Most parents become concerned when they notice gap teeth between their child’s infant teeth. Rest assured that having gaps between the infant’s teeth is normal and part of your child’s development. Most gaps between developing teeth in the upper jaw close on their own by the age of 11. Those gaps are caused by several circumstances. A band (called a frenum) between the front teeth when they first appear about 6 to 9 months. As children grow, the disparities between them narrow and eventually disappear. Baby teeth are significantly smaller than adult teeth, which will ultimately replace them. Having gaps ensures that there is enough space for adult teeth to emerge. When adult teeth appear, you will notice a difference in the sizes of baby and adult teeth. Around the age of 6-7, adult teeth replace baby teeth in the front.
To state the obvious, because infant’s teeth are smaller and fewer in number than adult teeth (adults should have 32, including wisdom teeth), gaps between them are common. This occasionally leaves parents wondering if their baby’s tooth gaps indicate anything and if their gap-toothed infants will grow into teenagers and adults. Though visiting a dentist is the most excellent approach to protecting your child’s teeth’s health and welfare, keep reading to discover more about the spaces between your baby’s teeth and what they truly imply.
Causes of Gap Teeth in Babies and Children
The fraenum is a fold of skin inside the upper lip that connects the top lip to the upper gum. A fraenum that sits low and keeps the two top front teeth apart is the most prevalent cause of gapped front teeth. Other possible reasons for gapped front teeth include the following:
- Natural development – Baby teeth frequently have gaps between them, allowing more prominent adult teeth to emerge. Adult teeth typically have gaps between them when they initially appear, but the coming of more adult teeth, particularly canine teeth, often helps to close any gap teeth.
- Missing teeth – Many children are born with one or two missing teeth (either baby or adult) in their jawbones, leaving a gap. These teeth might become lodged in the bone and fail to emerge, leaving a void.
- Extra teeth – Extra teeth in the bone might prevent other teeth from growing, leaving your child with gap teeth.
- Small teeth – Some toddlers and adults have little teeth that allow for gaps.
- Jaws that are relatively large in comparison to the size of the teeth
- If there’s variation in the size or form of the child’s jaws and the arrangement of teeth. The teeth and jaws do not fit together correctly.
- The lingual fraenum is the fraenum that connects the tongue to the bottom part of the mouth in severe tongue-tie (a disorder caused by a restrictive fraenum that prevents the language from protruding out over the lips). This fraenum may cause a gap in the lower jaw’s front teeth.
Gaps between developing teeth are pretty standard. In most cases, these gaps will close independently with time and improvement. When the infant’s teeth emerge (usually between six and nine months), the front teeth may have a gap, and the fraenum may be linked to the gum. By the time children hit the age of one, the fraenum may have shrunk, and new teeth may have emerged, closing any gaps. Gaps between adult front teeth frequently resolve independently when more adult teeth appear.
Gap Teeth in Babies – the Basics
The presence of gap teeth between baby teeth is highly typical. In most situations, these gaps will gradually shrink over time and with continued improvement. When the infant teeth first appear (typically between the ages of six and nine), the front teeth may have a gap, and the fraenum may be attached low to the gum. The fraenum may have reduced by the time the child reaches age one, and new teeth may have grown, sealing any gaps. Gaps between adult front teeth usually close on their own as more adult teeth appear. They let the permanent adult teeth grow in, which is advantageous since it means the permanent adult teeth will be less crowded, reducing the need for pricey braces. Even yet, some children grow up with apparent gaps between their adult teeth, although this is uncommon. But let us return to the infant’s teeth. With all this room between the teeth, many parents may believe they can skip flossing and merely brush. However, dentists recommend flossing as early as possible, particularly between the rear molars. If you’re wondering if these gaps are known as primate spaces, the short answer is no. Primate gaps are found between the baby eye teeth (also known as canines because they resemble fangs) and the first baby molar (also known as the one-year molar) behind it, and they usually go unnoticed.
Timeline for Babies Teeth (Gap Teeth)
- 6 to 8 months old: The lower front teeth (incisors) usually arrive around 6 months, followed by the top two a few months later.
- 9 months old: The teeth that surround the front teeth, known as lateral incisors, emerge as a kid approaches their first birthday.
- 13 months: The first molar comes soon after the first birthday cake.
- 16 months old: Sharp pointy eye teeth are one sign that it’s time to serve your kid some food that requires good chewing.
- Two years old: The second set of molars appears.
- At the age of six, a child’s first adult teeth emerge.
What to Keep an Eye on With Gap Teeth
Baby teeth typically have gaps of 2 mm or less. If there are gaps between an infant’s teeth that are more than 2 mm, it is usually a sign of another condition that needs to be evaluated by your orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontics suggests starting orthodontic treatment as early as seven. During an appointment, your child’s doctor will thoroughly examine your teeth and take X-rays to assess whether early intervention is required. Sometimes no intervention is needed, and the dentist will continue to see you and your kid regularly to ensure that all teeth are erupting properly.
Treatment Options for Gap Teeth
Gap teeth: When it comes to identifying the best type of treatment for your child, timing is essential, so the sooner your child can see an orthodontist, the better. Find the optimal age to start orthodontic treatment if you’re unsure when your child should see an orthodontist. When it comes to fixing gap teeth, there are a few possibilities. Braces are the most commonly used method for closing wide gaps between teeth and can also address other concerns, such as teeth straightening and bite correction. Metal braces fill gaps in the mouth by repositioning diastema teeth after the adult teeth have emerged.
As previously said, it is feasible to close a gap between teeth without the use of braces. For mild to severe cracks, Invisalign may be an option to investigate. The clear, removable, custom-made aligners gradually rearrange teeth to the ultimate desirable position for a healthy smile. In moderate cases, removable gadgets such as retainers can progressively reduce gaps between your child’s teeth depending on the amount of the teeth gap. The disadvantage of retainers is that they only work if worn according to your orthodontist’s instructions. Retainers are a fantastic choice for correcting a gap between the teeth without braces when used and cleaned regularly.
Unfortunately, not every diastema may be avoided. One example is when a child’s jaw size and teeth do not match or if they have a missing tooth. Diastema can be avoided by breaking the habit of thrusting the tongue. You can train your child’s swallow reflex by pressing their language on their palate. Periodontal disease can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly.
Wider Smiles – Gap Teeth
If you find gap teeth in your child’s permanent teeth, it is best to address them as soon as possible. Ascertain that they are aware of proper dental and tooth care practices. You can help your child prevent future dental problems by fixing gap teeth early.