Since braces treatment takes a lot of time and work, you might need to use an alternative to braces to close gaps between your teeth. So, Can you close teeth gaps without braces?
Instead of wearing braces, you can close a midline diastema or gaps between your teeth with clear aligners such as Invisalign or at-home teeth straighteners like Byte Aligners. Additionally, a minor gap in the front teeth can be closed by dental bonding, dental veneer, or porcelain.
Now, you might be wondering if you can close your gap without braces. To know about it, you have to know when you can fix the gaps between your teeth without braces and when you cannot.
In this article, we’ll discuss it and also tell you about the top alternatives to braces to fix teeth gaps.
What can you use instead of braces for closing gaps between teeth?
If the gaps between all of your teeth and your arch or jaw have more space than the space required for your teeth, you can use clear aligners such as Invisalign or at-home teeth straighteners such as Byte aligners, or Smiledirectclub aligners to fix the gaps.
However, when someone has excessive teeth gaps due to skeletal problems, he or she may need surgery.
But, if you have a missing tooth gap, you’ll need to fix it with an implant, bridge, or dental prosthesis.
Types of gaps that can be closed without braces
Following are the types of gaps that you can fix without wearing braces.
1. Midline diastema
Midline diastema is a condition where you have a gap between your upper central incisor teeth. This space can be closed with or without braces depending on the condition.
To fix this, you can have a dental veneer, crown build-up, porcelain, or a clear aligner such as Invisalign
2. Gaps in front teeth
Many people have gaps in between their front teeth. It can be presented there from childhood or some may have it after growing age.
If you are one of them, you can fix it safely without wearing braces.
3. Gaps in back teeth
Gaps between back teeth can be situated from childhood due to growth problems. But in most cases, a gap in the molar area is presented due to a missing molar tooth.
This happens when someone has to extract the molar due to gross caries or some other reason.
You can close a gap in molar teeth without braces.
In fact, it’s ideal to have other types of dental prostheses such as bridges or dental implants to close the gap.
4. Gaps after tooth extraction
Sometimes accidents, injuries, and certain dental conditions including severe caries, cysts, tumors, or periodontal disease force people to have their teeth extracted.
If you have had one or more teeth extracted, it’s likely that you’ll develop a gap. The good news is that this type of gap can be closed without having to wear braces.
You can close the gaps of the missing tooth with dental prostheses, dental implants, or dental bridges.
Check out my other article to know about fixing gaps from missing teeth.
5. Generalized spacing
In some cases, people have generalized spacing in their teeth. This means that all of their teeth have spaces in between them.
If you have generalized spacing, you can close the gaps with clear aligners like Invisalign or at-home teeth straighteners.
Though braces are one of the best options to fix these gaps, you may also choose other alternatives to get rid of them.
6. Gaps due to abnormally shaped or thin tooth
Sometimes, people have an abnormally shaped tooth or a thin and small tooth. They may also have a gap near that abnormal tooth. You don’t need braces for this type of case. Instead, you will need a dental veneer or porcelain, or other dental prostheses.
7. Teeth gaps in children
Naturally, children have gaps between their teeth before 6 years of age when they have baby teeth.
Even after their permanent teeth erupt, they have spaces between front teeth around the age of 9 to 10 years. This is called the ugly duckling stage.
During this time spacing is natural because they are presented to provide space for all the future permanent teeth.
When all permanent teeth appear in their jaws, all gaps are closed normally and they have a beautiful smile.
So, for these gaps, children don’t need braces or any other aligners.
In fact, not having these types of gaps is bad for future teeth alignment.
8. Gaps after wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. They usually appear around 18 years of age.
Though they don’t always cause problems, in some cases, they need to be extracted. This is because they can grow at an abnormal angle, causing them to crowd your other teeth and push them out of alignment.
It’s also possible for wisdom teeth to only partially erupt, which can lead to infection, pain, and inflammation.
