Teeth Gap Bands
There is a product advertised on the Internet by a company called Teeth Effects, that is promoted as a technique to close a gap in your front teeth. It deserves some comment here.
What they sell for $19.95 is a package of rubber bands and instructions. Besides being very expensive for rubber bands, there are significant risks that you need to be aware of, if you're contemplating using this product.
The chief problem with this technique is the lack of control over the tooth movement. The photos on the right are of a case treated with the "Teeth Effects" rubber bands. Notice how it appears that the front tooth on our left has been pulled out of the socket a little. This does not look like a healthy situation to me, and I believe that the long term lifespan of this tooth has been compromised here.
The movement that is produced by these rubber bands is a tipping movement. Rather than causing the teeth to slide together, keeping their same angle in your mouth, the teeth are caused to tip in toward each other. Additionally, new gaps may be created on the sides of these teeth.
Serious Damage from Teeth Effects Bands
But the most serious damage will come if you use these bands long term. Or if you happen to leave the rubber bands on your teeth and then forget they are there. Or, they can work their way under the gum to where you simply can't get them out. If they slip under the gums at night, it could happen that you won't see them in the morning and I am aware of cases where people left them on for a long period-either because they forgot them or they couldn't remove them. These bands will, over a period of time, gradually and painlessly work their way up the roots of the teeth until the teeth become loose and will actually fall out.
Read Katy's experience by clicking the following link. She wore the Teeth Effects bands for several years, and now her teeth are seriously loose and she may lose them.
See our Teeth Perfect page for commentary on a very similar product, also promoted on the Internet.
If your teeth are moved with braces, the movement will be controlled so that the inclination of the teeth isn't changed, which will give a more esthetic and healthy result.
Another faster way to close a gap is with direct tooth bonding. See photographs on our tooth bonding photos page and our tooth gap page, which shows several ways to treat a gap between the front teeth.