Gap-Toothed Grins: An Open and Closed Case

Diastema in Georgia May Jagger

Many actors, musicians and models don’t mind the gap when it comes to their smiles. In fact, their gap-toothed grins are among their most well known characteristics for some stars.

The technical term for the space between the front teeth that celebrities including actress Uzo Aduba, singer Becky G, and models Lily Aldridge and Georgia May Jagger sport is diastema.

It’s a fairly common type of malocclusion that we see here at Newpark Orthodontics. A 1996 study concluded that diastema of two or more millimeters is present in about 19 percent of children between age 8 and 11, and in six percent of 12- to 17-year-olds. About five percent of adults age 18 to 50 have this type of malocclusion, according to the Journal of Dental Research.

This is important to keep in mind: orthodontic treatment is a powerful tool for improving bite and alignment issues, but it also has the power to improve confidence and self-esteem. Lots of people are embarrassed about their smiles. But when it comes to diastema, we have seen the tides of public opinion change over the years. Pop culture has lots of examples of celebrities who embrace their perfectly imperfect teeth and we applaud that. It’s important to feel good in your own skin.

If you love the space between your front teeth, don’t change it! But if the space between your teeth also creates a gap in the self-confidence department, we can help. It can be fixed through a variety of dental and orthodontic treatments in Alpharetta.

Our preferred correction method is with orthodontic treatment using conventional brackets and arch wires, or with aesthetic teeth alignment options such as Invisalign. This is a conservative approach that preserves healthy tooth structure and moves the teeth into a more ideal position by using slow, steady force.

Diastema correction may require a surgical procedure in addition to orthodontic treatment when the diastema is created by an oversized portion of tissue called labial frenum between the two front teeth. The frenum must be cut and repositioned by a periodontist during a procedure called frenectomy.

A frenectomy performed on a child may result in the space closing on its own. Teens and adults may require braces following the frenectomy to close the gap.

Another way to correct diastema is with veneers. Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. They require that a portion of healthy tooth surface be removed so the veneers can be bonded to your tooth surfaces and look like your natural teeth.

If you have a gap between your front teeth or another type of malocclusion that you would like to have corrected, call today for an orthodontic consultation. We can take X-rays and photographs of your teeth and evaluate your bite to create a treatment plan that will resolve the issue and give you the smile of your dreams.