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Mind the Gap! Correct Gaps and Diastema with Clear Aligners.

Updated: Aug 16, 2023


Correct Gaps and Diastema with Clear Aligners

Do you have a gap between your teeth wider than 0.5 millimetres? This could be a sign of diastema. While some people may not mind the appearance of a gap, it could impact the confidence and self-esteem of others. If you are unhappy with your smile, you may want to consider filling or closing the gap.


Although traditional metal braces are a well-known solution, they can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and expensive. Fortunately, there are other dental procedures available that can effectively address your gap without the need for braces.


If you are hesitant about the idea of braces, we have created a guide that outlines alternative solutions for correcting gaps and diastemas.


First, let’s address the causes of gaps between teeth.


It is important to note that gaps between teeth can occur in any area of the mouth, and are not just limited to the front upper teeth. These gaps may arise due to a variety of factors, and it is essential to identify and address the underlying cause to ensure optimal oral health. Gaps can occur for the following reasons:


Frenum


The frenum, also known as the frenulum, is a small fold of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums above the front teeth. In some cases, the frenum may grow too large or become too tight, causing a gap to form between the front teeth. This condition is known as diastema, and it can be both a cosmetic and functional concern. To correct this issue, a dental procedure called frenectomy may be necessary. During this procedure, the frenum is removed or reduced in size to eliminate the gap and promote proper alignment of the teeth. It is important to consult with a qualified dental professional to determine if a frenectomy is necessary and to discuss the best course of action that is tailored to your individual needs.


Jaw Size


The alignment of your teeth is dependent on the size of your jaw. A wider jaw provides more space for teeth to move and shift, which can potentially cause gaps between small teeth, leading to misalignment. This highlights the importance of considering the size of one's jaw when addressing issues related to teeth alignment.


Genetics


According to the Australian Dental Journal, the presence of a gap between your teeth can be hereditary if one or both of your parents also have the same trait. Additionally, a weak or improper swallowing reflex, characterised by the tongue pushing against the front teeth during swallowing, can also contribute to the development of gaps over time. It is important to take note of these factors when considering the probable causes of dental gaps and seeking appropriate treatment options.


Gum Disease


It is essential to maintain good dental hygiene to prevent the onset of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to various complications, including gum infections, receding gums, loose teeth, and tooth displacement. This can ultimately result in unsightly gaps between teeth and even affect your ability to eat properly. Therefore, it is crucial to practice proper dental care, such as brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting a dentist for routine check-ups to prevent any potential oral health issues from arising.


Habits


Certain habits, such as the repeated act of thumb sucking, lip sucking, and tongue thrusting, can exert excessive pressure on the front teeth, causing gaps to form. While these gaps are typically viewed as a cosmetic concern, they can also lead to dental problems that go beyond aesthetics. Some issues associated with gapped teeth include:

  • Wear & Tear: Gaps in your teeth can cause a collision with other teeth, resulting in damage to your teeth faster than usual.

  • Tooth Decay: Large gaps can make it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene as the spaces leave room for food and debris to collect, leading to tooth decay and potentially gum disease.

  • Discomfort: Having a gap between your teeth could prove difficult when trying to find the perfect position for your tongue to rest.

  • Speech Impediments: Some teeth gaps can cause whistling sounds, making it difficult for people to understand you.


So what are the options to correct gapped teeth?


Given the potential complications related to gapped teeth, it is essential to address the causes early on to prevent further dental issues from occurring. Here are various options you can consider to treat gaps and diastemas:


Dental Bonding


Composite bonding is a quick solution for small teeth gaps. A tooth-coloured composite resin is attached to the tooth and hardened with a special light. After hardening, the resin is trimmed and polished to match the rest of the tooth surfaces. It takes only 1-2 dental visits to complete, and while it is effective and stain-resistant, it is best for smaller gaps due to its shorter lifespan.


Veneers


In some cases, porcelain veneers can be used to fix gaps in teeth. The top layer of enamel is removed and replaced with a veneer, which is bonded permanently to the tooth. Porcelain veneers are strong and stain-resistant.


Crowns


Not only can crowns repair cracked teeth, but they can also be used to cover gaps and create a more even appearance. Crowns are an effective solution for horizontal gaps. Before undergoing a dental crown procedure, it is crucial to ensure that your surrounding teeth and gums are free from any dental issues or diseases. If you have signs of tartar or gum disease, it is recommended to address them first before treating your gapped teeth.


Implants


If the gap between your teeth is wide, you may want to consider implants. A prosthetic tooth will be placed in your bone or gum, and you can choose between removable or fixed implants.


Clear Aligners


Clear aligners are dental devices that use gentle force to gradually close gaps between teeth. They are typically worn for a period of 4-6 months to a year (depending on the case severity), with the patient switching to a new set of aligners every 2 weeks to ensure continued progress. One of the many benefits of clear aligners is that they are virtually invisible, so they won't draw unwanted attention to the patient's teeth. Additionally, they don't interfere with normal brushing and flossing routines, as they can be easily removed and replaced as needed. It is recommended that patients remove their aligners when eating or drinking, as this can help prevent damage and ensure that the aligners remain in good condition throughout the treatment process.


Want a non-invasive approach to correct your diastema and gaps in between teeth?


OrthoAlign is here to help! Our aim is to offer premium yet affordable clear aligners to help shift your teeth to their optimal position, filling any gaps, and giving you that beautiful and confident smile you deserve!


 

To get started on your own smile journey, locate an OrthoAlign provider in your area to discuss treatment possibilities and receive professional advice and support tailored to you.

 

While our blog can answer many of your questions, your smile is unique and each case is different. Discover more about how OrthoAlign clear aligners can work for you.

 

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