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Gaps in Teeth

Gaps in Teeth

When there is a gap between two teeth, it is called a diastema. Children usually have gappy teeth and it is common. However, this is not a major concern as the spaces will be filled up with the development of adult teeth.

Some persons even after moving from childhood to adulthood still have a diastema or several gaps between their teeth. If you fall into this category, there are so many treatments for malocclusion or diastema closure to try. In certain cases, you may decide to maintain the diastema, particularly that between your two front teeth. It is a belief in some cultures that this attracts luck, fertility, or wealth.

So, we at Museum Dental Suites aim to provide necessary information so that you can make better decision to close the gaps between your or your child’s teeth.

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What is diastema?

Put simply, diastema is a gap between two teeth. This gap is easily noticed when it is in the front teeth, although any other part of the mouth can have spaces. Gappy lower teeth are described as a mandibular diastema, while a gap in the front two teeth is referred to as a midline or median diastema.

A research finds that between 1.6% and 25.4% of people in UK experience a diastema. This is quite high, right?

Babies can have gaps in their teeth and it's very normal since, at this stage, the teeth and jaw are in developing stage. But when children pass on to adulthood after losing their milk teeth, any visible gaps sometimes disappear naturally. If any visible spaces are still there as an adult, expert dental advice should be sought from an experienced dentist.

There is a need to improve your dental hygiene if you've got spaces between your teeth. To clean the gaps easily, you can use a water flosser and interdental brushes.

What are the causes of gap in front teeth?

A couple of things are responsible for diastema. One primary reason is non-uniformity in the size of teeth and jaw. If there is big jaw or small teeth, there won't be a match because of excess space in your mouth.

Another reason for gaps in front teeth is the growth of extra tissue above the teeth. A frenum (a bit of skin found between the lip and upper front teeth) can often grow bigger. If your frenum overgrow, it can part your two top front teeth; causing a diastema.

Behavioural factors can also cause a gap in the front teeth. These include:

  • Thumb sucking
  • Poor oral hygiene responsible for gum disease
  • Tongue thrusting

Midline diastema is usually caused by thumb sucking since that's the point the thumb releases pressure onto. If the tongue pushes against the lower teeth when swallowing, then a mandibular diastema will be caused by tongue thrusting. Fortunately, these two habits can be fixed in childhood to avoid having long-term problems.

In a case where a person is going through serious gum disease (periodontitis), they can eventually lose their teeth.  What's more? This infection can also cause bone loss in the jaw, which makes the teeth not to be strong enough to resist movement; causing gaps to appear.

What's a peg lateral?

Often, there is a poor development of the tooth called the 'second incisor' (the one right next to the front two teeth). This phenomenon is referred to as a peg lateral. In this case, the tooth has a very small size and pointy shape. Since it is smaller than usual, there may be gaps on both sides.

A peg lateral can be corrected using veneers, crowns, and dental implant.

Ways of closing gappy teeth

Diastema closure is a typical, pretty simple procedure. So many options for treatment around from which you can choose, including orthodontia. You will see more on this as you continue reading. Every case of gappy teeth is unique, so your dentist will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for your case.

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Gappy teeth closure with braces

The gaps in the teeth can be adjusted gradually and closed up using braces. For closure of larger gaps, braces are more suitable, while gaps that are smaller can be closed up with other treatment.

Braces for diastema cannot be done in childhood. All your teeth should have changed into adult teeth before braces. The reason is that a child's jaw can grow differently from their teeth; one can be bigger or smaller than the other. Again, the combination of baby teeth and adult teeth can make the natural teeth get spaced out. So, all your teeth must have properly developed, but in case of any other issue, your dentist may suggest other options than braces.

Diastema closure using Invisalign

Another very good option for closing gaps between teeth without the use of braces is Invisalign clear aligners. Unlike traditional braces, these invisible trays are not easy to see, yet they treat about 90% of patients with gappy teeth effectively. Plus, Invisalign comes with the benefit of being easily removable during use.

