That Gaping Grin: Ways to Correct the Spaces Between Your Teeth

Some people think your smile is cute, but you’re not buying it. There’s a gap in your teeth and it bothers you. Unfortunately, when you were growing up, your teeth didn’t grow in properly, and there’s a misalignment issue. Now that you’re an adult, what can you do about it? Thankfully, teeth alignment problems can be fixed at any age. You just need to see the right dentist.

Odd Habits

Some children suck their thumb beyond the age of 2. This is usually seen as normal, and a carry over from the pacifier. While it’s “normal” in the sense that a lot of kids do this, it’s not healthy from a dental perspective. Thumb or finger sucking might have caused your tooth spacing.

Another odd habit that sometimes develops in early childhood is incorrect swallowing. Normally, the swallowing reflex triggers the tongue to press up against the roof of the mouth. However, some people develop improper patterns by pushing the tongue forward – called “tongue thrust.” This causes frequent forward pressure on the teeth and can lead to spacing issues.


Sometimes, disease is the cause, even if only indirectly. If you’ve ever had any fillings done as a child, any other dentistry work that involved the pulling of a tooth, or any gum disease that went unchecked for a length of time, you might be suffering the effects.

Gum disease, especially, can cause teeth to shift. How? When bacteria work their way into the pockets between the gum and the tooth, they cause a separation of the tooth from the gum via calcification.
This causes the teeth to become loose. When this happens, teeth can more easily shift in the mouth – especially when you’re young and still developing.


If you’ve ever chipped your tooth, or knocked one out, you might have unknowingly set yourself up for improper spacing in the mouth. When you lose a tooth, the dentist is supposed to put in a spacer for you. However, not all dentists are created equal and this treatment option may have been overlooked.

As your teeth grew in, they moved around and filled in the space from the missing tooth. This is especially common with primary teeth, then teeth often fall out naturally or are knocked out accidentally.

Children fail to tell their parents until a week has gone by and before you know it, it’s several months before the kid is in the dentist’s chair. Some parents don’t have the financial means to pay for spacers and corrective devices when needed, which also leads to spaing problems since the gap is left unfilled until the adult teeth grow in.


Some cosmetic dentistry in Manhattan are able to fix even serious misalignment issues after the fact. A gap that’s been in your teeth since childhood will take a while to fix, but it’s generally possible with braces, banding, bonding, and veneers. If the problem is hereditary, it can still be fixed. If you have excessive gum tissue between the teeth, your dentist can remove it and then start the alignment process. It’s not painful, and you’ll get the smile you’ve always wanted.