Girl with braces

Sometimes our teeth need a bit of help moving into the right positions, even before braces are in the picture. And sometimes crowded teeth need to be addressed first. The problem with crowded teeth is there may not be enough room for braces to fit comfortably, and that’s where teeth spacers are used. Teeth spacers play a vital role in creating the space necessary for braces to be placed in the mouth without issues. Here’s everything you need to know about teeth spacers.

What Are Teeth Spacers?

Teeth spacers are rubber or metal devices, which are placed between the teeth by your orthodontist. Measuring about a centimeter in diameter, these spacers are typically placed between the molars and are used to create more space between teeth that are too crowded. This step of the process happens before braces are put on to establish more space between the teeth for a set of braces to fit. Think of teeth spacers as the first step in the process to a perfect smile.

Why Are They Needed?

Teeth spacers are placed between the teeth for about one to two weeks, so that the molars have a chance to move apart. Anywhere between one and eight spacers can be placed in the mouth, and once enough space has been created, your orthodontist can place an expander or molar band in the spacer’s place for further treatment of this crowding issue.

What to Expect When Getting Teeth Spacers

The process of getting teeth spacers installed is a rather quick one. Your orthodontist will thread the spacers in between the teeth with a specialized tool, and you may feel a slight pinching sensation as the spacer is being positioned. A little soreness may linger for a couple of days, but you can help to alleviate it with over-the-counter pain medication and eating soft foods, such as:

  • Soup
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Applesauce
  • Jello

Oral Hygiene with Teeth Spacers

Brushing and flossing are key components of any good oral hygiene routine, and even though you have teeth spacers, these tasks shouldn’t be avoided. Be sure to brush and floss daily and thoroughly, but be careful, you don’t want to dislodge your newly placed spacers. Taking care while flossing especially can help to maintain the positioning of your spacers until it’s time to remove them and still help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Teeth Spacers and Your Orthodontic Journey

If teeth spacers are included as part of your orthodontic treatment plan, keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your treatment. Teeth spacers are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to having your braces work properly, and listening to your orthodontist about how to care for them will get you that much closer to a spectacular smile.

Let the experts at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Call (843) 4-BRACES to get started with our team!