You may have heard your orthodontist mention the word “spacers” when discussing a braces treatment plan — but, how much do you actually know about these tools? In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about spacers, including:
- How long will I wear spacers?
What Are Spacers?
Spacers are small rubber or metal rings that are used by orthodontists to slowly widen the spaces between your molars. We typically use these tools for patients that are beginning the braces treatment process in order to create space for the molar bands to be placed.
Photo from Braces Haven
Types of Spacers
There are two different types of spacers — metal and rubber. Rubber spacers are most often used as they are easier to place, and cause less discomfort for the patient. However, in some cases when a patient has a strong bite they often chew through the rubber spacers, and metal spacers are necessary as they are much stronger than rubber spacers. Metal spacers are also less likely to fall out. Metal and rubber spacers will be removed before taking the next step in the treatment process.
The Feeling of Spacers
No matter if your spacers are rubber or metal, they may feel a little odd once they’re placed. These rings are a little larger than a piece of food that would be stuck between your teeth after eating, so you can clearly feel them inside your mouth. Most patients report some level of discomfort, which is caused by the teeth being forced apart. To manage this discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers and warm salt water rinses have been proven to be effective.
How Long Will I Wear Spacers?
You may be wondering — how long will I need to wear spacers? Typically one to two weeks. Generally, you won’t need to wear spacers longer than two weeks.
Let Parris Orthodontics Fix Your Smile
At Parris Orthodontics, we treat each patient the way we would want to be treated - with great care, kindness, and respect. Whether you are thinking of getting braces for your child or are wanting to correct your own smile, we can help you achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Contact us today and schedule your evaluation!
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