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Mind The Gap

It has been brought to my attention that a gap between the two front teeth can be attractive. Different cultures find this gap enticing. I’ve even observed a trendy display of models with gaps between their two front teeth in a recent issue of magazine. Let me remind everyone that gaps between baby teeth are normal and have purpose. Gaps between adult teeth are not. So, how am I to feel about this subject as an orthodontist?

I have had the opportunity to interview thousands of patients regarding the things about their smile that they want to change. Most often the complaint revolves around crowding or spacing. The gap between the two front teeth is common. So, let’s take this time to mind the gap. No one likes spacing throughout the entire mouth. However, people find that the special gap between the two front teeth gives them character, makes them unique, gives them that little extra edge. I have also been told that this gap between the two front teeth is something that connects this person with other family members. I have learned that certain cultures find this gap super attractive. This is interesting to me because historically and even today, most people associate negative human characteristics with this gap between the two front teeth.

The negative traits associated with the gap include being ignorant, goofy, or childish. Perhaps there is more negativity associated with the gap in American culture than others. Perhaps this negative association is more profound on males or female. this negativity may increase with the size of the gap. I haven’t performed a true study on the subject to answer those questions. But, I am obligated to study my art of making gorgeous, genuine smiles.

Studying beauty, as the ideal is ever changing, requires that I recognize beauty in all it’s different forms. Occasionally I will read Vogue or, watch old movies, or people watch, simply to observe various characteristics of The Smile. Right now, I do believe that some people have the ability to pull this off! The gap can work in favor for some people. But the vast majority of people, should simply close the gap to improve their smile.

But watch out! Even after the gap is closed with orthodontics, that pesky little rascal wants to return. So, wear your retainer and discuss options like a frenectomy and a fixed retainer to hold it tight. If you choose to rock your gap, be proud and keep on smiling. There is something about confidence and swagger that allows for almost anything.

Dr. Willis

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