Embracing the Gap
Frequently seen in beauty magazines as models embrace their natural features, gaps between two front teeth can occur at anytime, to anyone.
"Diastema" is the scientific word for a gap between two teeth. This feature results from a conflict between the size of teeth and the dental arch.
"Sometimes it's a function of having Daddy's arches and Mommy's teeth, which are too physically small for the arches," Dr. Paul Chalifoux explains.
Another cause is the tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums. If it attaches too close to the front teeth, a gap results eventually. The habit of thrusting the tongue outward when swallowing, releasing pressure to the teeth, can also create the gap or worse, bone loss via gum disease.
Treatments include orthodontic braces, veneers, composite bonding, and minor surgery. However, there is no medical need to close the gap in most cases-- so why not embrace it?
The average cost of adult braces in the U.S. is around $5,000.
"The main reason for closing spaces is an esthetic demand," said Dr. Anabella C. Oquendo.
If your two front teeth separate, revealing a gap, will you embrace it or have it closed up?