While some people find a gap between their front teeth endearing, others would like to close their gap without having to commit to braces. The good news is, there are a number of options available to achieve your goals.

What Causes Gaps Between Teeth?

There are several reasons why you may have a gap between your teeth. First, if your teeth are too small for your jaw bone it can cause diastema, or a space between your teeth. Another cause of teeth gaps is thumb sucking. Thumb sucking as a child can create large spaces as the repetitive pressure on the teeth can pull them forward. An adult can cause a tooth gap by placing their tongue on their front teeth when swallowing instead of the roof of their mouth. This creates a similar force and pushes their front teeth forward, potentially creating a gap between them.

In addition to tooth size or bad habits, poor dental health can also create cosmetic issues. Gum disease may cause damaged gums and tissue which in turn can cause spaces between the teeth as well as tooth loss. Signs of gum disease include red, swollen or bleeding gums, loose teeth, gum recession, and persistent bad breath. Maintain regular dental care, including biannual visits to your dentist, to avoid or treat gum disease.


If braces are not your preferred treatment method, retainers may be a great alternative. Retainers are typically used to retain the position of your teeth after orthodontic treatment. In order to use retainers to shift your teeth, you may have to wear them for an extensive amount of time. A drawback to using retainers is that they are typically removable. This can make it easy to forget to wear them, which can delay your results even further. It usually takes the same amount of time to see results whether you use braces or retainers. If you are looking for a fast solution, retainers may not be your best option.


Veneers are thin custom made shells that are placed over the surface of your existing teeth. There are different types of veneers available. The two most common types of veneers are porcelain and composite. Both types achieve similar results using different materials. If the gap between your teeth is small, your dentist may be able to use two veneers to close the visible space. However, if the gap is larger, additional veneers or alternate treatments may be necessary.

If you and your dental professional decide that veneers are the best treatment option, the procedure is straightforward. Your dentist will prepare your natural teeth by removing a thin layer of the tooth’s surface. Molds will be taken and the veneers will be custom created in a laboratory. Once your dentist receives your veneers, you will attend another dental appointment to have them applied. Your dentist will roughen the surface of your natural teeth to help the veneers stay in place. They will also custom shape and mold the veneers until your desired look is achieved.

Dental Bonds

Dental bonds are tooth colored composites adhered to your teeth to improve the shape, color or size of your teeth. The bonding can be molded and sculpted to fill the appearance of a gap and match your existing teeth. Bonds differ from veneers in that they are not custom made in a laboratory. The bonding material is readily available in your dentist’s office. Your dentist will select a material that closely matches your natural teeth in color and adjust the shape as needed. Dental bonds can typically be applied in one dental visit, making their application fairly quick and easy. However, on average, dental bonding does not last as long as porcelain veneers but can be a very effective alternative.


A crown is a fixed prosthetic used to cover an entire tooth. Crowns placed over two teeth that are next to each other can be designed to fill a gap between those two teeth. In order to place a crown, your dentist will need to assess your existing tooth and its roots. If everything looks healthy, your teeth will be filed down to make room for the crown. Crowns are custom made and have to be sent to a laboratory to be created. While you are waiting, your dentist will apply temporary crowns to protect your teeth. When they are ready, your crowns will be permanently cemented in place over your existing teeth, filling in any visible gaps.


Clear aligners are a popular alternative to braces because they are easily removable and much less noticeable. Aligners are clear, custom made pieces that fit over your teeth and slowly move them into the desired position. If you choose to utilize aligners, your dental team will map out how your teeth need to be moved and then create aligners that you will swap out every few weeks. Aligners tend to work better with adults and older teens who have teeth that are fully formed.

If you have a gap between your teeth that you are unhappy with, there are plenty of solutions. Consult with our experienced dental team that can assess your dental health, listen to your goals and map out the best possible treatment plan tailored to your needs.