Whether you’re an adult or a kid, getting braces sometimes requires a bit of preparation. During your early appointments, your orthodontist may recommend a simple yet effective appliance called a dental spacer. Spacers ensure there’s enough room for the connection points called orthodontic bands.
If you’re curious about dental spacers, the team at Nicolas Orthodontics wants to give you all the info you need about this early-stage treatment.
Also known as separators, dental spacers are doughnut-shaped rubber bands that are less stretchy than orthodontic elastics. These appliances offer an effective solution for patients with tight or crowded teeth. Once they’re placed between your teeth, spacers push the teeth apart so that orthodontic bands can be installed during your next appointment.
Simply put, not everyone needs dental spacers. Your orthodontist will check your teeth during your initial appointments and make sure there’s enough space for an orthodontic band. If not, separators may be needed.
Spacers are not inserted between all your teeth. In fact, most patients only get a couple of spacers on either side of a molar on both sides of the mouth.
Dental spacers are not painful, per se. However, the pressure they produce can cause some soreness. Most patients experience the sensation of having something stuck between their teeth, which can be aggravating. We recommend eating cold foods or taking over-the-counter pain medication if you experience any discomfort.
About one to two weeks before placing your orthodontic band, your orthodontist will install your dental spacers. The process is quick and easy. Using floss on either side of the spacer, your orthodontist will stretch it thin and use a side-to-side sweeping motion to work it into position. Once properly placed, they will slide the floss out.
Proper care for dental spacers is important. If they come out, even for just a few days, your teeth will inevitably return to their original position. To make sure that doesn’t happen, follow these guidelines:
- Avoid sticky foods.
- Do not use floss or toothpicks on the teeth with spacers.
- Do not pick at your teeth with your fingers.
If your spacers do fall out, please call us right away to get them reinstalled.
At Nicolas Orthodontics, we care deeply for our patients, treating every person who walks through our doors as though they were family. We believe that “When there is Excellence, Good is Not Enough!” That means from your first consult to the moment you see your updated smile, you will experience:
- High-quality care.
- Friendly customer service.
- Cutting-edge treatments.
- A positive environment.