Gaps In Teeth After Braces: Is It Normal, How To Fix It

You expect a beautiful smile with beautiful teeth from orthodontic treatment. But what happens when you see your teeth aren’t perfect? What to do if you have gaps in teeth after braces?

If you have small gaps between teeth after braces, the orthodontist may use an active retainer to fix it. However, if the gaps are large or in between many teeth, you may need braces or clear aligners to close all the spaces.

But, you may wonder, why did my braces give me a gap?

You may get gaps in between teeth months or years after braces come off because of not wearing the retainer regularly, or incomplete orthodontic treatment. It may also occur when you get braces treatment even if it wasn’t indicated for your case.

Let’s know in detail about the causes of having gaps in teeth after braces and how to fix them.

Site of gaps in teeth after braces removed

Gaps In Teeth After Braces Treatment

Let’s take a look at the sites of teeth where you have gaps after getting off braces:

1. The gap persists after tooth extraction for braces

Braces treatment is required to create gaps to move teeth in certain detection. This is necessary to correct the bite and align the tooth.

Suppose there are seven cars in your garage. They are messy. You want to decorate them. However, there is not enough space in the garage. What do you do then?

You have to exclude a car. Only then you can arrange other cars nicely. The same thing happens during orthodontic treatment.

In most cases, your tooth is misaligned because of a lack of space in the jaw. So, it’s necessary to remove two or more teeth for perfect alignment.

Usually, after the end of braces treatment, all gaps get closed. If there are still a few gaps in teeth, a retainer can fix them.

Rarely, a mild gap may persist after the removal of braces due to incomplete treatment.

Sometimes, a mild gap may not be corrected for other factors like closing the gap may cause other teeth to become misaligned. However, it can be corrected later.

Check my other article and when braces can close gaps and compare it with your case.

2. Space that wasn’t present before treatment

You may be shocked when you see there are gaps between teeth after getting braces that weren’t present before treatment.

Moreover, you may wonder more when you don’t have any tooth extracted for treatment and say, “My braces are giving me a gap in my front teeth.”

You may develop gaps between teeth during orthodontic treatment to realign teeth properly and make them straight. The gap will continue to close as you move towards the end of treatment.

When your orthodontist will remove the braces, you will find no gaps. So, you don’t have to get worried. An orthodontist does that to give you the best look and fulfill your expectations.

However, rarely, you may have mild gaps that you can fix later.

3. Gaps persist even after gap correction treatment

We, orthodontists, call it generalized spacing when there are gaps between almost all teeth. In this case, people visit an orthodontist to close the gaps between teeth.

It can be corrected completely using braces. It’s strange if you have gaps even after braces treatment. This isn’t supposed to happen.

If you still have the problem after the removal of braces, it’s due to not wearing a retainer properly after braces removal.

Teeth have a tendency to return to their previous position even after braces treatment. So, we have to use a retainer to prevent this from happening.

When you fail to maintain the retainer, you end up reopening the space.

4. Gap in teeth years after braces

You may have gaps between teeth a few years after getting braces off because of the relapse tendency of certain cases like a rotated tooth or severe cases in which braces aren’t recommended like a skeletal malocclusion or not wearing a retainer for a required duration after removal of braces.

Relapse or returning of the same problem is part of orthodontic treatment. In severe cases, this may happen sometimes, but not very common.

5. A gap between front teeth after braces

It might be a bad experience if you have space between front teeth after the removal of braces. You look bad with that. So, you must ask, “Why is a gap forming in my front teeth after braces?”

It may happen when you have spacing between front teeth before or during the treatment and you don’t wear retainer braces routinely. Besides, if you had an abnormal labial frenum, you would have more chance of this spacing.

This is the case when you have spaced front teeth because of thick and extended gum tissue between the teeth.

Your orthodontist may cut the tissue to close the space. If it’s not cut, space becomes reopen even after treatment. Normally, a licensed orthodontist cut it during the braces treatment.

So, there is less chance of having the issue. However, you may have to face the situation like a mild reopening of the space sometimes.

6. A gap in back teeth or between molars after braces

After removal of the braces, a gap may persist in the between back teeth or behind the last molar tooth.

This may happen in the case of the extraction of the wisdom teeth for Orthodontic treatment. Sometimes, it may happen as a result of premolar or molar teeth extraction.

You should become worried about that until it causes any functional problems like chewing problems or food getting stuck into the gap. It doesn’t cause any esthetic problem.

7. Dark triangle gaps in gums after braces

Sometimes after getting straightening of crooked teeth, you may notice that you have dark triangle gaps between teeth near the gum line.

We may think that your orthodontic is responsible for that. But, the reality is completely different.

In many people, the triangle gaps are also present even though they have straightened teeth. This can be a result of the shape of the teeth, gum disease, or the recession of gums with age.

But, you may ask, you don’t have the problem before the braces treatment. Why does this happen after treatment?

When your teeth are overlapped, the gaps weren’t exposed. After getting them straightened, the triangle gaps become visible.

So, it’s not the fault of your orthodontist. However, you can get rid of the situation. You can get a veneer or composite filling to close the gaps.

Also, check out causes why you look weird after braces.

Why do you get a gap on teeth after braces removal?

Here are the possible causes of the gap in teeth after braces.

1. Not wearing a retainer after braces regularly

Getting braces off doesn’t mean orthodontic treatment is ended. Braces correct your bite and align your teeth properly.