If your wisdom teeth have been extracted, it’s likely that you’ll develop gaps in your teeth. Moreover, if you have minor gaps behind your all teeth, they don’t need to be closed.
This is because it doesn’t cause any problem.
9. Gaps from an injury
In some cases, people develop gaps in their teeth due to an injury. This can happen if you fall and hit your mouth on a hard surface.
It can also happen if you’re hit in the face with a hard object, such as a ball or fist.
If you have a gap from an injury, you may need to have braces or other dental prostheses to close it.
10. Gaps from thumb sucking
Thumb-sucking is a common habit in children. It usually starts around 2 years of age and continues until 4 or 5 years of age.
Though it’s a harmless habit, it can cause problems with the alignment of your child’s teeth. This is because it puts pressure on the teeth and jaw, which can cause them to shift out of place.
If your child sucks their thumb, it’s important to monitor the habit. If it continues after their permanent teeth have come in, you may need to take steps to stop it. This is because it can cause gaps in their teeth.
However, if someone has gaps in teeth due to thumb sucking, it may also be fixed with an alternative to braces such as Invisalign.
11. Gaps from tongue thrusting
Tongue thrusting is a condition where you thrust your tongue forward when you swallow. This can cause your teeth to shift out of alignment, which can lead to gaps.
These gaps can be closed without braces and by using an alternative like Invisalign.
If you have this condition, you may also need to see a speech therapist. They can help you learn how to swallow correctly.
In some cases, you may also need to wear a tongue-thrusting appliance. This is a device that you wear in your mouth to prevent your tongue from thrusting forward.
12. Gaps after braces
Rarely, you may develop some minor gaps after braces treatment. This may happen after a year or two for some reason. You can close those gaps without using braces again.
Check out my article on why you may have gaps in teeth after braces and what to do.
How to fix teeth gaps without braces?
Let’s look at the ways to close gaps between teeth without braces and alternatives to braces.
One of the most popular alternatives to braces that effectively close tooth gaps is Invisalign. In most cases, the result is also the same as with braces.
Invisalign aligners can close almost any kind of gap between teeth that braces can. That means, not only it can close small gaps, but it can close large gaps. Moreover, these aligners can help you straighten crooked teeth.
Besides that, the cost of getting Invisalign is similar to or sometimes less than braces to fix gap teeth.
Additionally, Invisalign is more comfortable than braces because it is removable. You have to use transparent-colored aligners for this method. That implies that nobody will notice you are wearing something in your mouth.
Invisalign works almost similarly to braces. It acts by putting pressure on your teeth and moving them to close the gaps.
So, Invisalign is a great option for you to close the teeth gaps if you want to feel comfortable and are worried about how you look.
Find out how to close gaps with Invisalign.
2. Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a common and popular cosmetic dental procedure to fix minor gaps, front teeth gaps, midline diastema chips, and cracks in teeth. Some large gaps can also be fixed with this procedure.
This is a quick and easy procedure that can be completed in one dental visit. In this method, the dentist uses a tooth-colored resin (composite resin) material to bond the gaps in your teeth.
For that, you need to visit a dentist and rebuild the crown of the upper incisors or teeth where the gap is situated.
In this procedure, the dentist applies the composite resin to your teeth and gives the proper shape to the teeth. Then, he/she uses a special blue light to set the resin on your teeth.
After that, your teeth look just like natural teeth, and gaps are closed as well. If your teeth get broken or chipped, it can also fix that.
Dental bonding can last for several years with proper care. Though it’s somewhat stain-resistant, the resin material used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel or dental crown.
Therefore, you need to be careful with what you eat and drink.
However, this process reshapes your healthy teeth, so many people don’t like it.
But, if you cannot afford braces and the gap is small, you can choose this option.
3. Dental veneers
Another fantastic way to close gaps between teeth is dental veneers. Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells that cover the front surface of your teeth.
