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Young women smiling and holding a clear aligner tray in her hands

At Shine Orthodontics, we believe that everyone deserves to have a smile that they’re proud to show off. Unfortunately, things like gaps in your teeth (a.k.a. “diastema”) can make some people feel self-conscious about their smiles. If that’s you, you may have wondered, can braces fix gap teeth? What about Invisalign? Well, your Thornton, CO, orthodontists have good news! Orthodontic treatment can absolutely help to close the gaps between your teeth.

And remember, fixing gap teeth is not just about creating a more aesthetically pleasing smile — it’s about improving your oral health overall. Trust us, when you see your gap teeth before and after braces, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to start orthodontic treatment!

In this post, we’ll answer all your questions about how to fix gap teeth, including:

  • What is diastema?
  • What causes gaps in teeth?
  • What happens if you don’t treat gap teeth?
  • Can braces or Invisalign fix gaps?


What is Diastema?

Diastema, more commonly known as “gap teeth,” refers to a gap or space between the teeth. While these gaps can appear anywhere in the mouth, they are typically most noticeable when between the front teeth. Diastema can affect both children and adults, and the size of the gaps varies from person to person. Many children outgrow gap teeth but for some people, gap teeth continue into adulthood. Often, gap teeth are simply a quirk of a person’s appearance, but sometimes having gaps between the teeth can lead to more serious health concerns.


What Causes Gaps Between Teeth?

If you have gaps between your teeth, it’s only natural for you to wonder what caused them in the first place. In most cases, there are several factors that work together to cause diastema. Here are some of the most common causes of gap teeth:


  • Undersized teeth: When the teeth are too small for the jaw bone, it can lead to the formation of gaps.
  • Genetics: Since the size of the teeth and jaw can be caused by genetics, gap teeth often run in the family.
  • Oversized labial frenum: The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that runs along your gum line and your two upper front teeth. An overgrowth of this tissue causes a separation between these teeth, creating a gap.
  • Poor oral habits: Habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting can lead to diastema because of the consistent pressure on the front two teeth.
  • Gum disease: Inflammation from gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss, which may result in gaps between the teeth.


Do I Need to Treat Gap Teeth?

So do you really need to do anything to treat diastema or is getting braces for gap teeth purely aesthetic? The answer comes down to the underlying cause of your gap teeth and whether they’re causing any additional problems. At Shine Orthodontics, our number one concern is to protect your oral health and in many cases, fixing gap teeth can help you avoid some unpleasant side effects down the line (like that bone loss we we’re talking about earlier!). But remember: even if your diastema isn’t causing health concerns, it’s perfectly okay to want to close the gap between your teeth!

How to Fix Gap Teeth with Braces or Invisalign

Now to answer the question on everyone’s mind: can braces or Invisalign really fix gap teeth? Yes, they can! Orthodontic treatment is one of the best ways to treat gap teeth and thanks to developments in orthodontic technology, you now have more options for straightening your teeth than ever before. Of course, your treatment plan will depend on your unique case and your Thornton orthodontist’s recommendation, but the team at Shine Orthodontics has you covered. Here’s what you can expect from gap teeth before and after braces or Invisalign.

Braces for gap teeth:

Braces have been used for decades to treat orthodontic concerns of all kinds and degrees, including diastema. The brackets and wires apply steady pressure to the teeth throughout the course of your treatment to guide your teeth into the correct positions, thereby closing the gap between your teeth to give you a perfectly straight smile. Not thrilled about the thought of a mouth full of metal? No worries! We offer clear braces and lingual braces in addition to traditional metal braces, so you can choose the type of braces that suits your preferences.

Invisalign for gap teeth:

For those who want a super discreet way to close their gap teeth, Invisalign is the perfect option. Incredibly effective at fixing gap teeth, Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth into the right place. Dr. Brandon Scheer is an expert in using Invisalign for gaps — in fact, he completed the Invisalign Advanced Orthodontic Masters Program, which is only available to a select few orthodontists — so you can trust you’re getting the best Invisalign orthodontist in Thornton!


Ready to find out if braces or Invisalign can fix your gap teeth? Want more information on what causes diastema or what might happen if it’s left untreated? Contact Shine Orthodontics today to book a complimentary consultation. We’re here to help.