Closing Gaps In Teeth With Braces: How Long Does It Take?

People usually consider wearing braces when they want to close the diastema or spaces between their teeth so that they can have a beautiful smile. However, given that braces may take some time, they have a lot of queries, such as “Can braces close gaps?

Any type of gap between teeth, whether small or large, with one tooth or several, can be efficiently closed with braces. Braces utilize the tension of the wires to pull the teeth together and close gaps. For this, specialized attachments like power chains and springs are also used.

In this article, we will discuss how braces close a diastema or fix gaps between teeth, the best braces for teeth gaps and how long it may take depending on the size of the gaps and severity.

Let’s start.

Table of Contents hide

What are the causes of gaps in teeth?

Closing Gaps In Teeth With Braces and How Long It Takes

A diastema is defined as a space or gap between two teeth. This may occur between the upper and lower teeth or between the lateral incisors and canine teeth. Diastema is usually harmless and does not affect oral health in any way.

However, many people consider it to be a cosmetic problem and choose to close the gaps with the help of braces or other methods.

In some people, gaps can present between almost all teeth, that’s called generalized spacing.

Orthodontic Braces care - Welcome
Orthodontic Braces care - Welcome

However, the most frequent type of diastema is the one that occurs between the upper incisors, which is also called midline diastema.

There are various reasons that can cause gaps between teeth. Here we have listed some of the most common causes:

1. Hereditary factors

If your parents or grandparents have gaps between their teeth, then you are more likely to have them too. This is because the shape and size of your teeth are determined by your genes.

2. Early loss of baby teeth

If you have lost your baby teeth early, it is more likely that gaps will develop between your permanent teeth. It occurs because the permanent teeth get misaligned after the eruption.

3. Thumb sucking

If you have a habit of sucking your thumb, then it can also cause gaps because it puts pressure on the teeth and changes their position.

4. Large tongue

If your tongue is large, it can push your teeth apart and create gaps.

5. Dental problems

Some dental problems such as missing teeth, misaligned teeth, and overcrowding can also cause gaps.

6. Abnormal labial frenum

If the labial frenum, which is a small fold of tissue that connects your upper lip to your gums, is abnormal in position, it can pull your gums away from your teeth and cause a gap.

7. Abnormal growth of the jawbone

If your upper and lower jawbones do not grow in a proportionate way, it can lead to spacing.

8. Too small teeth

Sometimes, the size of your teeth may be small as compared to your jawbone. It can also cause teeth gaps.

9. Misaligned teeth

If your teeth are not aligned properly, it can put pressure on the adjacent teeth and create teeth gaps.

10. Injury to the teeth

An injury to your teeth can also cause gaps because it can damage the structure of your teeth and change their position.

11. Missing teeth

If you are missing one or more teeth, it can also create a tooth gap.

12. Tongue thrusting

This is a habit in which you push your tongue forward against your teeth. This can also cause gaps because it puts pressure on the teeth and changes their position.

13. Extra teeth

If you have extra teeth, it can also cause gaps because it can crowd your mouth and misalign your teeth.

14. Gum disease or tooth decay

These problems can also cause gaps because they can damage the structure of your teeth.

15. Eating habits

If you have a habit of chewing hard things such as ice, it can also cause teeth spacings because it can damage your teeth.

Types of teeth gaps that braces can fix

The effectiveness of braces in closing gaps in teeth is determined by a variety of factors, including the size, etiology, and relationship of the gap to other orthodontic problems.

Here are some examples of how braces can be used to close tooth gaps.

1. Small gaps

Closing a small gap may be the easiest task for the braces. It can be closed in a few months with braces.

You may have small gaps because your teeth were originally small.

Sometimes, one or a few spacing can be present if you have an abnormally placed tooth in the jaw.

Some people also have a tiny gap in between front teeth due to abnormal frenum.

Braces can help you in all of these cases.

In addition, braces can also fix a minor gap that is created after the removal of an extra tooth.

However, keep in mind that you must wear braces on all of your teeth to achieve the perfect smile. The reason is that if you want to get braces on one jaw, even a little tooth movement can

cause TMJ problems and other dental issues.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

6 to 8 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

2. Generalized spacing

If you have generalized spacing, it means that your teeth are spaced out evenly throughout your mouth. This is a common type of tooth gap.

The good news is that generalized spacing can be easily fixed with braces. However, the treatment time will depend on the severity of your case.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

9 to 12 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

3. Midline diastema or gaps between front teeth

A midline diastema is a gap that occurs between the two upper front teeth. A gap in the middle of teeth is quite common.

However, children normally have gaps between front teeth. But, these gaps usually close on their own as the child grows older.

But, after growing age, if the gaps persist, they can be fixed with braces.

One of the following conditions may create a midline diastema or a gap in front teeth.