Veneers are made of different materials, but the most common type is porcelain veneers.
Porcelain veneers are made of ceramic and look just like natural teeth. Veneers can fix many dental problems such as gapped teeth, chipped teeth, malformed teeth, abnormal-shaped teeth, and discolored teeth.
Veneers are bonded to your existing teeth with a special adhesive. They are not removable like Invisalign.
Dental veneers look natural and give you the smile you have always wanted.
The procedure of getting dental veneers is not painful, but it can be a bit uncomfortable. The process involves removing a small amount of tooth enamel from your existing teeth.
After that, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a laboratory. There, they will make the veneers according to the impression of your teeth.
It takes 1-2 weeks to get the veneers back from the laboratory. In the meantime, you have to wear temporary veneers.
When you get the permanent veneers back, the dentist will remove the temporary veneers and bond the permanent ones to your teeth.
You need to visit the dentist twice to get veneers.
Dental veneers can last for a long time but need special care. With proper care, they can last for 10-15 years.
But, veneers are irreversible and quite expensive. Therefore, you need to be very careful before choosing this method.
4. Dental crowns
If you have gaps in your teeth due to tooth decay, an injury, or any other reason, dental crowns can help close the gaps. Dental crowns are also called caps, and they fit over your existing teeth.
Crowns are made of different materials such as ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), all-resin, or all-metal.
Porcelain and ceramic crowns look like natural teeth and are the most popular type of crowns. But, they are not as strong as other types of crowns.
All-resin and all-metal crowns are less expensive but can discolor your gums over time.
PFM crowns are a bit more expensive than ceramic or all-resin crowns, but they look natural and last longer. Therefore, they are the best type of crowns.
The procedure of getting dental crowns requires two visits to the dentist.
On the first visit, the dentist removes the damaged tooth structure and takes an impression of your teeth. Then, he/she sends the impression to a laboratory where they make the crown according to that.
It takes 1-2 weeks to get the crown back from the laboratory. In the meantime, you have to wear a temporary crown.
When you get the permanent crown, the dentist removes the temporary one and bonds the new one to your teeth.
Dental crowns are not as expensive as veneers but are still quite costly. They can last for 10-15 years with proper care. But, they are irreversible like veneers.
Therefore, you need to be careful before choosing this method.
5. Dental implants
If you have a missing tooth gap due to an accident, injury, or extraction of a carious tooth, dental implants are the best option for you. Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed in your jawbone.
They act as artificial roots for your teeth and provide a strong foundation for dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.
The procedure of getting dental implants is a bit complicated and needs two visits to the dentist.
This is a popular method because you get a natural-looking and functioning tooth without touching other healthy teeth. They are also strong and durable.
The only downside of dental implants is that they are quite expensive. Therefore, you need to be careful before choosing this method.
If you have gaps in your teeth due to multiple missing teeth, dentures are the best option for you. Dentures are false teeth that are made of plastic or metal.
When you have severe tooth decay or gum disease, your dentist may recommend removing some of your teeth. In such a case, a dental prosthesis is a good choice to close the gaps left by the missing teeth.
If you are thinking about braces, I want to tell you that, braces aren’t even an option in these cases.
These dentures are removable and can be taken out at night. Dentures need to be replaced every 5-7 years.
Dentures are the most affordable option to close gaps in teeth. They are also the easiest to maintain.
However, they can be uncomfortable and require regular adjustments.
7. Dental bridges
When you have a missing tooth because of an injury or tooth extraction, you can also have a dental bridge to replace the missing tooth. But, the difference is it is required to reshape the healthy teeth near the gap.
8. At-home teeth straighteners
If you have mild gaps, you may fix them with at-home teeth straighteners such as byte aligners, SmileDirectClub, Alignerco, Candid, and others.
Byte aligners are another popular option to close gaps without wearing braces. It is one of the most widely used at-home tooth straighteners.
