For many people, crooked teeth seem unsightly and embarrassing.
But having crooked teeth and even gaps causes more harm than you might think. Periodontal disease and extra crowding are possible if gaps are not closed and teeth are not straightened.
Thankfully, Invisalign works to straighten teeth, but does Invisalign help with gaps? Can Invisalign close the gaps between your teeth and improve the appearance of your smile?
Let’s walk through tooth gaps, why they happen, and how Invisalign can help. Read on to learn more!
What Is Invisalign?
When people have crooked teeth, they might turn to traditional braces to help straighten teeth. These braces include metal brackets and wires that shift teeth over a few years.
Invisalign is different but it operates similarly. Invisalign straightens crooked teeth by using clear plastic aligners that you can remove for a small part of the day.
When you start Invisalign, your orthodontist will create a plan for your treatment. At each check-up, you will receive a new set of aligners that will continue to shift your teeth. These check-ups occur every few weeks.
Invisalign takes anywhere from 18-24 months to complete treatment depending on the case.
What Are Tooth Gaps?
Tooth gaps are spaces between each teeth and are medically known as diastema. The spaces can be minimal or large and happen for a variety of reasons such as:
- Natural causes, such as baby teeth not moving
- Overly large jaws
- Teeth that are missing
- Size of teeth
Besides the potential embarrassment, tooth gaps may cause problems if they’re not fixed. The largest problem would be crowding of other teeth. If the teeth that are causing the gap do not move, surrounding teeth may come in and cause crowding and pain.
There’s also the possibility of problems with the person’s jaw or bite. Tooth gaps may close on their own in younger children.
Does Invisalign Help With Gaps?
The good news is that gaps can be fixed with Invisalign. The long story is that it might be a little more complicated.
While gaps can be closed with Invisalign, it depends greatly on the severity of the gap.
Smaller gaps may only take a few months to close. Gaps that are significantly larger and causing more problems will take longer.
Each treatment will vary on a case-by-case basis. In more severe gaps, other treatments may be used alongside Invisalign, such as veneers or bonding. Your dentist will decide what will work best for your situation.
What Happens After Invisalign?
What happens after the gaps close and your Invisalign treatment is complete? Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and check that your treatment progressed according to the plan. This doesn’t mean, however, that your treatment is finished.
To ensure that your teeth stay in place and the gaps stay closed, you’ll likely be required to wear a retainer. This retainer keeps your teeth from shifting back. The timeframe of wearing the retainer will vary depending on your case.
Be sure to wear the retainer exactly how the orthodontist prescribed so you don’t undo all the work.
Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign does work to close the gaps between teeth, but there are other benefits as well. Here are a few to consider.
You can remove Invisalign aligners, meaning your teeth are likely to be healthier. With metal braces, food particles become lodged and could cause tooth decay. Invisalign is removable, meaning you can brush and floss normally leading to healthier teeth.
There are no foods that are off-limits with Invisalign. Nothing will become wedged or stuck because you take them out before eating or drinking.
Both adults and teenagers like Invisalign because of its discreetness. For some, the idea of braces is embarrassing or unprofessional. But because Invisalign is clear, it’s nearly unnoticeable.
Compared to metal braces, the cost of Invisalign is about the same, but it will vary depending on the individual.
Invisalign is comfortable to wear. Overall, there might be a period where it feels uncomfortable, but this usually happens when aligners are changed. After you break them in, they become more comfortable and familiar.
Bonus: Cleaning your aligners is easy! With toothpaste and warm water, they can look as good as new.
Typically, you’ll visit your dentist once every 6 weeks to change your aligners and check your progress. This saves time because with metal braces you could see your orthodontist as often as every 4 weeks.
How to Get Invisalign
Invisalign is usually only available through an orthodontist.
First, you’ll set up a consultation with your dentist to discuss you’re a good candidate for Invisalign.
If your orthodontist agrees that Invisalign will work to close your gaps and straighten your teeth, they’ll start your treatment by taking x-rays and making molds of your teeth.
Then they’ll create your aligners and walk you through what your treatment will be like. This includes caring for your aligners and general information about when and how to wear them.
It’s important to remember that some dental cases might be better suited for different treatments. While there have been great advancements in how Invisalign can help those with severe cases, there’s always a chance that other treatments will work better.
Invisalign for the Gaps
So, does Invisalign help with gaps?
Yes, but each situation will be different. All in all, Invisalign can help close your gaps and give you a brilliant and beautiful smile!
Do you want to learn more about Invisalign? Our team can help answer your questions. Contact us today and you’ll soon be on your way to a straighter smile.