Do Gapped Teeth Get Closer Over Time?

“Gapped teeth” are fairly common. In fact, we see them often in children who still have their baby teeth. Children might have large gaps in between teeth and as adult teeth come in these gaps typically tend to close. However, gaps in adult teeth generally do not close over time. Commonly, adults may have a “diastema,” a gap, between the front two teeth and can be caused by soft tissue in this area (frenum) that may be too large and pulls on the teeth causing a gap. Seeing as gapped adult teeth generally do not close on their own, orthodontic treatment must be involved to help close these gaps!

In fact, Zac Efron had a diastema and closed his gap with Invisalign and now is smiling much more confidently since. Both traditional braces and Invisalign are capable of resolving gapped teeth and providing a straighter smile. With traditional braces, an orthodontist may introduce the idea of a “power chain” to help close gaps between the teeth. These are linked elastic ligatures that create a continuous band that chains the brackets together. How long the “power chain” stays on the braces will be different for everyone depending on the severity of the case. Additionally, even after the gap has closed an orthodontist may keep a power chain in place to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their original place, thus bringing a gap back into the mix.

On the other hand, Invisalign can close gaps but because there are no wires there is no power chain to do so. Instead, the Invisalign process uses a series of clear aligners to gradually shift the teeth closer together to close any open spaces or gaps. Buttons, small dots of clear composite may be added to the facial surface of the teeth to help the aligners attach better and grasp the teeth for such tooth movements. Our Libbie Mill, VA dentist friends at River Run Dental Spa have stated that a large number of new patients are asking about Invisalign and ways to improve their smile. While cost is always a deterrent, one cannot put a price on happiness.

Throughout much of 2022 we are hearing from friends and peers, such as Clearwater, Florida dermatologist Amy Ross, that young adults and teenagers are growing more concerned with their overall appearance. Much of this has to do with Instagram, TikTok and the proliferation of social media. Now, the younger generations want to look as “beautiful” as possible for pictures. While looking beautiful makes many feel better, there are more important health benefits to straight teeth.


If you are unhappy with gaps between your teeth and you are unsure of what there is you can do, those of us at Gladwell Orthodontics are here for you! At our office, we offer an initial consultation where an oral exam will be completed to see what treatment options are out there for you. At this visit, we welcome any and all questions that you may have regarding orthodontic treatment or about your smile in general. Please visit here to get started!