Fix teeth gaps without braces (easier than you think).

Medically Reviewed by a
Licensed DDS

Table of Contents

  1. Gap Teeth
  2. Are Braces Necessary?
  3. Ways for Treatment
  4. Aligners for Gap Teeth
  5. References

Gaps can form anywhere along your smile. They're often most noticeable when they crop up between your top two teeth. The gap gleams each time you smile, talk, or eat. And sometimes, that space allows fluids to fly out of your mouth at the most inopportune times.

Braces can help to correct gapped teeth. But there are several competing tools, including crowns, bonding, veneers, and aligners that can do the job just as well. And sometimes, these alternative treatments come with a lower price tag and less pain than braces.

Why fix your gap teeth?

In some cultures, gaps are considered lucky, unusual, or beautiful. But in the United States, many people opt to fix a smile with gaps. In one informal study, a dentist reported that 6,000 new patients in one year requested a gap closure.

Gaps are attention-getting. If you want people to notice your beauty, rather than homing in on one part of your mouth, seeking out smile help makes sense.

Gaps can also lead to problems, such as:

Decay
Food trapped between your teeth can lead to plaque buildup and cavities.
Speech Disorders
Tongues tap on teeth. When the muscles hit dead air, hard consonants and other sounds don't come through clearly.
Chewing Disorders
Gaps often mean teeth don't meet correctly, and that could make biting tough.

Contrary to popular belief, you can't fix a gappy smile at home. You can't pull teeth together with rubber bands, and you shouldn't use tools to push the gap closed yourself. Teeth are delicate, and they adhere to the jaw with ligaments that can break if forced too quickly.

You'll need the help of a professional to close the gap safely. And you have many treatment options available.

A mild gap between your teeth doesn't require a correction with braces, but you could use other options like crowns or bonding to fill that gap or you could consider aligners to amend the problem.

Braces aren't always necessary.

Experts say that braces are common solutions for gapped teeth. Doctors glue brackets to the front of your teeth, and that hardware is connected by wires that tighten. Sign up for this treatment, and your gap will disappear. But it isn't right for everyone.

Braces come with significant risks, including:

Tooth Decay
It's hard to clean around the wires and brackets that cover your teeth.
Wounds
Hardware can scrape and injure your tongue and lips.
Weight Loss
When your mouth hurts, it's hard to eat properly.
High Costs
Braces can cost thousands, and the treatment isn't always covered by insurance.

Dentists have plenty of other options they can use to treat a gapped smile. In fact, in a study of treatments for gapped teeth, five methods were mentioned. Not one of them involved braces.

Braces are good solutions for people with significant dental problems, dentists say. If your gaps are compounded by significant crowding of your other teeth, for example, or you have multiple gaps all along your jawline, you might need significant smile interventions. Braces could be a smart choice.

But braces aren't right for every mouth. And you have plenty of treatment options to choose from.

3 common ways experts treat gaps.

Walk into a dental office, and ask for a better smile. The person you talk to has an array of options to share with you.

Your dental expert might recommend:

Crowns
These devices completely encircle your teeth, and they're bonded in place, so they won't come out. They're often used to fix cracked or damaged teeth, and they could be a good choice if your gaps are due to a dental injury. Prepare to spend up to $1,700 on one crown, experts say.
Dental Bonding
Dentists paint tooth-colored materials onto your smile, and they mold the pieces to fit your face. Bonds work well to repair chips and cracks, and they cost up to $600 per tooth, experts say.
Veneers
Porcelain caps sit on the front of your teeth, and they're glued in place. When seen from the front, your teeth look white and straight. Prepare to spend $2,500 per tooth, dentists say.

If your gap appeared because you were injured, your insurance company may cover the cost. If you hit your face on the steering wheel after a car accident, for example, your auto insurance company may cover at least some of the cost to fix your smile.

But if your gap is considered purely cosmetic, and you have no underlying health issue that could be treated with these methods, you will pay for the fix out of pocket. And the cost can be considerable.

Aligners for gap teeth.

Aligners offer the opportunity to amend a gap between teeth without a significant cash outlay. You could get the smile you want without breaking your budget.

Doctor-supervised aligners, like those offered by companies like Byte, can come with a small price tag of under $2,000. An expert supervises the case and ensures that your teeth move at a rate that is safe and comfortable. But you skip the appointments and personnel that come with traditional solutions.

Aligners work well for people with mild gaps in otherwise healthy teeth. And it's easy to get started. Often, you can make molds of teeth at home and send them in to get custom aligners made. For those hoping for corrections with a low price tag, this could be the right solution.

References.

Why I Don't Mind the Gap (Between My Front Teeth). March 2019. Elle.

Diastema. (October 2017). Healthline.

Treating a Maxillary Midline Diastema in Adult Patients: A General Dentist's Perspective. (November 2011). Journal of the American Dentistry Association.

Treatment Options for Gapped Teeth. (October 2016). Caldwell Dental Care.

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost? (June 2017). WebMD.

How Dental Bonding Can Alter the Look and Feel of Your Teeth. (August 2009). Everyday Health.

Porcelain Veneers: Procedure Costs and Recovery. (August 2019). Consumer Guide to Dentistry.

Frequently Asked Questions. Byte.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

TOP