What are Orthodontic Separators/ Spacers?

Braces are what promise you a flawless smile you have been craving since your teenage years. But getting braces is just not simple as it sounds. There are several processes and appliances involved to give you the perfect fitted braces. Spacers for braces, also called dental separators, are one such appliance you will encounter during your orthodontic treatment. Spacers for braces are small blue rings. They look like elastic rubber bands and have a diameter of around 1 centimeter.

Is it necessary to get orthodontic separators?

The reason dentists use spacers for braces in the compactness of rear molars. There is very little space between your back molars, and some gap is required to fit in the molar bands around them. After the braces are applied, your teeth start shifting. In the absence of spacers for braces, the back teeth can come too close together, which is not a good thing. This can not only increase your chance of forming cavities but can result in bite misalignment. Teeth spacers come in handy to avoid the mess

How are spacers for braces installed?

To get spacers, you will visit your dentist a week before you are scheduled to get braces. Your dentist will use a small tool to stretch those elastic separators; now, they are thinner and can easily slip between your molars.

Do spacers hurt more than braces?

When the spacers are first inserted, you may experience a little discomfort and pain, but they don’t hurt more than braces. This is because only slight pressure is exerted and on a few teeth. If your teeth are more tightly packed together, spacers will hurt a little more. Since the space between the back molars differs for each patient, the pain also varies. For some, the pain can be immediate, while for others, it can start days later.

For the first few hours or days, you will have to go through gum tenderness and tooth sensitivity, signifying that your separators are doing their job. The discomfort will go away within a few days.

How long do you wear spacers for braces?

The ideal time for spacers to remain in your teeth is from 3 to 5 days or up to a week. This allows enough space between your back teeth to form, so you have a painless and relaxed transition when it’s time for molar bands.

Does it hurt to eat with spacers?

Spacers can hurt while chewing and can make it nearly impossible to eat certain hard or crunchy foods. To make things easy for you, go with soft and easy to chew foods for the week with spacers on and for the first few months after getting braces. Some food items that are yummy, healthy, and easy-going with braces include yogurt, scrambled eggs, fish, soups, and boiled vegetables.

To learn more about dental spacers, talk to the orthodontists at Pearland Family Dentistry. Get in touch by calling at 832-649-7344.

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