Help: My Child Has Gaps Between Their Teeth!


It’s very common for children to have gaps between their teeth. But is this condition okay, or should you be concerned if it occurs in your child?  

Your Child’s Baby Teeth

The first set of teeth that your child develops is their primary, or baby teeth.  These teeth eventually fall out and are replaced with permanent ones. 

Though baby teeth are only temporary and having spaces between them may not be as grave of a concern as if they were permanent teeth, there are pros and cons to having gaps between them. 

Pros To Having A Gapped Smile in Kids

Primary teeth are space holders for the permanent teeth that will come in.  Having spaces is a good thing because this means there is plenty of room for your child’s permanent teeth to come in without being crowded. In a typical case, the chances of your child needing braces are minimal.

The Negative Effects of Gapped Teeth

It goes without saying that baby teeth help your child chew food and speak properly. Lacking teeth, or having ones that are spaced too far apart makes it difficult to break down food or correctly pronounce certain words.

If your child has excessive gaps between their teeth, it could mean that they’re missing some permanent teeth or they lost a baby tooth too early. Having large gaps for an extended period of time can be an issue because it can cause other teeth to shift, compromising the amount of room that permanent teeth have to grow into, resulting in misalignment and growth concerns. Braces or orthodontic appliances are usually necessary.

Gapped Teeth Caused By A Thick Frenum

A frenum, also known as the frenulum, is the strong piece of tissue that connects the gums between your two front teeth to the inside of the upper lip. If you run your tongue along the base of your gum 一 behind your lip 一 you can feel your frenum.  If you pull your lip out and look behind it you can see your stretched frenum. There is also a frenulum on the lower arch, in the same location as the top, as well as one on each side of the mouth.

This connective tissue is thought to help position your baby’s teeth. When the frenulum is oversized or too tight, it can cause a gap between the two front teeth. In some cases, your child will need a procedure to reduce the tension of the frenum which should fix or prevent future issues.

How To Know If Your Child’s Smile Is Normal?

Early dental checkups allow our Waco dentist to keep an eye on your child’s development. It’s best to bring your child in for an exam by their first birthday or whenever their first tooth erupts. 

Dr. Susan Francis and the excellent team of Bellmead Kid's Dentistry are experts in baby teeth. We look forward to establishing a lifelong relationship with you and your child.  Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.