Talking about Spacers for Braces or expander for braces or teeth .The meaning of the word spacers seems quite obvious, which is to create space. Spacers are a prelude to fitting braces.
When a person has crooked or misaligned teeth, he will need to get braces fitted, and for that, the orthodontist will have to fit spacers in your molars to create space and prepare the teeth for the fitting of braces in the near future.
Table of Content
What are Spacers for Braces?
Spacers, known as orthodontic separators in medical terms, are small elastic bands, which are about a centimeter in diameter and blue in color. Spacers are placed on the teeth on the second visit to the orthodontist.
The spacers are placed parallel to the teeth on either side by a simple process of stretching the spacer till it becomes thin enough to fit between two teeth, once the correct position is found the band is released by the orthodontist.
The process is also known as flossing. The process of application is not painful at all but some find it rather uncomfortable. One needs spacers because sometimes the teeth are too crowded for the braces to easily fit so the spacers are used to create space.
Depending on the patient between one to twelve spacers are generally fitted. The time the spacers are fitted is from one to two weeks.
Do spacers for Braces Hurt you?
Yes, they are generally painful and provides irritation to the patient. The fitting itself is not painful, but it causes soreness to the jaw because of the pressure exerted in the fitting process.
The pain is dependent on how tight together are the molars of the patient and also on personal pain tolerance level.
The tighter the molars are the more the discomfort as the bands will work more to create space in between.
Initially, it will fell like something is stuck between the teeth and will cause irritation. But gradually after 24 to 48 hours, one will get used to it.
The irritation or sensitivity caused by the spacers is a sign that they are fitted well and doing their job. Sometimes the spacers can also dig into the gums and cause swelling, severe pain and bleeding of the gums.
How to get pain relief? There are many techniques to get pain relief, But following are best at home.
1- Use PainKiller
2- Eat Icecream or Cold Treats
3- Wash mouth with Warm Salt Water
We have mentioned Some home remedies, which you can use easily at home.
Safety Measures for Spacers
The pain caused by the spacers can be reduced by over the counter pain killers. However, the pain is not very drastic that a painkiller by the orthodontist is advised.
The pain can also be eased by eating ice creams and popsicles.
The irritation is also lessened by consuming soft foods like mashed potatoes, yogurt, cereal and drinking lots of liquids. One may brush their teeth regularly and the way they used to.
Precautions for Spacers
After the fitting of spacers, one should avoid hard foods which are difficult to chew as they will exert more pressure and cause more irritation.
It is recommended to avoid sticky foods like, candy, jellies, chewing gum and toffees, because these foods can stick to the spacers and cause them to dislocate or fall out, which then will have to be refitted.
Also, one should not floss their teeth as this will cause the spacers to be dislodged. It is important not to pick or pull the spacer by yourself.
Removal of Spacers
The “spacers for braces” are necessary to create an ample space between the molar bands and they are not needed for more than two weeks.
Sometimes the spacers fall by themselves as space is created or you have to visit your orthodontist for the removal. The process of removal is not painful.
In some cases, the orthodontist may fit braces along with the spacers depending on the patient’s molars, but it is very rare. Mostly the spacers are removed for the fitting of the braces.
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