Gappy teeth

I love my kids’ gappy mouths. I love the way you can measure time through the changes in their teeth. I love how quickly they go from a double gap, to a bit of tooth showing, to a full tooth showing with a partial tooth next to it… Then those teeth are big and another gap or two appears. Each photo of their rapidly changing mouths is a moment in time. When they are changing quickly, it really captures them for just a week or two before they start to look different again.

I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to photograph and remember this unique time. Yet a while ago, a colleague, whose two daughters are exactly the same age as my younger two, said: ‘I haven’t got any recent photos of the girls because they’ve lost their teeth’. I didn’t get that at all. To me, my children are unique and beautiful with their gappy mouths. To her, they were ugly. She didn’t want any photos of them until they looked ‘normal’ again – proper fully grown teeth and no gaps. I suspect she had rather a long wait.

Currently my younger two, despite there being nearly two and a half years between them, are in exactly the same place. They have both lost eight teeth. They have four fully grown big teeth at the bottom, two fully grown teeth in the middle at the top, with gaps either side. The new teeth are starting to grow in the gaps.

My younger son knocked his top teeth out when he was nearly 6. His teeth were destined to come out late, so he had a really long time with a double gap at the top.

More than a year after he knocked his teeth out, the cheesy gap-toothed grin


Well over two years on, one of his teeth had grown back, but we were still waiting for the other one
My daughter lost her first tooth less than a month after her 5th birthday and wasted no time in catching her brother up in the tooth loss stakes. On her 6th birthday she had four teeth missing and, yes, she did look a bit strange. But I would never have chosen not to photograph her.
Her jigsaw of gaps on her 6th birthday
A couple of months on, and it’s changed subtly
Nearly matching in their school photo last autum

My eldest is spitting teeth out like there’s no tomorrow at the moment. He’d lost 10 teeth, then nothing for a couple of years until recently. The teeth don’t seem to wobble, but suddenly they just fall out in his hand and the new tooth is already growing. He’s lost SEVEN so far in 2013, including two in one day – one of which fell out in his sleep!

They’re molars of course, so he’s passed the gappy stage and just looks normal. It’s usual for kids to lose all their teeth by the time they’re 12, so he’s clearly playing catch-up at the moment as he heads for his 12th birthday.

What do you think about gappy smiles? Love them or hate them? Do you photograph them or do you want to wait until they’ve gone away?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I love gappy teeth too, I’ve recently been going through all our old photos and look back and smile and cringe all at once at some of them – a lot of them with gappy teeth! 🙂

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  2. I love gappy smiles 🙂 We would never have any pics of our children if we did not take pictures when they’ve lost a tooth, or have just had chicken pox, or have fallen on their face and grazed half of it, or dived on a radiator and cut their head, or cut their own hair,… The list is endless, isn’t it? I suppose this mum doesn’t photograph those either, how sad… She won’t have much of her children’s lives recorded!

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  3. I love gappy smiles! they are a milestone for all children! although the only down side is the cost of the tooth fairy!

    Thanks for linking up with #magicmoments

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  4. Not sure whether I love the idea of gappy smiles objectively, but in your own children they can only be adorable, surely?

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  5. I love that you documented these moments – I can’t think why on earth anyone wouldn’t want photos of their child with gappy smiles (bizarre!). I can’t wait to take lots of pics of Little D when he starts losing his baby teeth 🙂 x

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  6. I’m still waiting for a cute gappy mouth. My son has only lost one so far and he’s six! I’m hoping more will come out soon.

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  7. Growing up and getting teeth – just as nature intended. Nothing better than gappy grin 🙂

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  8. No no, how can that lady think they are ugly? So wrong.
    I love the gaps, well, I love every bit of them that is or isn’t there! But the gaps are sign of the passage of time. My son (7) has yet to loose any top teeth but has lost 4 from the bottom. So we have plenty of gappy photos xx

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  9. Aw, I’m all for it, though I don’t want it to happen too soon, once those adult teeth come in they are well on their way to tweendom and no longer being cuddly little children 😉

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  10. Thanks very much, everyone. It’s good to know everyone seems to love the gappy smiles. What’s not to love?
    Mother Goutte – you are so right, there is always something ‘imperfect’ about their appearance – and that’s what makes them unique and special and that’s what the memories are made of.
    Alfiesattice – my boys were late starters with losing their teeth – they’d both turned six and a half before losing them as nature intended.
    I know what you mean, Motherwifeme, which is why it was a shock when my daughter lost hers so early! Some of her friends have only lost one or two and she’s had eight out for ages!

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  11. How odd…my son would look beautiful to me with or without his baby teeth! It’s your child?! Love you photos, precious xx

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  12. I think it’s really sad that your colleague feels like that about her own children. Gappy grins are very cute.

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  13. Thanks very much, ladies 🙂 I think it’s very strange. Gappy grins are gorgeous!

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