Want to get a smile like David Letterman, Madonna, or Michael Strahan? Get your tongue pierced (choose one of those dumbell-shaped studs) and then "play" with it every day. "Playing" involves habitually pushing the stud against and between the upper centrals. Do it long enough, and you'll have a celebrity-style diastema.
This phenomenon is all over the health newswires because a University at Buffalo NY Dental School study was just published in the latest issue of The Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. (At posting time, the online verstion of the article is not yet available.) UB issued a consumer press release as well.
A survey study of Buffalo high school students revealed that the presence of a barbell implant/stud caused a damaging habit whereby a great majority of the subjects pushed the metal stud up against and between their upper front teeth. The actual study involved a 26- year-old female patient examined at UB's orthodontic clinic who complained that a large space had developed between her upper centrals. Her tongue was pierced seven years earlier and every day for seven years she had pushed the stud between her upper front teeth, creating the space between them and, subsequently, habitually placing it in the space. The patient did not have a space between her upper front teeth prior to the tongue piercing.
Hmmmmm. Incidentally, she did receive fixed ortho treatment to close up the gap. Wonder who paid for that.