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The beauty of diastema

05 March 2015, 12:51

A diastema is an area of extra space between two or more teeth. The two front teeth of the upper jaw area is where diastema is most frequently seen. Many children experience diastema as primary teeth, though in most cases these spaces close when the permanent teeth erupt. Diastemas may also be caused by a tooth size discrepancy, missing teeth or an oversized labial frenum, the tissue that extends from the inside of the lip to the gum tissue where the upper two front teeth are located. Secondary reasons involve oral alignment issues such as an overjet or protrusion of the teeth.

Some world’s most well-known celebrities have decided to keep their Diastema. These people certainly have enough money to get their gapped teeth closed, so why have they chosen to retain the space between their teeth? It might be because of the way a gap toothed smile which is unique and a bit peculiar and more memorable than a smile featuring perfectly spaced, pearly white teeth. But there might be more to it than that. They include people like Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, Ronaldo, Don Jazzy and Wiz Kid. There are also politicians such as Condoleezza rice, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Mohammadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and even high-fashion models including Lauren Hutton and Lara stone, Calvin Klein’s high profile model. A diastema, gapped teeth or open teeth as we often refer to it is a distinctive space or gap between two teeth.

It appears most often between the two upper front teeth (incisors). However gaps can occur between any two teeth. Diastema is a fairly common condition in both children and adults. Different people have different perception about this condition, some people feel comfortable with theirs while others find them unappealing and wish to have them changed or closed. Even the wall street journal has detected a strong increase in the popularity of gap teeth. This trend, which has been occurring since early 2009, has resulted in gap teeth being called one of “the most coveted attributes” a model could have. what is behind the recent rise in the popularity of gap teeth among people? Is a question many people will like to find answers to. Most theories believes that “authenticity” in today’s world of digitally enhanced photographs intended to create visual perfection, retaining a gap between the teeth is perceived as being “authentic” A dentist will be able to identify the cause of the space.

In some cases, the cause might be an orthodontic issue and you or your child might be sent to an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in using braces to correct certain problems with the teeth. Besides, not all spaces can be corrected for instance, if the gap was caused by a missing tooth or a mismatch between the permanent teeth and the jaw size, the space can be expected to remain throughout one's life time. Similarly, the condition is very common in children at the early stages of dental development. About 50% of children between the ages of 6 and 8 have gapped teeth, but in most children the gap closes naturally after the eruption of the permanent teeth. If the gap remains after the permanent incisors and canine teeth have erupted, it is possible that the gap will not close on its own.

In a place like Nigeria, people with diastema are occasionally regarded as being attractive and a sign of fertility mostly among the western regions and some people have even had them created through cosmetic dentistry. In France they are called “dents du Bonheur” (“lucky teeth”) and in Australia, gapped front teeth in children are said to be a predictor of future wealth. There are number factors that can lead to diastema which include habits. Habits can lead to gaps between teeth. Thumb sucking for instance tends to pull the front teeth forward, creating gaps.

Spaces can develop from an incorrect swallowing reflex. For most people, the tongue presses against the roof of the mouth (palate) during swallowing, Some people develop a different reflex known as a tongue thrust. When they swallow, the tongue presses against the front teeth forward. This can cause spaces to develop. Also, biting the lower lip may cause the front teeth to drift apart creating a diastema. Everyone has some type of imperfection unless they have successfully corrected or covered it up, so finding the imperfect to be attractive is a way to demonstrate an attraction to the authentic.

In today’s world, young generations are increasingly drawn to authenticity, originality and the imperfect because they represent such a contrast to artificial enhancements made during the quest for perfection. Some people take the trend to ask their orthodontist to insert a bracket between their teeth to open up an artificial gap. That might be taking things too far, but there is very little doubt that gap teeth have become a strong fashion statement and the world’s current favorite facial flaw.

Many people with diastema feel very comfortable with it and do not look for a way to correct it. Some of them believe that it makes them look sexy. Even some famous people have not treated their gapped teeth considering it as part of their personality. Some people with diastema have them corrected while others choose to keep it.

Diastema is whatever you take it to be. One thing for sure is that diastema is unique and add undeniably fabulous to our faces. ABATCHA BABAGANA Part Four Student of Mass communication University of Maiduguri.

- MyNews24

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