Gap-Toothed And Gorgeous: The Latest Beauty Trend Rebuffs Braces

Beauty trends come and go, but one of the latest looks coveted on catwalks requires quite a commitment: diastema. Otherwise known as gapped teeth, it boggles the minds of those of us who endured years of braces; but a straight white bite is no longer a prerequisite-or even a preference-in the fashion world.

More and more aspiring models are opting out of orthodontia, having noticed the increasing amount of imperfectly pretty smiles on the runway. New faces like Lindsey Wixson and Ashley Smith, seen in shows and campaigns by the likes of Prada and Louis Vuitton, recall the look of Lauren Hutton, whose prominent space was embraced but hardly emulated by other models during her heydays of the '70s and '80s.

Just four years ago, Tyra Banks told America's Next Top Model contestant Danielle Evans to have the gap between her to front teeth narrowed. Her reluctant compliance may have contributed to ultimately winning that season's competition. However, during the most recent "cycle," Tyra sent contestant Chelsey Hersley to a cosmetic dentist to widen her gap by shaving a quarter of a millimeter off both maxillary central incisors.

High-fashion beauty fads are often too edgy for mainstream members of society, so we may not see average Janes rushing to book gap-expanding appointments until the ultimate trendsetter, Hollywood, convinces consumers it's young and sexy-and that may be exactly what's happening.

Oscar-winning actress and star of the popular HBO series True Blood Anna Paquin (above) may be surrounded by pointy vampire teeth, but her gapped teeth have been getting all the attention lately. The space in her smile hasn't stood in the way of her sex-symbol status, and many fans say it's part of her appeal.

The jury is still out on whether a gap-toothed grin is just a couture craze or if it has the allure and staying power to become a characteristic as widely accepted and desired as a straight smile. The opinions are as divided as the teeth in question.

What's your opinion? Did you keep your natural gap or did you have it closed? Would you ever purposely widen the space between your two front teeth? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Find Smile Makeover Doctors near you: