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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Gap Between Teeth (Diastema): How To Fix It, Causes And Prevention

Everyone likes to have teeth that are placed like piano keys in our mouth. However, not everyone possesses such a kind of teeth. Many people have some space or gap between their adjacent teeth. A dentist may call it diastema. The presence of a gap between teeth can be commonly observed in people of all age groups. You can easily detect a gap in teeth when people are smiling, laughing, or talking to you. According to studies and researches, around 98 percent of children who are six years old have diastema. Moving forward, a gap between teeth is a common sight among eleven year old children. This condition, however, is hardly observed in people who fall in the age group of twelve to eighteen years.

Diastema begins to close as a child grows. If it does not close, then it is considered as an aesthetic problem. It is a fact that kids grow into beauty conscious teenagers. They are worried about each and every aspect of their appearance. Naturally, when they notice such a spacing in their teeth, they will want to know, how do I get rid of the gap between my teeth? Is there a possible treatment for this condition? Let us find out.

Why Am I Getting Gaps between My Teeth?

gap between teeth

girl with a dentist, Credit: Canva

Diastema or a gap between teeth can occur due to various reasons. Its causes are listed below.

  1. If there is someone in your family who has this condition, then it is possible that through genetics, you will also face it. Some ehtnic groups like those of Caucasian, Mongoloid, Negroid, and Indian suffer from this condition.

  2. Physiological reasons include the development of permanent teeth which are bigger in size than their preceding milk ones. It disturbs the proper accommodation of the teeth and their alignment.

  3. Sometimes, conditions like missing teeth or the absence of lateral incisors can lead to the formation of extra space which makes the incisor teeth to move away from each other. It will undoubtedly result in diastema.

  4. Cysts and tumours in the soft tissue are also responsible for the formation of a gap between teeth.

  5. Children are prone to developing habits like thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting. All these habits, though a normal part of the growth and development of a child, can gradually lead to the formation of a gap or space between their front teeth.

Can the Gap between Teeth Be Filled?

It is important to remember that if you have a diastema, or teeth gap that does not make you ugly or inferior to those who do not have it. Seeing such a space, children ask questions like are gaps in teeth bad? As a parent or a guardian, you need to assure your child this gap is nothing to be worried about. If this condition is really troubling your child psychologically, then you might consider a visit to the dentist.

Common treatment options for this condition include:

  1. Braces

  2. Dentures

  3. Invisible aligners

  4. Implants

1.   Braces

braces for teeth gap

braces, Credit: Canva

Orthodontic treatment that involves braces helps the teeth to be repositioned. Through braces, a gap between teeth can be closed and other common jaw disorders can also be treated. Lingual fixed braces will be placed by your dentist on the inner part of the teeth. Conventional braces will also yield you the result. Ceramic braces, when paired with clear crystal brackets will also help your child in getting rid of diastema over time.

2.   Dentures

teeth gap

set of dentures, Credit: Canva

Dentures are easily separable replacement treatment options.  They are great for helping people control the small gap between teeth. You can opt for either partial or complete dentures. They act as teeth gap filling. Made of materials like metal or acrylic, they are fastened by your dentist to your natural teeth using a set of clasps. Clasps are used to secure the denture properly. After they are fixed, you will not find it difficult to do activities like eating, speaking, and talking. So, those children who are facing severe confidence issues due to the gap between teeth can opt for a denture as a treatment option.

3.   Invisible Aligners

gap between teeth treatment

girl with clear aligners, Credit: Canva

Invisible aligners for invisalign braces will help your teeth to get aligned over time. These clear aligners, although expensive, will work fast to help you see results. Moreover, you will not feel their presence on your teeth as they are invisible. According to the severity of your diastema, your dentist will supplement invisible aligners with other advanced appliances and attachments. All these attachments are of the same colour as your teeth. So, do not think that they will seem more obvious when you open your mouth. They facilitate tooth movements if you have diastema as well as another jaw issue like crossbite.

4.   Implants

dentures for diastema

Teeth implants, Credit: Canva

Implants are also an effective option for those who want to close their teeth gap. They act as an extra support for more than one false teeth. When you are getting implants, a titanium screw will be put into your jaw in order to secure the dentures. Before this, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive examination of your oral cavity. It will help him or her determine if you possess enough bone in your jaw that can effectively support the implant that is put. In around three to four months, you will start seeing the results.

Diastema or teeth gap is not a cause of concern. It happens naturally and over time heals on its own. Neither does it have any effect on your health. Mostly, people want to correct it because of aesthetic concerns. Although the common treatment line revolves around braces, yet sometimes a person may need to undergo surgery. Surgery is done only when the route cause behind the gap is labial frenum, that is larger than usual. In this case, a surgery will be performed by your dentist before you install braces on your teeth.

Treatment options like removable dentures, implants, and fixed bridges are used when the cause of your diastema is a missing tooth.

Oral Health for Treating Gap between Teeth

oral health for diastema

girl brushing teeth, Credit: Canva

Diastema as you might have known by now, can occur due to various reasons. It is not humanly possible to prevent each and every cause. If a developmental defect is behind the gap between teeth then you can do nothing about it. But if you are suffering from a periodontal disease then you should focus on maintaining a good oral health. A poor oral hygiene will make your gap widen instead of stopping it. Here are the exact steps for you to follow:

  1. Always brush your teeth two times, in the morning when you wake up and after eating your dinner at night

  2. Make it a habit to floss your teeth on an everyday basis

  3. Frequent dental appointments should also be your priority

  4. Try to break the thumb sucking habit of your child

  5. Children often swallow their food in an improper manner. Pay attention to it and guide them on the right way to swallow food

A gap between teeth should not make you unhappy or depressed. Everyone is unique in their appearance and any kind of gap cannot take away that uniqueness from you.

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