  • Abnormal labial frenum – A thick extension of gum tissue that attaches your lip to your gums (labial frenum) can pull your gums and create a gap.
  • Missing teeth – The gaps between your teeth can also be created if you are missing a tooth in the middle.
  • Tongue thrusting – It is a habit in which you push your tongue forward while swallowing. Tongue thrusting can also put pressure on the teeth and create a gap.
  • Thumb sucking habit – This is a common habit in which children suck their thumb. However, this behavior can put a strain on the teeth and cause gaps.
  • After removal of the supernumerary tooth – A supernumerary tooth is an extra tooth that you have in your mouth. This tooth can crowd your mouth and create a gap.

Question is, can braces close gaps in front teeth?

Braces can close gaps between front teeth by applying pressure to the teeth and shifting them towards the gap with wires and elastic. In addition to fixing gaps and aligning teeth properly with braces, an orthodontist also treats the abnormal labial frenum and helps in changing bad oral habits that can cause misaligned or spaced teeth.

In fact, if you consider other treatment options, you might not get the benefits in the long run.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

6 to 8 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

4. Spacing with protruded upper teeth

Sometimes an excessive horizontal overbite or protruding upper teeth can be related to tooth gaps. The use of braces can treat this kind of issue.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

9 to 12 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

5. Gaps due to tooth removal for braces

When the orthodontist recommends tooth removal for braces, a gap between teeth is created. This gap can be closed with braces permanently when the treatment is completed.

So, if you need to have your premolar or other teeth extracted for braces, you shouldn’t be too concerned.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

9 to 12 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

6. Spacing after removal of extra teeth

We all have 32 teeth in our jaws. However, some people have an extra tooth. Even if you have 29 teeth, you may have a tooth that is not like the others. It is referred to as a supernumerary or supplemental tooth.

Braces can help you if this is your condition. After the additional tooth is extracted, braces can perfectly close the gaps and give you a natural smile.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

6 to 8 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

7. Anterior crossbite spacing

Sometimes, the upper teeth can bite inside the lower teeth. This is called an anterior crossbite.

It can also cause a gap in the front teeth.

The excellent thing is that braces can be used to close a gap caused by an anterior crossbite.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

9 to 12 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

8. Gaps with misaligned teeth

Sometimes, people may have both gaps and other types of malocclusions at the same time. Braces can help you correct all of these issues and align your teeth properly.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

9 to 12 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

9. Gapped teeth with minor jaw bone problem

Some people may have gaps between their teeth as well as abnormal jawbones. Braces can be used to not only close gaps but to correct jaw bone issues. However, for serious skeletal issues, further treatment options are required.

Duration to close generalized spacing:

9 to 12 months

Duration to complete braces treatment:

12 to 24 months

How long do braces take to close gaps in teeth?

Braces can close gaps between your teeth in 6 to 9 months, depending on the size of the gaps. However, you may need to wear braces for a longer period of time to completely close gaps, correct the bite, and align all teeth. Moreover, the duration is determined by other factors such as case severity and individual variation.

In addition, braces can move a tooth approximately 1 mm per month, so you can expect braces to close 1 mm per month after they are tightened.

As a result, large gaps will take longer to close, whereas small gaps will take less time.

Following are the factors that affect the duration of wearing braces to fix gaps between teeth.

The size of the gaps

The length of time it takes to close a gap between your teeth is determined by its size. The greater the size of the gaps, the longer it will take.

Cause of the gap

When gaps close with braces depends on the cause of its origin. If it’s present from childhood it may take less time. 

On the other hand, if it’s due to a missing tooth after tooth extraction or an accident it will take more time.

However, it also depends on the treatment option that you or your dentist choose.

Individual’s age

Gaps in a young person take less time to fix, whereas adults may require more time.

Related orthodontic problems

If gaps are present with other orthodontic problems such as misaligned teeth or jaw bone abnormalities, the duration to fix the gap will be increased.

Bite problem

Even if you believe you have no other problems, gaps may not be the only issue. Some individuals have an unusual overbite or overjet.

Furthermore, while closing the gaps between teeth, the orthodontist must properly align the teeth so that you have a functional and proper bite.

As a result, the time required to fill the gaps will vary depending on these factors.

The patient’s cooperation

Discipline is required when closing tabs with braces. To achieve a better result, patients must follow all of the orthodontist’s recommendations. However, if you are unable to do so, gaps will gradually close.

Bad oral habits

Bad oral habits can hinder the course of treatment and delay the final result because patients must maintain their braces in order to move their teeth correctly and close any gaps.

Dental and gingival health

In the case of closing gaps between teeth, patients with good dental and gum health can expect a faster outcome, whereas patients with poor oral health can expect a slower outcome.

Treatment planning

Because each case is unique, treatment planning varies from case to case. As a result, the braces time period varies.

