If you’ve found yourself asking, “are my braces causing a gap between my front teeth,” – this one’s for you!
The orthodontic treatment process is dynamic. Especially during the first few months of beginning treatment or finishing treatment, your teeth will go through a number of different changes.
Teeth Spacing with Braces
Your body does an amazing job of adapting to orthodontic problems. For example, in people with a lower jaw that is smaller than their upper jaw, the tongue will push the lower teeth forward, while the upper teeth are pushed back by the upper lip.
In many cases, treatment with braces will start to make your teeth look noticeably better pretty quickly, but there are situations where you may think they are starting to look worse.
For example, as the teeth are shifted into alignment, you may notice gaps where there weren’t any before, or your previously straight teeth have developed an overlap. Some patients may notice most of their teeth getting straighter, while one or two others become increasingly crooked.
Don’t be alarmed – this is completely normal.
Cleaning the garage is a good analogy for how an orthodontist goes about fixing teeth spacing with braces. At first, the entire garage is a bit of a mess. Before you can clean one location, you need to move some of the mess to another area to give yourself room to work. Over time, as you shift things about, the entire garage gets straightened up.
This braces gap is temporary, perfectly normal, and necessary. While it may not look like it, this is actually a sign that your braces are doing their job! They are taking the overcrowding of several teeth and concentrating it into one or two areas, so the other teeth have the room they need to straighten out.
Fixing Teeth Spacing With Braces Occurs in Stages
When you use braces for gap teeth, the treatment process occurs in different stages.
Skeletal disparities may become apparent during the first stages of treatment.
This process can give the illusion that the braces gap repair may not be working.
A larger upper jaw over a smaller lower jaw might develop into even more of an overbite or even one where the wasn’t before, as the braces bring the arches into alignment.
All of these changes are normal, so it’s always good to be prepared for them.
Leveling the Arches
Once the crowding has been repaired and your teeth are aligned, your orthodontist will level the arches. Treatment will vary according to whether you have an open bite or a deep bite.
Open Bite and Deep Bite Treatment
The goal for treating an open bite is to start deepening the bite, so the upper teeth overlap the lower ones. We will also start to repair any vertical issues to ensure the upper and lower arches match, which we refer to as coordinating the arches. If you have a deep bite, opening the bite will help make your lower teeth more visible.
The Final Stage – Correcting the Overbite
Improving the overbite or underbite will be the final stage of your teeth straightening with braces treatment. Our orthodontists will most often use rubber bands, extractions, or other functional appliances to achieve this last stage. In some cases, orthognathic surgery may be required.
It’s important not to get frustrated at this later stage of teeth straightening. Your teeth look straight, so it’s only natural to want to be rid of your braces once and for all.
However, understanding the process behind teeth straightening and fixing gaps with braces will help you understand where you are in your treatment and what still needs to be done.
Gaps in Front Teeth After Braces – Is It Normal?
You are understandably looking forward to a beautiful smile after braces, but you’ve heard that braces can cause gaps in your front teeth. What do you do if you have gaps in your front teeth after braces?
In many cases, gaps developing in your front teeth during treatment are normal adjustments, and the gaps will likely close on their own as you progress. Once the braces are removed, you will see there are no gaps.
Teeth will naturally try to return to their previous position after braces, and orthodontists will use an active retainer to stop this from happening.
It’s important to wear the retainer properly and for the recommended amount of time after teeth spacing with braces. In general, a retainer will be required for one to two years afterwards. Failing to do so may allow the teeth to migrate back to their previous pre-treatment positions.
Unfortunately, if there is an occurrence of teeth separating after braces because of improper use of your retainer, you may need to wear braces again to correct them.