Spacers for Braces: How Do They Work?

Spacers for Braces: How Do They Work?

2/28/2024 1:27:24 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 103

Spacers for Braces: How Do They Work?

Before you start your braces treatment, you are filled with anxiety. What if it hurts too much? What if you accidentally swallow a part of your metal fittings? Everything seems intimidating. But getting braces is not painful or scary.

Yes, from your first consultation to your first sitting where your spacers are fixed between your teeth to getting the wires attached – Every experience can be a smooth ride! But there is one condition - You should be fully aware of what the parts and procedures entail.

So, let's get to know about a tiny but significant part of your braces treatment: spacers.

What Are Spacers? 

Spacers for braces, also known as orthodontic spacers, come in the form of metal rings or elastic rubber loops. These devices, commonly referred to as separators, are used to create an engineered gap between your back molars where the metal bands that connect your archwire for your braces are to be fitted.

You may need to wear spacers for any time between 1-2 weeks. When it is finally time for your braces fitting, the orthodontic spacer is removed, and metal bands are fixed in its place.

Are Spacers Necessary?

Contrary to popular belief, not all patients who are seeking to realign their teeth with braces treatment need to wear spacers. Only if you need to attach a fixed appliance like an orthodontic band, in addition to braces, is when you need orthodontic spacers. This also depends on whether the gap between teeth is sufficient for the band to be fitted.

For example, if you have crowded teeth, then you will need spacers with braces. It’s important to remember that spacers are only placed so that a small enough space is created, usually behind two of your back teeth on either side.

 How Does an Orthodontic Spacer Work?

Let’s break down how these little fellows work to provide you with a perfect bite and smile:-

What it Does:

Spacers for braces gradually create a gap between teeth to fit an orthodontic band over some time. Hence, they are fitted before you get braces. They increase the contact space between teeth or the place where two teeth can touch.

This makes it easier to fit an orthodontic band over your molars. Spacers can often make you feel discomfort or pressure in your teeth. The sensation is similar to having something stuck in between your teeth. But this is only mild, temporary discomfort that can be fixed with light painkillers, if necessary.

How it is Installed:

It’s a surprisingly easy procedure and the first step of your braces treatment. As orthodontic spacers are usually made of a thin strip of metal or a thin elastic band, they are easy to fit between teeth. Usually, floss or a dental device is used. Floss is looped through rubber separators and used to pull them apart and make them thinner.

They are then slid in a side-to-side motion until they are fitted snugly between your teeth. Once it's in the desired position, the floss or device is removed. The separator stays in that space, gradually increasing the gap until it falls out or is removed.

Going through braces treatment is a slow but steady march toward getting the perfect smile that everyone deserves. A key takeaway to remember is that not all people need spacers with braces. Some people’s teeth naturally have large enough gaps for the bands to be fitted.

So, your teeth alignment journey may not even need separators, like in the case of Invisalign users. However, your smile is uniquely yours, and getting spacers might be only the first step towards it. The possibility of slight discomfort should not deter you from this procedure. Here’s to a beautiful & confident smile!


Category: Orthodontics
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