But, after the removal of braces, if we don’t hold them in a new position for a certain period, it will get back to their previous position over time.

So, you need to wear a retainer. You may need to wear it for one to two years routinely. If you fail to do that properly, you will have problems such as reopening the gaps in your teeth.

2. Stop wearing retainer early before the estimated time

Sometimes braces wearer think, if they don’t wear a retainer, nothing will happen. So, they stop wearing it earlier than the recommended time by your orthodontist.

In this case, you will have a gap between teeth after months or years.

3. Wearing removable retainer where the fixed retainer is mandatory

People don’t like to take fixed retainers as they don’t want to keep something in their mouths as they had to do with braces.

And, a fixed retainer is just like the braces that can’t be removed by the wearer. Braces treatment requires a lot of time and they get tired of it and so, they don’t prefer the removable retainer.

But, in some cases, a fixed retainer is better than the removal one. So, you may get the gaps back if you don’t wear fixed variety in those cases.

4. Too much tooth extraction gap

In some rare cases, some space may persist after braces removal when a big sized tooth is extracted. This happens especially in the case of a back tooth.

5. Getting braces off early

It’s a simple cause. If you get braces off early before the end of treatment according to the plan, gaps will persist.

6. Skeletal cases

Skeletal malocclusion is a condition when you have misaligned, protruded, or retruded teeth because of jaw bone problems. Most skeletal cases need surgical treatment along with to without braces.

But, many people don’t want surgical treatment. So, they may take help from braces. If you have this type of problem, gaps may come back or teeth may get back to their previous position years after braces.

How to fix teeth gaps after braces?

Here are some ways to close the teeth gap after braces:

Closing gaps between teeth with braces

Though you may not like this option, you may need to wear braces again in some cases to fix the gap after braces.

The orthodontist uses various components such as power chains or springs to close the spaces.

Wearing braces twice isn’t so funny at all. But, this can happen when you have already got braces treatment years ago due to severe spacing, crooked or misaligned teeth.

Reasons may be a relapse due to severity. Mostly, it happens as a result of not wearing a retainer regularly after getting braces off.

But, you don’t need to worry, because if your present condition isn’t so severe, you don’t need braces.

Closing gaps between teeth without braces

When you have gaps after braces are off, you can get one of the following options, as the condition is mild in most cases.

1. Invisalign

You can consider this option if your space can’t be closed easily. Invisalign is one of the best alternatives to braces. You don’t need to get it fixed on your teeth like braces. It’s removable, which means you can remove it on your own.

But, to get better results keep it in your mouth as your orthodontist suggests. It’s transparent, so you don’t need to think about your appearance.

Know when you can get the Invisalign for the gaps.

2. Byte aligner

If you have small gaps in teeth after braces and you need to correct that you can get byte aligners, that’s one of the best and most affordable at-home straighteners. It will take only a few months to fix the gaps. You can get this treatment from your home and from a licensed dentist.

3. Smile direct club

You can also have clear aligners from smile direct club which is also a great at-home straightener.

4. An active retainer

If you have very small gaps between teeth after braces removal, a retainer may fix that problem. But, to do the work, you need an active retainer, which means, your orthodontist makes it in such a way that it put pressure on teeth.

It’s not the same as the retainer that holds the teeth after braces treatment. But, this process may take a long time.

5. Veneer or composite build-up

When you have gaps between front teeth after braces, you may consider having a veneer crown or composite filling. In this process, you can close minor gaps like triangle gaps between teeth. You can also get teeth build-up with composite.

All of these processes are used to reshape and rebuild your crown.

6. Just leave it

You don’t need anything if it doesn’t cause any problem in the future and you are ok with your look. Ask your orthodontist whether or not you can leave it as it is or not.

If yes, you can leave it because you may not want to go for any long procedure.

Check out my other article to know how to close teeth gaps without braces.

Why do I still have a gap after braces?

In some circumstances, the braces wearer asks this question, “I’m getting my braces off but I still have gaps after braces. What do I need to do now?”

Nothing to worry about. You can fix the gap left after removing the braces. In most cases, your orthodontist will manage the situation on his own.

You may get power chains near the end of treatment to close the remaining gaps.

You may not need to wear braces again if you have mild space between two or more teeth.

However, if it happens a long time after getting braces off, you might need to wear braces again.

Can gaps come back after braces?

It’s normal to get back the gaps after braces, as teeth have a tendency to get back to their original position.

Besides, when the spacing is severe, gaps may come back years after braces treatment. But, you can close the gaps again, if you visit the orthodontist early.

You may not need braces if the problem isn’t so serious. You may get a retainer or Invisalign to fix the problems.

Do retainers close gaps after braces?

The retainer can close gaps after braces if it’s too small. However, braces fix all the gaps before the end of the orthodontic treatment.

When you get a retainer after braces treatment, you may expect the closure of minor gaps, if any spacing is left.

To do that, you need a special retainer that can put pressure on closing the gaps. Your orthodontist will give it if you need it.

But, if not, you can consider other better treatment options to fix it. Consult with your orthodontist for that.


Usually, you don’t have gaps in teeth immediately after getting braces off, though you may have them before and during the orthodontic treatment.

However, you may develop gaps in teeth years after braces due to the relapse tendency of teeth.

Whatever the cause is the gaps can be fixed completely, as modern orthodontics offers you a lot of options.

Gaps in teeth after braces can be fixed by retainers, clear aligners, or dental veneers. However, in severe cases, you might need to wear braces again.

About The Author