In this before and after, you are going to see how braces close gaps between teeth. The pictures below are from one of Dr.’s actual patients with spaces between her upper and lower teeth.

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There are 3 spaces between the upper teeth and 5 between the lower teeth. Gaps between teeth can leave gums unprotected during chewing. Spaces can also trap food and affect self-esteem. This is one of our actual patients.

Problems with spaces

Problems happen when teeth don’t line up just right.

The two most common problems caused by having spaces between teeth are a (1) lack of confidence when smiling and (2) loosening of the front teeth.

1. Gaps look like missing teeth

Gaps between teeth can make people self-conscious about smiling. The dark gaps can make a smile look like teeth are missing – even if all the teeth are present.

2. Dangers to the health of your gums

And there are health reasons for why gaps between teeth should be closed.

The most important reason to get spaces closed is to protect the health of the gums. You see, we are meant to chew with our teeth – not with our gums.

When there is a gap between teeth, that means that food can get smashed between teeth – smashed into the gums. Hard foods, like chips and pretzels can harm your soft gums. Over time, food that gets jammed between gap teeth and can force teeth even further apart.

Teeth can become loose because of the trauma, periodontal pockets and periodontal disease.

Closing spaces with braces

The best way to close spaces is often with braces. Other methods, like porcelain veneers and Invisalign may also be able to close spaces.

In as little as 6 months, braces patients can start to see their teeth come together – making the spaces between teeth disappear.

This particular patient from Hellertown visited our Bethlehem orthodontic office to get braces. Here is the typical sequence that we use to close gaps between teeth using braces (photos from our actual patient):


Gaps between teeth are closed with braces. Colorful elastic links (orange, green, and gray) connect to the braces and start to close the spaces together. These photos are of Dr.’s actual patient.

Braces bring teeth together with the help of elastic links (called elastic chain). In as little as 6 months, the spaces are closed and patient’s smile is already looking so much better.

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The smile comes together

When teeth meet together properly, the smile really comes together.

The teeth and gums are healthier after the spaces are closed. Functionally, the patient is much better off after braces than she was before with gaps between her teeth.

When braces bring teeth together, you can see that the gums are protected from having food jammed into them:


Braces successfully closed all the gaps between the teeth. Straight teeth are healthy and look great! This is an actual patient of Dr. (and the same patient as in the photos above)

In summary, gaps between teeth are unhealthy and braces can bring teeth together in as little as 6 months.