How To Reduce Gap Between Teeth Naturally At Home?
A gap between your teeth, medically known as diastema, is a common dental condition that can arise due to genetic predisposition, gum disease, improper oral hygiene, or habits like thumb sucking. While some may see this gap as a unique personality trait, others may seek ways to minimize or eliminate it for aesthetic reasons or to improve dental health. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to reduce gap between teeth naturally at home. Please bear in mind that these methods may not work for everyone, and in some cases, a visit to the dentist may be required.
- Why Does Diastema Occur?
- Techniques to Reduce Diastema at Home
- What Next If These Techniques Don't Work?
- Wrapping Up
1 Why Does Diastema Occur?
Before we delve into the techniques to reduce diastema, it’s important to understand its causes. Diastema can be caused due to factors like:
- Size and alignment of your teeth and jawbone: Discrepancies between the sizes of your teeth and your jawbone can result in extra space, leading to gaps.
- Overgrowth of gum tissue: This could push the adjacent teeth apart, resulting in a gap.
- Oral habits or behaviours: Habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, or the incorrect swallowing reflex can push the teeth outward, causing a gap.
- Missing or undersized teeth: This is often seen with the upper lateral incisors, the teeth next to the two upper front teeth.
2 Techniques to Reduce Diastema at Home
While professional orthodontic treatment is the most effective way to close larger gaps permanently, certain minor cases of diastema can be managed with natural remedies and changes in oral habits at home. Let’s explore them:
Proper Dental Hygiene
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential to prevent gum disease, which can cause or exacerbate diastema. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush. Use dental floss to clean the areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Consider using an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and maintain oral health.
Limit Harmful Habits
Certain habits contribute to diastema. These include:
Thumb sucking: This habit, especially in children, can put pressure on the front teeth, causing them to move apart. Encourage children to stop this habit as early as possible.
Tongue thrusting: This is when the tongue pushes against the front teeth during swallowing or speaking. Speech therapy might help correct this habit.
Using teeth as tools: Using your teeth to open bottles or packages can damage them and lead to gaps.
Diet and Nutrition
Eating a balanced diet is essential for good oral health. A diet rich in calcium and phosphorus can help strengthen your teeth and bones. Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar as they can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
While not entirely “natural,” some orthodontic devices can be used at home to help reduce minor gaps:
Teeth Gap Bands: These are small elastic bands that you place around your teeth overnight to gently move them closer together. However, these bands can have side effects like tooth mobility and gum recession if not used correctly.
Clear aligners: These are transparent, plastic moulds of your teeth that you can wear without anyone noticing. They gradually shift your teeth to the desired position. They’re customised and require a dentist’s prescription.
Myofunctional therapy involves exercises to correct the tongue’s positioning and movement patterns, which may help address diastema resulting from tongue thrusting.
Recently, the use of clear aligners has become a popular way to fix gaps in teeth. These custom-made plastic trays are worn over your teeth and apply pressure to bring them closer together. You can get a prescription for these from your dentist and use them at home.
3 What Next If These Techniques Don't Work?
If these techniques don’t work, it might be time to consult a dental professional. Here are some professional treatments for diastema:
This is a cost-effective treatment where a dentist applies a tooth-coloured resin to your teeth to fill the gap. The resin is hardened using a special light and can last up to 10 years with proper care.
Veneers are custom-made shells designed to cover the front surface of your teeth. They’re made from porcelain or resin-composite materials and can last longer than dental bonding.
For larger gaps, orthodontics (braces or clear aligners) may be required. These devices apply pressure to your teeth over time, slowly moving them into proper alignment.
Dental Implants or Bridges
If the gap is due to missing teeth, a dental implant or bridge may be recommended. Implants replace the root of the missing tooth, and a crown is placed on top. Bridges, on the other hand, are false teeth that are held in place by the surrounding teeth.
If an overgrown piece of gum is causing the gap, you may need minor surgery to remove it.
4 Wrapping Up
While minor gaps between teeth can sometimes be addressed at home with good oral hygiene habits, proper nutrition, and the use of some orthodontic appliances, larger gaps or gaps caused by more complex issues will likely require professional dental treatment. It’s important to remember that the gap between your teeth, in most cases, is not a health concern but rather an aesthetic one. However, if your diastema is affecting your confidence or causing dental issues, it’s time to consider your options.
A smile is a beautiful thing, and you should feel comfortable sharing it with the world. Whether you decide to embrace your unique smile or seek ways to reduce the gap between your teeth, remember to do what makes you feel most confident and healthy. The first step is always to maintain good oral health. After all, a healthy smile is the most beautiful smile!
Please remember that all advice given in this blog is general in nature and may not suit everyone’s individual circumstances. Always consult with your dentist or oral health care provider for personalised advice.
Disclaimer: This blog is meant for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.
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