teeth At Bates Orthodontics
So, can you get braces just to close a gap? Yes!
At Bates Orthodontics, we work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs, including options for closing gaps in your teeth. When you work with our experienced team of professionals, you can trust that you’ll receive amazing customer service and results.
Book an appointment today to begin your journey toward a healthier, more confident smile!