I just ran into this product on the Internet, finding it cited in Wikipedia. It’s called Teeth Perfect, and is promoted on a website, www.gapinmyteeth.com. It promises people that they can close their teeth gap (diastema) with this product.
The cost of this product is $29.95 for a package of elastic bands with brief instructions on how to use them. That’s a lot to pay for a package of elastics. But the risk of damage to your teeth is the greatest cost.
And there is also some deceptiveness that I found on the home page. At the right I have cut and pasted the photos they are using to promote this Teeth Perfect teeth gap treatment. The problem is that the before and after photographs are two different patients*. The teeth in the “after” photograph have a more rounded incisal edge than in the “before” photograph. There is a very translucent zone near the incisal edge in the “after” teeth. But most glaring is that the results of the tooth movement from the three bands you can see on the teeth would have included gaps between the lateral incisors and canines.
When you put bands like this on the teeth, it causes a tipping movement, not a sliding movement. So the correct “after” photograph would show tipped teeth, with the incisal edges of the teeth in a zig-zag configuration. Also, the gap is not eliminated, but only trades places. There would be new gaps created on the sides.
* Follow-up. In August, 2010, I received an e-mail from the owner of the gapinmyteeth.com website. She said that the photographs referenced above are actually of her, and while she said that therefore it is the same patient, she admitted that there was other dental work done on these teeth between the photographs. I was surprised that she would admit to this misrepresentation, but she did. Please see my posting on this subject: Gap in My Teeth Treatment.
Serious Damage from Elastic Bands Like Teeth Perfect
And while the website mentions the possibility of relapse and the gap returning after you use the bands, there is a serious lack in this section. First, relapse is mentioned only as a possibility. To quote the website: “In some cases, the gap may reappear.” A more accurate statement would be: “In most cases, the gap will reappear.” But their recommended remedy is also a problem in that it is the most dangerous part of the treatment, which is to reapply the bands. What this will do is cause repeated back-and-forth movement of these teeth, causing them to eventually loosen.
For further information, please read our page on Teeth Effects bands. This is a similar product. There is an accurate “after” picture on that page that shows the effect of the tipping forces. There is also a chilling story of Katy, who wore these bands for several years and her front teeth are now loose.
The Correct Way to Fix a Tooth Gap
Using braces to close your gap is one way. This can either be done with conventional braces or with Invisalign invisible braces. This is an effective technique, though the potential for relapse is high, as I mentioned above. Having an orthodontic retainer placed will keep the teeth from drifting apart again, but this can be annoying.
The method I prefer for closing a diastema is 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.