A gap between teeth can be filled by the use of a series of clear retainers designed to move teeth or a removable retainer that uses rubber bands or springs to help push teeth. Retainers must remain in place until the bone around the teeth settles, explains Avon Lake Dental Office.
A gap between teeth is classified as a diastema and is most likely to occur between the front teeth. Additionally, gaps between teeth are normally caused by a mismatch of jaw structure and teeth size, according to Colgate. Another cause of teeth gaps is tongue pushing or thumb sucking. If an orthodontist examines the diastema and decides braces are the best course of treatment, the braces will most likely cover additional teeth not affected by a diastema. Once the teeth are moved back into place by the course of treatment, a splint placed at the back of the teeth or a retainer may be required to keep the teeth from moving back.
Retainers may have to be used anywhere from six months to a few years, states Avon Lake Dental Office. An orthodontist schedules checkups to determine the length or continuation of retainer use. Failure to follow an orthodontist's direction for care may result in teeth migration and the gap reappearing.