Braces help align teeth by directing them into place as they develop. Before braces can be installed, often the space between certain molars will need to be widened. Orthodontic spacers are used to separate the teeth that are too close together, before braces can be cemented on.
These spacers are rubber bands that dentists will place between certain teeth. They are to remain in place for a few weeks at most, until the teeth have moved apart enough for the braces to be installed. They are generally only about a centimeter in diameter.
The biggest complaint among patients who receive these orthodontic spacers is pain. As the teeth are forced to separate, the nerves below the gum line are irritated. In some extreme cases the spacers will actually dig into the gums between teeth causing bleeding to occur. Patients are usually given specific instructions by their dentists on what not to eat/drink and what activities to avoid. Chewing gum, for example, is usually a high concern as the sticky substance may dislodge the spacers from between the teeth.
Once the spacers have done their job, and the teeth are separated, a dentist will remove them. In their place, he/she will install the metal braces designed to continue the re-alignment process.
Should you have any questions/concerns about braces or Orthodontic separators, feel free to contact our office today. We will be more than happy to give you all the information you need.