A diastema is a space or gap between two teeth often called, especially in childhood, ‘gappy’ teeth.  Gappy teeth are most often apparent between the two upper front teeth. However, gaps can occur between any two teeth. A discrepancy between the size of the jaw bones and the size of the teeth can cause gaps between teeth or crowding of teeth. If the teeth are too small for the jaw bone, spaces between the teeth will occur. If the teeth are too big for the jaw, teeth will become crowded. If you have gappy teeth, the Straight Teeth Suite have a number of solutions to help you achieve a beautiful smile.

Spaces between the teeth develop for different reasons.  Sometimes teeth are missing or undersized, as with the upper lateral incisors, the teeth next to the two upper front teeth. This can cause the central incisors to develop a space. In some patients, the tissue that extends from the upper gum and connects just above the upper front teeth, known as the labial frenum, is extended and prevents the space between the teeth from closing.  Childhood habits, such as thumb-sucking, over time, push the front teeth out of place creating gaps.  Periodontal or gum disease results in bone loss and displacement of teeth.

One option, if the gaps are very narrow, is to close the spaces with small, white fillings. If the gaps are a little wider, porcelain veneers, made by the best technicians to match your teeth, can give a fully functioning and aesthetically pleasing result.  The third option, if the shape of your teeth is acceptable, is to close the spaces through teeth straightening. A variety of treatments such as 6‐months braces, clear aligners, or conventional, fixed braces can all be used to close the gaps depending on the case in question.

In this particular case, the patient, in agreement with his dentist, chose the braces known as the 6-month smile.  As the name implies, the braces take a short amount of time to gently, and safely move the teeth into their new position, closing the gaps.

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The braces were fixed to the front of the teeth but are discrete as they are tooth coloured.  During the six-month period, the patient attended a monthly appointment to change the elastics and wires as his teeth moved.  In due course, the teeth moved to their final position, and the braces were removed before the retainers were fitted.  Retainers keep the teeth from moving back into their old position.

Clear aligners are a great solution to closing gaps between the teeth. A mould is made of the teeth, and a laboratory technician makes a clear tray to fit over your teeth.  The aligners are changed every two or three weeks as the teeth move.



This patient with gappy teeth was fitted with clear aligners, and his treatment was monitored until his new smile was achieved. The aligners may take a little bit longer than a fixed brace, but this depends on each case and the time scale cannot be predicted without first diagnosing the patient.

If you would like to close the gap or fill the space to achieve a more confident smile, please contact the Straight Teeth Suite here for your free consultation.