Are you worried about gaps between your teeth? Are you tired of hiding your smile because the large spaces make you feel self-conscious? Are you wondering how to close gaps in teeth? The good news is, spacing, sometimes referred to as gap teeth, is one of the most common problems our Naperville and Shorewood orthodontists, Dr. Manal Ibrahim and Dr. Christine Gin, see. They can create a customized treatment plan to eliminate spaces and create straight teeth and a healthy bite in a way that complements your unique facial features.
To give you a better idea of what you can expect when you get Invisalign or braces for gaps, in this post, we’re answering:
- What is spacing?
- What causes gaps between teeth?
- Can braces fix spacing?
- Can Invisalign® fix gaps?
- What happens during Invisalign or braces treatment for spacing?
What is Spacing?
Spacing is when a patient has too much room in the jaw and there are one or more gaps between their teeth. A gap between teeth can make you feel self-conscious. However, spacing isn’t just a cosmetic concern. Gaps also create more areas for plaque, bacteria and food debris to hide, making you susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. Additionally, straight teeth and an aligned jaw distribute bite forces evenly. Spaced out teeth aren’t in the correct positions to do this, which can lead to uneven wear, jaw pain and even the deterioration of the jaw bone.
What Causes Gaps in Teeth?
So, what causes gaps in teeth? Spacing can be genetic and may occur simply because the teeth are too narrow for the jaw. Excessive gum tissue, which is typically genetic as well, can also lead to separation and a gap in the front teeth. In other instances, certain oral habits are the culprits behind spaced out teeth. For example, thumb sucking and prolonged pacifier use can create a gap, because the thumb or pacifier puts pressure behind the upper front teeth causing them to drift. Tongue thrust may also push the teeth apart and result in a large gap between the front teeth. Missing teeth will obviously create gaps between teeth too.
Can I Get Braces for Gaps?
Yes, braces can fix gaps between the teeth. When using braces for gaps, Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Gin utilize self-ligating brackets. The self-ligating brackets have a slide mechanism to hold the braces wire in place and don’t rely on ties or elastics. This means reduced friction as we eliminate spaces between the teeth for more comfortable, efficient treatment.
We pair our self-ligating brackets with SureSmile ® prescription wires. These wires are custom designed just for you using robotic wire-bending technology. They’re extremely accurate and help teeth take a more direct path to their ideal places, so closing gaps with braces will take up to 30% less time than it would with conventional treatment and there will be less sensitivity and discomfort. Using our cutting-edge braces for gaps between the teeth will ensure you get outstanding results and we can create optimal spacing for a healthier, more beautiful smile.
Can Invisalign Fix Gaps?
Can Invisalign fix gaps as effectively as braces? Yes, Invisalign can fix gaps efficiently and effectively. In fact, when it comes to how to close a gap discreetly, Invisalign or Invisalign Teen can be great options. Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Gin are Top 1% Diamond+ Invisalign providers and have the expertise and knowledge to treat any case with clear aligners in order to give you ideally-spaced, straight teeth.
How long does Invisalign take to close a gap? Well, it depends on your case. For some patients, Invisalign can fix gaps in as little as six months, while for others, treatment will last over a year. The good news is, we provide accelerated treatment at our practice and we pair your aligners with a take-home, handheld, medical device like the Propel ® VPro+™. The device generates gentle vibrations that cuts your treatment time nearly in half by improving the way your aligners fit against your teeth and enhancing predictability.
What Happens When I Get Invisalign or Braces to Close Gaps in Teeth?
When deciding how to close gaps in teeth, we use our i-CAT imaging system to get a clear picture of your dental and facial anatomy. A team member then takes a digital scan of your teeth with our iTero® digital scanner. A virtual, 3D model of your mouth is created and Dr. Ibrahim or Dr. Gin plans your treatment directly on the model. They can visualize different outcomes and move each individual tooth into its proper place to not only close gaps between teeth but also create your perfect smile overall.
Of course, they’ll go over everything you need to know about each treatment option and help you choose the best one for your lifestyle and needs. If you opt for braces, we’ll create your custom SureSmile braces wires. The wires will be bent robotically according to Dr. Gin or Dr. Ibrahim’s prescription.
Dr. Ibrahim or Dr. Gin will bond your brackets to your teeth. They’ll then engage the brackets with a training archwire to level before replacing the training wire with your custom SureSmile wires. The innovative pairing of self-ligating brackets and custom-made wires gets rids of spaces while ensuring the teeth take the most direct path to their final positions, eliminating unnecessary movements for treatment that’s up to 30% faster than conventional braces.
If you choose Invisalign to fix gaps between the teeth, after creating a custom treatment plan, Dr. Ibrahim or Dr. Gin will send their prescription to the Invisalign lab. The lab will print out a series of custom clear aligners. You’ll wear each set of Invisalign aligners for about one week. As you make your way through the series, the spaces between your teeth will close and your new smile will take shape little by little.
Once the active phase of your orthodontic treatment is complete, you’ll enter the retention phase. We’ll design a custom retainer for you to hold the teeth in their new positions and prevent gap teeth from reoccurring. We use Vivera® retainers, sometimes referred to as Invisalign retainers since they’re made by the company that makes Invisalign. The clear, removable retainers are 30% stronger than any other clear retainer on the market to ensure your results last a lifetime.
If you’d like to find out if Invisalign or braces can close the gap between your teeth, schedule a complimentary in-person or virtual consultation at our Shorewood or Naperville orthodontics office. After performing an exam and taking diagnostic records, our expert orthodontists will determine the best way to fix gaps and help you get the straight teeth and functional bite you deserve.