These aligners are similar to Invisalign. The only difference is you don’t have to visit a dentist to get these aligners.
You can contact the dentist over the phone and the dentist will give you instructions on how to take an impression of your teeth and order the aligners.
Treatment results are almost identical to those of Invisalign or braces.
If you have minor spacing between your teeth you can consult them and close your gaps easily.
To find out if you are a good candidate for Byte aligners, though, you can speak with them.
Smile direct club
Smiledirectclub has been providing at-home tooth straightening services for a very long time and it’s also very popular.
To close caps, these transparent aligners quickly move your teeth. However, severe cases might not be ideal for this.
Alignerco also gives you the ability to fix gaps at home without braces. You can fix the mild gaps with these clear aligners.
You can also take help from candid aligners to fix gaps in teeth. They send you aligners as well so you can close the gaps yourself without going to the dentist.
Which types of gaps can not be fixed without braces?
Let’s take a look at the types of gaps that cannot be fixed without braces.
Excessive generalized spacing
Generalized spacing can occasionally be so severe and related to other orthodontic issues. You might not have any choice but to wear braces in those circumstances.
Gaps with tooth misalignment
If you have gaps in teeth along with severely misaligned teeth, braces may become the only choice to solve the problems completely.
Gaps with skeletal problem
If the gaps in teeth are associated with skeletal problems, braces might be essential for that.
How to fix a gap in front teeth without braces?
If you have a gap in your front teeth, you may be wondering how to fix it without braces. The front teeth gap is commonly seen between upper incisors in the midline. This is called midline diastema.
There are a few options available to treat a gap in your front teeth. Treatment will depend on the severity of the diastema and the cause.
If the gap is due to a misaligned bite, your dentist may recommend braces to correct the problem.
But, if you don’t want to use the braces, you can have clear aligners such as Invisalign, byte aligners, or at-home tooth aligners.
If the gap is due to tooth loss, your dentist may recommend dental implants or a dental bridge to close the gap.
If the gap is due to gum disease, your dentist may recommend treatment to improve your oral health first. Once your oral health is improved, they may recommend braces or another type of treatment to close the gap.
If you have a small gap in your front teeth, you may be able to close it with cosmetic dental treatments. These treatments include:
Dental bonding is a procedure where your dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to your teeth and hardens it with a special light. This can help close small gaps in your teeth.
Porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. They can be used to improve the appearance of your teeth and close small gaps.
Invisalign is a type of clear aligner that is virtually invisible. It can be used to gradually straighten your teeth and close small gaps.
If you have a gap in your front teeth, talk to your dentist about the best treatment option for you.
However, if a child aged 9-10 years has a gap between front teeth, he/she won’t need any treatment. This is because it occurs during the eruption of upper permanent canines. The canines push the incisors when they erupt and cause gaps.
But, after they come to the occlusion, these gaps will be closed naturally. It’s called the ugly duckling stage. So, you don’t need braces or any other treatment for this spacing.
Should you close your tooth gap?
Whether you should close gaps between your teeth depends on esthetics, function, and your choice. If gaps cause problems while eating or speaking, you should need to close the gaps for proper function.
But, if it only affects your esthetic or facial appearance, you have to decide whether you want to close those gaps.
However, if it’s solely for esthetics, an orthodontist may advise you not to close those gaps, as it’s unnecessary and you will be fine with that.
How long does it take to close teeth gaps without braces?
Spaces between teeth can be closed by many methods. So, the duration to fix the gaps depends on the treatment protocol. If it requires crown build-up or implant, it will take one or two days.
But, if you need clear aligners such as Invisalign treatment then it will take 6 to 12 months depending on the severity of the case.
You can close gaps between teeth without braces as there are many options available today. Invisalign clear aligners or at-home tooth straighteners such as Byte, or smile direct club can help you fix those spacing effectively and give you a beautiful smile.
However, kids don’t need braces to fix the gaps, as most of those are self-corrected.