Everything you Need to Know About Spacers for Braces

Spacers for Braces

If you have braces, then you’re familiar with spacers. Spacers are small discs that sit between your teeth to keep your braces in place and prevent them from shifting. They serve various functions, from helping align teeth in preparation for braces to being used as a resting place for orthodontic attachments. But what are they exactly? And how are they used? This blog will answer these questions and more.

What are Spacers for Braces?

Spacers are small metal blocks used to make sure the braces fit correctly and stay in place. They can be made from rubber, metal, or other materials.

Spacers help keep braces in place and also prevent them from slipping out of place. This is especially important for metal braces that are prone to moving around.

What are the Types of Orthodontic Spacers?

1. Rubber Spacers:

Rubber spacers are the most commonly used. They are made from a highly elastic material that will stretch and bend without breaking. These spacers can be used in almost any situation where a flexible material is needed.Rubber spacers come in different thicknesses, but most are very thin. They’re good for patients who have narrow spaces between their teeth or braces that are too large for their mouths.

The only downside to rubber spacers is that they tend to wear down over time. You’ll need new ones every two months or so. If you have trouble with spacing issues, this can add up quickly, so it’s best to use them only when necessary (such as when you first start wearing braces).

2. Metal Spacers:

Metal Spacers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be used to achieve a variety of different results. Metal spacers are made from solid metal, such as stainless steel which makes them strong and durable. They also have good wear properties, so they won’t break down over time or become loose, as rubber spacers might do. Because these are solid materials, they can be used for spacing purposes for a long time without requiring replacement.

Benefits of Orthodontic Spacers

1. Creating Space for Orthodontic Bands:

Orthodontic spacers are instrumental in generating ample room between teeth, facilitating the comfortable placement of orthodontic bands. This ensures a secure fit, essential for the success of orthodontic treatment.

2. Facilitating Proper Alignment:

Spacers play a pivotal role in aligning teeth accurately by creating space between them. This space allows orthodontic appliances like braces or aligners to guide teeth into their desired positions effectively, contributing to optimal alignment results.

3. Preventing Crowding or Overlapping:

Orthodontic spacers serve as a preventive measure against teeth crowding or overlapping during treatment. By maintaining adequate space between teeth, spacers enable each tooth to move into its designated position, reducing the likelihood of alignment issues and ensuring a harmonious smile.

Do You Need Spacers for Braces?

Spacers are a common aspect of orthodontic treatment and can be used to space out your teeth while they are being worn. They help create a bit of space between two teeth that were crowded together during the gap-filling stage of the procedure. However, you may not need them if you have naturally spaced teeth. In most cases, patients who get spacers will wear them for 1-2 weeks before installing the braces.

What Can You Eat When Using Spacers?

You can eat pretty much anything your heart desires when using spacers. But if you’re looking for something more substantial, you may want to try some of the following dishes.

Foods That You can Eat With Spacers:

    • Boneless Meat
    • Steamed Veggies, diced into small pieces
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Soup
    • Yoghurt
    • Soup
    • Oatmeal
    • Smoothies and Protein Shakes

Foods to Avoid With Spacers:

    • Anything crunchy or hard like nuts and pretzels
    • Popcorn or anything that can get stuck between your teeth and cause problems
    • Gum or Gummy Candies
    • Chewing Ice
    • Sticky or hard candies like toffee

How to Care for Your Spacers?

1. How to Brush and Floss With Spacers?

When you’re wearing spacers, it’s important to know how to care for them. Brushing and flossing with spacers is not just beneficial for your teeth, but can also help prevent the formation of tartar and improve the appearance of your teeth.Brush Your Teeth With a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

When you brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush, you’ll be able to reach all areas of your teeth and gums. This includes the spaces between the teeth where bacteria can hide. The bristles on these toothbrushes are softer than those on regular brushes, which makes them ideal for brushing your teeth with spacers in place.

2. Floss Your Teeth Regularly

Flossing is important for good oral hygiene, but it’s even more important when you have spacers on your teeth. If you can see between your teeth, then flossing will help remove any food particles that are stuck there. This will also help you to prevent problems like bad breath.

3. What to do if Spacers for Braces Fall Out?

Spacers are small, separator-like pieces that are put in your mouth before getting braces. They help create a small gap between your teeth so that the braces can be put on more easily. You won’t have spacers for very long – if everything goes according to plan, you’ll have a maximum of two weeks before your orthodontist removes them and puts metal bands around your back teeth. However, there is a chance that your spacers might fall out before you return for your next appointment. If this happens, let your orthodontist know that right away so that they can determine whether or not you need another set of spacers installed.

Final Thoughts

We hope this blog post has helped you better understand the role of spacers for braces. Now that you have the basics on spacers, you can make the right decision for your smile and your budget. We always encourage you to ask your dentist any questions you may have and to schedule regular checkups to monitor your progress. Feel free to call us if you have any questions about braces or Invisalign, or if you would like to schedule a consultation. Thank you for reading!

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Dr. Satish Pai

Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence.  As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. 

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