Would you like to know if you qualify for gap teeth closure using clear aligners? Speak with your dentist to take an Invisalign evaluation.

If you prefer an in-person consultation to discuss your needs, you can book an appointment with us. We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

In orthodontics, Invisalign is one of the household names popularly known for effectively treating 90% of dental cases. For flexibility, there are at-home options for treatment that allows you to do everything in the comfort of your home. How does this work? A kit will be sent to you with instructions on how to take impressions of your teeth. When you're done with that, you'll send your result back to the lab, and your aligners will be posted out to you. The progress of your treatment is monitored online by a dentist or orthodontist. This diastema closure work costs £999 as you are paying for in-office dental checkups.

Be it at-home Invisalign kit or the usual office Invisalign, they both provide effective closure for gap teeth. However, depending on the complexity of your case and budget, you need a face-to-face meeting, with the dentist.

Can I fix gaps in teeth without braces?

Need to fill gaps between teeth? Aligners and braces are not the only treatment options. Composite bonding and veneers are the two other options that may be offered by your dentist. However, these work best when the gap to be closed are only one or two. If you have multiple teeth that are widely spaced, this is where you will need braces as it proves to be the best solution.

To know which treatment option is right for your case, you need to work with your dentist. Meanwhile, we are going to show the advantages and disadvantages of each of these treatments so you can understand how they work.

Porcelain veneers

This is a thin custom-made cover that changes the shape and colour of the natural teeth when placed on top. Closing a small gap is simple with veneers. However, only adults can get this treatment. During this procedure, the dentist will make the veneers a bit wider than the natural teeth. When they are installed, they connect in the middle, and the gap is covered.

You have to visit your dentist two times for porcelain veneers. In your first visit, your teeth will be prepared and measurements for the veneers taken. The second visit sees the veneers installed after lab production.

Small gaps can be well covered with veneers, whereas they may not do so well in covering large gaps. Aesthetically, the result may look like you have two big front teeth when veneers are used for wider gaps. You won't want that, right?

At this point, what you really need is your dentist's advice since they are experts in smile restoration. In their experience, they know what works best for every case, so you should trust their judgement.

Composite bonding

Here, a composite material is used to fill up the gaps directly. There is no need for lab work. Your dentist will skillfully mould the composite to give the desired look. For filling gappy teeth, the composite is used to extend the teeth a little to close the gap.

Do you know that composite material can be applied to the teeth to cover it entirely? When this happens, it is known as a composite veneer. This procedure is commonly used for chipped teeth. Want to know more about tooth bonding, see your dentist.

Veneers vs bonding for gap teeth closure

In the table below, these two non-braces options for diastema closure are summarized, including their fees for treatment.


Porcelain veneers

Composite bonding

What to expect

A porcelain cover designed slightly wider than the teeth is applied to the teeth, and the gap is filled

A composite material is added directly to the teeth to increase their size so that the gap is filled.

What's the timeline for treatment?

It requires 2 dental visits. First is for consultation. Then another 1 to 3 weeks later for installation

The entire work can be completed in a single visit

What's the fee?

£1000 to £1200 per tooth

 £300 to £400 per tooth


Durable and strong

Quick and affordable


Some healthy tooth is taken out, two dental visits are required, and only small gaps can be closed

Requires some adjustments, bonding lasts for 5 years, and only small gaps can be covered

What's the price for correcting gapped teeth?

Composite bonding for two front teeth has a starting price of about £300 per tooth whereas you may need to spend thousands of pounds on braces or porcelain veneers. As a matter of fact, in the table above, the prices for bonding and veneers have been given. Depending on the type of braces prescribed closing a gap in teeth with braces costs between £2000 and £5,500.

Patients who require mild orthodontic work using Invisalign Lite or i7 for diastema closure may pay a starting price of about £1950. Invisalign Full works best for major teeth restoration. For a more accurate quote for gap teeth closure with Invisalign, you can consult with one of our Invisalign dentists.

