A gap between a person’s front teeth is eye-catching and interesting. But are gapped teeth always a problem that require braces? It depends. Some people may only have a cosmetic decision to make, others may have alignment problems that could develop. Your Woodinville orthodontist will let you know for sure and help guide you toward the smile that is uniquely yours.
The Development of Gapped Teeth
Many people embrace their teeth gap. Some celebrities have reached higher levels of fame because they’re known for their gapped teeth (Lauren Hutton, Madonna, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Strahan, Anna Paquin, and more). Other celebs have taken a social media lashing from fans for fixing their tooth gap (Dakota Johnson).
Whether you love or hate this characteristic, whether you see your braces-ready child wrestling with the question of whether to keep or close their gap, a talk with your orthodontist is the place to start. You’ll learn that the gaps between teeth are referred to as a diastema. They’re common and can develop because of:
- Tooth misalignment
- Jaw size in relation to teeth size
- Excess gum tissue
Childhood habits like thumb sucking could lead to gapped teeth, but that habit is more likely to cause teeth that are pushed out, contributing to an overbite. Most of the time, there’s really nothing you can do to prevent gaps from developing.
Quite often, people who have a gap between their front teeth or gaps all throughout their smile simply must decide if they like the gaps or if they want to get braces or Invisalign so they can have a symmetrical smile.
Complications Caused by Gapped Teeth
Little kids who are losing baby teeth and getting adult teeth may have gaps all over the place (unless they have crowding, which is another issue entirely). This is typically a good thing because it means there is plenty of room for teeth to move into their proper positions and find their alignment. Unfortunately, teeth don’t always do what you want them to do, and that’s where orthodontics come in – you need a little help to get permanent teeth in the right places.
A gap between the front teeth can actually cause crowded teeth or bite problems and here’s why:
- Larger gaps between the front teeth may not leave enough room for neighboring teeth to erupt properly.
- Resulting issues can be tooth misalignment and bite problems.
- Side effects could be crooked or crowded teeth, as well as jaw pain.
- Tooth decay and gum disease are more likely when teeth are crowded because they’re more difficult to clean thoroughly.
Living with and Loving Your Gapped Teeth
Do you like your gapped teeth or do you want them to go away? Many people with gaps have zero alignment problems or oral health issues and choose to skip orthodontic treatment entirely. A comprehensive evaluation from your orthodontist Dr. Soleil at Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, WA, will help you determine where to go from here. Schedule a consultation for yourself or your child and learn more about orthodontic treatment for gapped teeth.