I’m a teenager and have an ugly gap in my front teeth. I am wondering if it will close naturally or if I’ll need braces? I hate the way my smile looks. But, I don’t want braces either.
My wisdom teeth aren’t in yet either. Is it true that they can push the other teeth to close the gap?
-Karly in South Dakota
Thank you for your question. The gap you are referring to is called a diastema. In some cases, the eruption of wisdom teeth will close the space. This is possible if the gap is small. However, even if the wisdom teeth do help to close the gap, there is a piece of tissue called the frenum which is located between your two front teeth. Sometimes, this interferes with the proper closing of the front tooth gap.
Often, the space you have in the front teeth can be caused by the frenum. So, if the gap is small, it may work. But, generally speaking there isn’t enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to correctly reposition your teeth. Therefore, most individuals end up having their wisdom teeth removed.
If the gap is too large after the eruption of your wisdom teeth, then patients will have the frenum removed. Then, orthodontics is usually the next step to close the gap.
If your teeth are pretty straight, you may be interested in Invisalign to close the gap. This treatment is very popular with patients because it works in half the time as traditional metal braces and is much more comfortable. The Invisalign aligners are removable, which means you can take them out while you are eating. And the best part is that they are clear.
Another possibility to give the appearance of closing the diastema is with porcelain veneers at a cosmetic dentist. These thin shells of porcelain are adhered to the surface of your teeth and make it look like the gap is closed. But, porcelain veneers don’t reposition the teeth.
Hopefully, these options give you some hope that you won’t be stuck with your front tooth gap forever!
The best thing to do for someone your age is to consult with your regular dentist first to figure out the status of your wisdom teeth. Then, if they need to be removed, you’ll have a better idea of your options. But, it is important to realize that even if they come in straight, there is no guarantee they will close the gap. So, schedule a consultation and see what your dentist says after seeing your case in person.
Thank you for reaching out.
This post is provided by a cosmetic dentist in York, PA, Donald H. Currie, DMD.