If you prefer a remote treatment without in-office visits, you can order for at-home Invisalign kit and do your thing. For instance, the Straight My Teeth's clear aligners are not so expensive for simple gap teeth closure and come at a price of £999. Do bear in mind that these aligners cannot fix the same dental problems that Invisalign can and are not led by dentists.

Diastema closure is not really considered medically necessary, so the NHS doesn't provide a financial cover for gap teeth closure in the UK. Serious cases of diastema in adults and children probably as a result of hypodontia may qualify them for braces and then dentures to cover up the gaps. There is also an NHS cover for dental issues like periodontitis, which may bring about gaps between teeth.

If you need more information about the different kinds of braces and to know your finance options for dental work, make an appointment with us.

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Can diastema be corrected with a retainer?

For orthodontic work, retainers can be used, but they do not provide all the movement the teeth need to be fixed, and results may take time. The typical treatment procedure will be to use bonded or removable braces to correct your gappy teeth and then continue with retainers to maintain their new position.

Since removable aligner braces are not fixed to the teeth like metal braces, they are similar to a retainer. People do not also notice them easily like conventional braces. If you want to know whether you are eligible for removable aligner braces, contact an Invisalign provider near you; some even offer a free consultation.

Is it possible to correct diastema naturally?

The key thing here is your definition of 'natural'. It is true that bonding, braces and veneers are not seen as natural, but they are effective, safe and give natural-looking results.

People seem to follow the trend of using elastic bands around their spaced teeth to pull them together. This act is highly discouraged as it will cause more harm than good.

Speak with your dentist to learn about all the options you have if there is any concern to want the teeth looks in certain way.

Is it normal for baby teeth to have gaps?

Babies do have and will always have gappy teeth. Besides, at this point in their life, the jaw is still growing and it may be faster than the teeth coming through. It is also very natural for diastema to exist in a mix of adult and milk teeth.

But when there are prominent gaps after jaw and teeth have fully developed, and you want to correct your diastema, speak with your dentist for the best advice.

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After braces, I still have a diastema, what can I do?

The function of braces is to correct the position of your teeth and give you a better smile. If you are unhappy with your result, please refer back to the dentist or orthodontist who did the work on you. Make sure you put on your retainers after treatment according to your expert's instruction. This will help your teeth remain steady and unmoved.

Does flossing lead to diastema?

There is no clear reason why natural flossing would cause gaps between your teeth. Take care when flossing the teeth as you might be catching your gums in the process. This act can cause them to start receding.

If you need an accurate guide on how to floss properly, feel free to contact us. We'll show you the best method. If there is any concern that gaps or gums are showing up between your teeth, go for a dental checkup. You may be having a sign of an underlying gum disease.

Will my gappy teeth increase in size as I grow older?

Age can cause the teeth to shift position and the enamel to erode. This could be the reason why gaps in teeth get bigger as people grow older. In the future, it is possible to treat diastema with braces, however, see your dentist to be sure that the teeth movement is not as a result of gum disease.

How long will it take for braces to fix a gap?

The amount of teeth movement required to close the gap between teeth is the deciding factor. On the early side, diastema treatment with braces can take 3 months. But during complex condition, the treatment can take long time than expected. An orthodontist will be able to examine your teeth condition and offer the best solution.

Museum Dental Suites, offer's complete cosmetic and general dentistry in Central London
Museum Dental Suites, offer's complete cosmetic and general dentistry in Central London

Need professional help?

Now that you know all about gap in teeth, you should not be worried that your teeth have small or large gaps. This condition can be treated using any of the aforesaid methods. Remember to take dental professional help if you want to treat the condition. Their experience and expertise go a long way to define how best your result will be.

At our practice, we have qualified and licensed dentists and orthodontists that can help you with diastema closure. Our diagnostic analysis is great, and the treatment plan we choose or recommend will improve your condition greatly. You can schedule an appointment with us today for a dental examination and possible treatment by calling 0207 183 0886. We also offer dental solutions to other oral health issues.


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