Our teeth are an essential part of our body that we often ignore or only pay attention to when we feel insecure about the way we look. But orthodontic treatment offers a range of benefits that includes oral health to cosmetic improvements, yes.
How does orthodontics improve your oral health? Helping correct crowded teeth, crooked teeth, and dental misalignments in general, which can contribute to oral problems and diseases.
With properly aligned teeth, it becomes easier to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing. This reduces the risk of plaque buildup, tooth decay, gum disease, and related complications.
And how does oral health relate to overall health? Oral health is closely linked to overall health. It is thanks to improved conditions for better oral hygiene and preventing oral health issues that orthodontic treatment contributes to better overall health.
It reduces the risk of systemic conditions associated with poor oral health, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
If you ever wonder, “Are gapped teeth ugly?” know the question you should be asking is, “Are they healthy?” But we get the appearance of things is important and influences our overall health in some cases.
Orthodontic treatment can significantly enhance one’s smile. Correcting dental issues such as misaligned teeth, closing gaps, and improving the overall appearance of the teeth and jaw can boost self-esteem and confidence. This positive change often leads to improved social interactions and mental well-being.
If you actually care for your oral and dental health, you should know what are the common problems with teeth. Caring for your teeth will come after you know why you should take care of them.
Malocclusion refers to the misalignment or improper positioning of the teeth and jaws. It occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not fit together correctly when biting or chewing.
This misalignment can manifest in various forms, such as overcrowding, gaps, or an overbite/underbite. Malocclusion can lead to oral health issues, speech difficulties, and problems with chewing and digestion.
Is Gap Teeth a Malocclusion?
Malocclusion is a broad term; it basically captures any dental misalignment. So, yes, orthodontists consider gap teeth a form of malocclusion.
In dental terms, a gap between two or more teeth is a “diastema.” It occurs when there is extra space or a noticeable gap between teeth, most commonly seen in the front teeth.
While some people embrace the uniqueness of a diastema, others may seek treatment for cosmetic or functional reasons.
From a functional standpoint, diastema can contribute to difficulties in biting, chewing, and speech articulation. It can also impact the alignment and stability of surrounding teeth.
From a cosmetic perspective, individuals with diastema may feel self-conscious about their smile’s appearance.
Dental professionals can offer treatment options for diastema, depending on its severity and the patient’s preferences. To gradually close the gap and realign the teeth, orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, is what patients need.
What Causes Diastema?
Diastema can result from various factors, including discrepancies in tooth size, abnormal frenum attachment, thumb-sucking habits, or missing teeth.
- Dental Discrepancies: Differences in tooth size can lead to gaps between teeth. If there is a size discrepancy between the teeth and the jaw, it can result in inadequate space for the teeth to align properly.
- Abnormal Frenum Attachment: The frenum is the tissue that connects the lip or tongue to the gum. When the frenum is attached too high to the gum, it can cause a diastema. It can cause a diastema by creating tension or pulling between the teeth.
- Thumb-Sucking or Tongue-Thrusting Habits: Prolonged thumb-sucking or similar bad habits can contribute to the development of diastema. These habits exert pressure on the teeth and jaws, causing them to move forward and creating gaps.
- Missing Teeth: When there are missing teeth, the surrounding teeth may shift or drift into the empty space, resulting in gaps. This is more commonly seen with the loss of anterior (front) teeth.
Contrary to common belief, Invisalign can be an effective treatment in most cases of dental malocclusion, despite not being a suitable alternative in every case.
Invisalign can be an effective treatment option for spaced teeth, including diastema. Invisalign utilizes a series of custom-made, clear removable aligners that make use of resistant acrylic to fit snugly over the teeth and gradually move them.
Invisalign clear aligners offer several advantages as an alternative for diastema treatment. Of course, aesthetics are a main benefit of them. They are transparent and virtually invisible when worn, making them a more aesthetically pleasing option than traditional braces.
Comfort is another big advantage of Invisalign. The chances of irritation or discomfort common in treatment with braces reduce considerably with Invisalign.
That’s part of what makes Invisalign treatment for children a good alternative. It’s a viable option depending on the child’s specific dental needs. The brand offers a separate line of treatment for teens and younger patients.
Factors such as the severity of the diastema, the child’s maturity level, and their ability to comply with the treatment instructions will be taken into account.
Is Diastema Attractive?
We’ve seen times when teeth gaps were viewed as ugly or unattractive by the general public. Then Madonna or famous models would show their teeth gap proudly, and public opinion would reconsider.
The attractiveness of diastema, or a gap between teeth, can vary based on cultural and personal preferences. In Western countries, a diastema is generally considered less desirable from a societal standpoint.
The beauty standards often emphasize straight, aligned teeth.
However, beauty standards and perceptions of attractiveness can differ among cultures. It’s crucial to respect and acknowledge diverse perspectives. In some cultures, diastema is actually viewed as a sign of beauty and individuality.
You should always consider medical treatment through the optics of health improvement and what’s best for you.
Celebrities With Gap Teeth
- Madonna: The iconic pop singer has a distinctive diastema and has made it part of her trademark image.
- Elijah Wood: The actor Elijah Wood, best known for his role as Frodo Baggins in “The Lord of the Rings” original trilogy, has a diastema that adds to his youthful appearance.
- FKA Twigs: Madonna is not the only pop singer to show teeth gap. FKA Twigs also has diastema in her front teeth.
- Anna Paquin: The actress Anna Paquin, famous for her role as Sookie Stackhouse in the TV series “True Blood,” also has a diastema in her distinctive smile.
Despite them being successful and beautiful with their peculiar smiles, let a team of dental experts be the ones to advise if you should leave or correct the gap in your teeth.
And while you solve the issue, feel as iconic as them.
Teeth Gap and Invisalign Dentistry
The two make the best alternative to solve the dental needs of your family. Together they combine skills for orthodontic treatment and dentofacial orthopedics.
That’s why the dental services available at Egger Orthodontics are so complete. Teens and adults are welcome to explore treatment alternatives such as metal braces, Invisalign clear aligners, preventative treatment, and multidisciplinary orthodontics.
Dr. Nadine Egger and Dr. Gabi Aragon can provide a multidisciplinary approach not only because of being highly educated as dentists but because they work with different dental experts to design the best treatment plan for each patient.
Making regular visits to the dental office is the best way to ensure your oral health; set an appointment to have a dental examination.