MAD Magazine built a national brand by featuring a mischievous tween they called Alfred E. Neuman on every cover. His signature look was a pencil-sized gap between his front teeth…
But no one leaves my practice looking like a comic book!
It’s my view as a specialist in orthodontics that teeth function better and look more attractive when they are in contact. Here’s why:
- Function: without a gap in the front teeth, eating is easier. Food can get stuck in the space (technically known as a diastema) and cause gum problems.
- Attractiveness: my opinion is that a finished smile contributes to the perception of intelligence, confidence and employability.
People often ask me why I can’t just “squeeze” the front teeth closer together and leave the rest alone. If we were to squeeze two teeth together, then gaps would open up on the other sides. Therefore, to correct spacing, it usually takes braces on most or all the upper teeth for 18 to 24 months.