What You Need to Know about Spacers for Braces

Everyone wants a beautiful smile that features straight, perfectly aligned teeth. Not everyone has that naturally, however. There are plenty of reasons why someone’s teeth might not be quite optimally positioned, and braces are often the go-to method of fixing them. Some people might need a little preparation for their teeth before braces are applied, however, as is the case if your orthodontist tells you that you need spacers.

What Are Spacers?

Spacers (or separators) can be either rubber or metal. Rubber spacers are tiny loops made from elastic. Metal spacers are small metal rings. Both are slid between your back teeth to create space between your teeth. Normally that’s not a good thing – you want your teeth close together. When it comes to braces, however, you need a little space between your back teeth for the metal bands that are a part of your braces.

Will They Be Uncomfortable?

If you need separators you’ll probably find them a little uncomfortable. Some level of discomfort and pressure is perfectly normal. Remember, the point is to create a bit of space between the teeth, which means applying pressure to move them a tiny bit. You can expect it to feel similar to having a bit of food stuck between your teeth. Any discomfort you feel should fade as your teeth move. This should only take a few days. You can always take over-the-counter pain medications as directed to minimize your discomfort.

How Do I Take Care of Them?

In order for the spacers to be effective, they need to stay in place until the proper amount of space has been created. That means you’ll need to avoid eating sticky, gummy foods that could get stuck to the spacers and dislodge them. It’s best to stick with soft foods, especially since you shouldn’t floss the teeth where the spacers are (another thing that could dislodge them). When brushing, move the toothbrush back and forth instead of up and down to avoid moving them. If the spacers happen to fall out more than four days before your next appointment, make sure you contact Dr. Carver so you can figure out what to do next. If they fall out within four days of your next appointment, however, not to worry. You’ve got the space you need now and can just come in when it’s time for your appointment.

Your braces must be designed specifically for your mouth and teeth in order to work properly. That all starts at the very beginning by making sure that there is enough space between your teeth for the metal bands that act as anchors for the archwires. Not everyone will need spacers in order to create enough space, but if you do, it’s important to follow the instructions Dr. Carver gives you so you’ll be ready when it’s time to put your braces on.

Not sure whether you need braces or not? Schedule your free consultation so you can discover what the best solution for you is.