How long do braces take to close midline diastema?

While the average treatment time for braces is about two years, every case is unique and therefore the timeline can vary. In general, however, it will take a minimum of six months to close a midline diastema with braces.

To achieve the best results, however, it is important to follow the treatment plan and guidelines provided by your orthodontist.

How do braces close gaps between teeth?

Braces fix gaps in teeth with help wires, brackets, and power chains or springs. When these are attached to the teeth and force is applied, braces use the tension of the wires or elastics to pull the teeth together.

Then, gradually teeth are aligned correctly and gaps are closed.

When pressure is applied to your teeth using wire through new braces, different changes occur within the bones of the teeth. This leads to movement of the teeth.

However, the force should always be within a normal range, otherwise, it may damage your teeth. An orthodontist always puts an ideal force to create these movements.

The orthodontist may also use special attachments such as rubber bands, power chains, or springs to put additional force on the teeth to fix the gaps.

These attachments act as an extra force to move your teeth in a certain direction and fix gapped teeth.

You can also check out my other article on when and how the orthodontist uses a power chain and springs to move teeth.

However, closing gaps also need other treatments such as bite correction and teeth alignment.

When your teeth move to close those gaps, they need to be aligned properly at the same time so that you can make an ideal bite and teeth function properly.

So, during orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist also uses different techniques and appliances to correct your bite and align your teeth properly.

Which types of braces can fix gaps in teeth?

There are various types of braces available to help you close gaps in your teeth. The basic functions of these braces are the same.

They both work in the same way to move teeth into the desired position and fix gaps. The only distinction is in cost and appearance.

You must select one of the options and notify your orthodontist. He will design a treatment plan and use braces for closing gaps in your teeth.

Take a look at the types of braces for gaps in teeth.

Traditional metal braces

If esthetics are not your concern, you can choose traditional metal braces to fix the gaps between your teeth. This is the most popular way by which you can fix those gaps.

Ceramic braces

Ceramic braces can perfectly close gaps in teeth and give you a beautiful smile. These are also very popular because they are visually appealing. They are transparent, so people will not notice if you wear them. However, the cost is slightly higher than that of traditional metal braces.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are braces that are attached to the backside of your teeth. So they are all so aesthetically pleasing. Despite their high cost, lingual braces can effectively move your teeth and close gaps.

Check out the cost of all types of braces.

Clear aligners or Invisalign

Clear aligners, also known as Invisalign, are not the same as traditional braces. They are removable and transparent.

As a result, they are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Furthermore, they, like braces, can help fix gaps in teeth.

What if you don’t fix gaps in teeth with braces?

People usually want to close gaps in their teeth for cosmetic reasons. However, some gaps should be closed to avoid certain complications.

Gaps in teeth can compromise your dental and gum health. Because food gets so easily stuck between teeth, it can cause gum disease or tooth decay.

Furthermore, when there is a gapped tooth, a portion of the gum is always exposed. Biting too hard can thus damage that portion and lead to gum disease.

Types of teeth gaps that braces can’t close

Here are the circumstances when you might have other planning rather than braces to fix gaps.

Extracted tooth due to poor tooth condition

Braces may not be the best treatment option if you do not have malocclusion and have a gap between your teeth due to an extracted carious or weak tooth. In that case, you have to plan to replace the missing tooth.

However, if you want to fix crooked teeth with braces, you can get braces even with the gap.

Missing tooth due to injury

When a person loses one or more teeth as a result of an injury or an accident, they must replace those teeth using other methods. In that case, people should seek the advice of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a conservative dentist.

Severe skeletal problems

Sometimes, not only do you have gaps between your teeth, but you also have skeletal issues. If you have a severe jaw bone problem as a result of abnormal growth or development, you may need to use other methods, such as orthognathic surgery, to correct all of the issues.

Check out my other article to know how to fix teeth gaps without braces.

Tips to close the gap fast with braces

Take a look at some tips to close gaps between teeth fast with braces.

  1. Follow the orthodontist’s instructions properly.
  2. Wear elastic bands or power chains correctly and regularly.
  3. Brush and floss your teeth regularly following proper methods.
  4. Eat soft and braces-friendly food.
  5. Stay away from hard, sticky, and crunchy foods.
  6. Use ideal toothbrushes and flosses for braces.
  7. Don’t skip a visit with your orthodontist.
  8. Be patient and let the braces work.

Should you fix gapped teeth?

The decision to fix your spaced teeth is a personal one. Some people don’t mind having gaps in their teeth, while others feel self-conscious about it.

However, if you have a functional problem due to gapped teeth, you should treat it.

If you’re considering fixing your spaced teeth, talk to your orthodontist about the best treatment options for you. They will be able to help you decide if braces are the right choice for you.

If you have gaps, do you need braces?

