Long story short ... Strahan says if he would have discussed closing the gap with anyone in his life -- from friends to business associates and people online -- they would have tried to talk him out of it.
But, we're told the dentist proposed a temporary solution -- essentially a removable dental piece that gives the look of a filled-in tooth line.
After the procedure, the 49-year-old NFL legend and beloved TV host looked in the mirror and declared, "I love it! Holy f**k!"
Yes, we notice the timing of the dental work ... April 1 is right around the corner -- but we'll see if Strahan sticks with the new look.
Obviously, Strahan's gap was iconic -- and he's talked about it for years ... explaining his parents told him to embrace the look.
He previously put it this way ... "I made the conscious effort to say, 'This is who I am.'"
In fact, just days before the big reveal, Strahan tweeted -- "I rock my gap with pride! It’s who I am!"