Can Braces Cause Gaps in My Teeth?

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Dental Braces, General Orthodontics, Oral Health, Orthodontic Treatments, Retainers | 0 comments

7 min reading time

Have you ever taken a moment to scrutinize your changing smile during orthodontic treatment? While you may be focused on the journey to perfectly aligned teeth, you might notice an unexpected twist— the formation of small gaps.

Braces, the reliable architects of teeth straightening, often bring about surprises. Their mission to create the ideal smile goes beyond merely pulling teeth closer; it involves strategically crafting the right amount of space where needed.

But what does this mean for your smile? Are these gaps a cause for concern, or are they essential milestones on the path to achieving that picture-perfect alignment?

Together, let’s delve into how braces help close gaps and shape the spacing between teeth, ensuring optimal dental health and aesthetics.

Tooth gap with braces

What Should I Do if I Have Gaps in My Teeth?

If you observe gaps between your teeth, particularly in areas like the upper front two teeth or elsewhere in your mouth, the initial step is to seek consultation with an orthodontist or a dentist specialized in orthodontic care.

These gaps, known as diastema, can arise due to various reasons, ranging from the natural growth process as adult teeth emerge to habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting in younger individuals.

Orthodontic interventions, such as braces, are a common and effective solution for closing gaps and attaining the desired tooth alignment.

Braces employ gradual pressure to reposition teeth, effectively closing small spaces and crafting a more aligned and aesthetically pleasing smile over time.

Beyond braces, your orthodontist might explore additional treatment avenues like dental bonding, clear aligners, or rubber bands, depending on the size of the gap and specific alignment issues.

Proper oral hygiene and adhering to your orthodontist’s recommendations, such as wearing retainers post-treatment, are vital. This practice helps prevent gaps from reopening and maintains teeth in their newly achieved positions.


Braces Typically Fix Gaps in Your Front Teeth

Braces are commonly employed to close gaps, especially between the two upper front teeth. As orthodontic treatment progresses, patients may observe the initial formation of small gaps, which is a normal part of the process toward achieving a beautifully aligned smile.

The braces exert consistent pressure to guide teeth into their optimal positions, effectively closing gaps between several teeth. Additionally, this treatment can address issues such as a deep bite or realigning the lower jaw, resulting in improved chewing function and heightened self-esteem.

To achieve effective space closure, your orthodontist may incorporate additional orthodontic appliances like rubber bands or a retainer into your treatment plan. Post-braces, it’s customary to wear retainers to preserve the teeth in their correct positions and prevent the recurrence of gaps.

Whether the gaps are present between the upper, lower, or back teeth, braces, and other orthodontic treatments offer efficient solutions.

The pivotal factor lies in a tailored treatment plan from your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will guide you through the process, ensuring you attain and sustain a gap-free, beautiful smile.


Why Are My Braces Causing Gaps Instead of Closing Them?

Tooth gap

Discovering new gaps forming in your teeth during braces treatment might be unexpected and slightly worrisome. However, it’s crucial to recognize that this occurrence is entirely normal and temporary during orthodontic treatment. The emergence of new gaps is a natural aspect of the process, as braces function to align your teeth into their optimal positions.

Braces’ application of pressure to correct alignment issues can temporarily create small spaces. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in the initial stages of braces treatment.

In cases of overcrowding, braces may intentionally generate small gaps to facilitate the movement of teeth into their correct positions. Additionally, the repositioning of adult teeth, especially when wisdom teeth are in play, can contribute to temporary spacing issues. Understanding these aspects helps contextualize the appearance of temporary gaps during braces treatment.


Why Do Braces Make Gaps in My Teeth? 

Embarking on your braces journey aims at attaining a stunning smile with properly aligned teeth. It’s important to note that the occurrence of gaps, particularly in the front teeth or between multiple teeth, is a deliberate aspect of the tooth movement strategy in orthodontic treatment. These gaps represent a temporary phase in the process of correcting misalignments and are part of the overall plan to achieve the desired final result.

During the progression of your braces treatment, the continuous pressure applied by the braces is aimed at shifting teeth into their optimal positions. This pressure may result in temporary gaps, especially when aligning the upper front or lower teeth. Such gaps are a regular part of the treatment process and are typically addressed as teeth gradually move into their intended positions.

Factors such as the natural growth of adult teeth, the extraction of baby teeth, or the correction of a deep bite can also contribute to the occurrence of gaps in orthodontic patients. In these instances, the braces work to evenly redistribute the space across the mouth, promoting proper alignment and a more balanced bite.

Although the development of gaps during braces treatment might be initially concerning, it is a commonplace and often necessary aspect of achieving the ultimate goal of well-aligned teeth and a healthy, beautiful smile. Your orthodontist will closely monitor these changes and make necessary adjustments to ensure your teeth progress toward their correct positions, closing any gaps along the way.


Why Is My Gap Coming Back after Braces?


5 Reasons Why Your Gap Is Coming Back after Braces

It can be disheartening to observe a gap reappearing in your teeth after completing orthodontic treatment with braces, particularly if closing the gap was a primary goal. Several factors may contribute to the recurrence of gaps post-braces:

  • Teeth Shifting: The natural tendency of teeth to move back to their original positions after braces removal, known as orthodontic relapse, is a common cause of gaps returning. 
  • Improper Retainer Use: Failing to wear your retainer as instructed denies your teeth the necessary support to maintain their new positions, resulting in the reappearance of gaps. 
  • Growth and Development: Changes in the jaw and oral structure, especially in younger individuals who are still growing, can impact teeth alignment, potentially leading to the recurrence of gaps. In such cases, a second round of braces may be necessary. 
  • Oral Habits: Habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or improper chewing can exert pressure on teeth, causing them to move and creating gaps. 
  • Wisdom Tooth Eruption: The emergence of wisdom teeth can apply pressure on adjacent teeth, inducing shifts that may result in the reappearance of gaps.


3 Reasons Why You Must Use Your Retainer after Wearing Braces

3 Reasons Why You Must Use Your Retainer after Wearing Braces

The primary role of a retainer is to preserve the alignment achieved through braces. As teeth have a tendency to revert to their original positions, retainers play a crucial role in keeping them in their newly corrected positions.

  1. Ensures Long-Term Results: Proper use of your retainer is crucial for safeguarding the lasting benefits of your braces journey. By consistently wearing your retainer, you secure the outcomes achieved through braces, maintaining a beautifully aligned smile over the years. 
  2. Stabilizes Your Bite: Post-orthodontic treatment, the bone and tissues surrounding your teeth require time to adapt to their new positions. Retainers play a vital role in stabilizing your bite, ensuring that the alignment of your teeth remains steady and reliable. 
  3. Adapts to Continued Growth: Especially for younger individuals experiencing ongoing jaw and teeth growth, orthodontic changes may persist even after the braces come off. Retainers are adaptable and accommodate these changes, effectively managing shifts to keep the teeth properly aligned as the mouth matures.

Consistently wearing your retainer as directed by your orthodontist is essential to maintain the stability and lasting effects of your braces treatment.

Failure to wear your retainer may cause teeth to shift, leading to the reappearance of gaps and possibly requiring additional orthodontic intervention.

Regular check-ups with your orthodontist are crucial for monitoring any shifts in your teeth alignment and addressing them promptly to preserve your beautifully aligned smile.


Perfect Your Smile with Dr. Lee’s Orthodontic Services in Leesburg, VA!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if orthodontic care is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or message us through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary consultation!

Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave. Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves the Loudoun County. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Leesburg, or Sterling and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Northern Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office!

We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining your perfect smile, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!