Whether you need braces for teeth gap depends on various factors such as your choice, the severity of your case, etiology of spacing, age, and others. If you have spaced teeth and you need to fix them for cosmetic purposes, you can consult with an orthodontist and get braces.

In addition, If the gaps are not severe and do not affect your bite, you may not need braces.

On the other hand, if the gaps are due to a misaligned bite, then you will need braces to fix the issue.

The best way to determine if you need braces is to consult with an orthodontist. They will be able to tell you if braces are the right treatment option for you.

Takeaways

Braces are the most popular and effective way to fix almost any type of tooth gap. On average, it will take 6-9 months to fix the teeth gaps and braces will last 12-24 months to complete the full treatment. To close those gaps, you need to wear brackets, wires, elastics, and springs while undergoing this treatment.

FAQs about braces and gaps

How fast do braces close gaps?

When braces are put on and the wires are tightened, braces can move teeth up to 1 mm per month. Therefore, braces can close 1 mm of gaps per month by exerting the right amount of force on the teeth.

How long do braces take to close the single gap?

If you have a single tooth gap, then the process will be quicker than if you have multiple gaps.

A single tooth gap or small tooth gap may need 6-9 months whereas a large gap or multiple teeth gaps may need 12 months to 2 years.

The severity of the issue will also play a role in how long braces take for spaced teeth.

For example, if your teeth are only slightly misaligned, then it will take less time to close the gaps than if your teeth are severely misaligned.

How long does it take to close a 5mm gap braces?

You may need to wear braces for at least 6 – 9 months to close a 5mm gap. Some people may be able to fix their gap in a shorter amount of time, while others may need to wear braces for longer.

Moreover, in addition to braces, other treatments might also be required to close gaps after braces.

How long does it take to close a 6mm gap with braces?

The average time it takes to close a 6mm gap with braces is about 8-12 months. However, every case is different and the amount of time it will take to close your particular gap may be shorter or longer.

Additionally, it is important to note that braces not only close gaps in teeth but they fix malocclusions. It also adds up to the treatment time.

Moreover, the type of braces you have, the severity of your crowding, and how well you follow your orthodontist’s instructions will all play a role in how long it takes to close your gap.

How long does it take to close a 7mm gap with braces?

A 5mm gap is considered a pretty big gap. It can take anywhere from 10 to 14 months to close a 7 mm gap with braces. The amount of time it will take to close your particular tooth spacing will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the misalignment, the type of braces you’re using, and how well you follow your treatment plan.

How long does it take to close a 1mm gap braces?

It will take approximately one month to close a 1mm gap with braces. However, the duration may vary depending on the severity of the case and individual variation.

How long does it take to close a 2mm gap braces?

It would take approximately two months to close a 2mm gap with braces. However, the specific time frame may vary depending on the individual’s orthodontic treatment plan.

For example, if a person has diastema (a gap between the two front teeth), braces can only close the gap if the roots of the teeth are properly aligned. In some cases, other treatment options may be necessary to close the space.

In general, however, most patients can expect to see results within a few months to a year.

How much gap can braces close?

Braces can close various sizes of gaps including the large ones. However, it’s not always about the size of the gaps; other factors like the severity of the misalignment or causes of gaps can also affect whether they can close.

Too large gaps between teeth due to multiple missing teeth can’t be fixed with braces. Also, braces can’t be helpful if the tooth is lost as a result of an injury or tooth decay, and the alignment of teeth is good.

Can braces close a 4 mm gap?

Braces can close a 4 mm gap. It usually takes about 8 to 12 months to close a 4 mm gap with braces.

Can braces fix big gaps?

Braces can close big gaps and make your tooth look natural with the help of power chains or springs. However, if the large gap is due to a missing tooth, you may need other treatment options such as an implant or bridge.

How long does it take for braces to close a gap in front teeth?

It usually takes about 6 to 9 months for braces to close a gap in front teeth. The amount of time it will take to close your particular gap may be shorter or longer depending on the severity of the issue and individual variation.

If you have any other questions about braces or gaps, be sure to ask your orthodontist.

Can you close a first molar gap with braces?

You can close a first molar gap without braces by shifting the second molar in its place. The orthodontist may use specific types of wires, elastics, or springs to accomplish that. However, the orthodontist must first evaluate whether braces are appropriate for the situation before using them.

Can a gap persist between teeth after braces?

Usually, a gap should not be persisted between teeth after braces treatment. However, there are some rare cases where the gap may not be fully closed due to some reasons. In some severe cases, gaps may come back after a year or a few.

Can braces help gaps between teeth that are getting bigger?

The gaps between teeth may get bigger as you age. However, you may have this problem when you have gum diseases and other illnesses. So, braces might not help you fix these types of gaps.

However, if your kid’s teeth spacing is getting bigger, braces can correct the problem.