Spacers for Braces in Charles County and St. Mary’s County, MD
Conveniently located in Waldorf and Leonardtown, and serving Charles County and St. Mary’s County, Maryland, Sequence Orthodontics offers spacers for braces and other orthodontic solutions to the residents of Maryland who wish to improve their smile and oral health.
What Are Spacers for Braces?
Spacers, also known as orthodontic separators, are basically small elastic donut-shaped rings about a centimeter in diameter. Spacers are inserted parallel to the teeth on either side prior to being fit for braces. Spacers may be worn for as little as a few days or for as long as the braces are required.
What is the Purpose of Wearing Spacers for Braces?
Orthodontic separators serve a very necessary purpose. When braces are fitted to your teeth, it is essential that the back molars are not too crowded. As the braces work gradually over time to move and properly align your teeth, the back molars may be shifted and crowded, which can not only produce discomfort, but may also encourage tooth decay. Crowded molars may affect a person’s bite or the way that the top and bottom teeth meet when the mouth is closed. Spacers are inserted between the last three teeth on each side of the mouth in order to create a bit of space between these teeth prior to having braces fitted. This precaution ensures a proper fit once braces are applied.
Spacers are rapidly replacing metal orthodontic bands which were once used with the application of braces because they are generally more comfortable to wear, do not require the use of dental cement and greatly reduce chances of tooth decay and cavity development in comparison to metal bands.
In some cases, the spacers may loosen and fall out prior to having your braces installed. This is no cause for alarm, as it typically means that the teeth have successfully moved into the correct position. If the spacers have not fallen out on their own, they may be removed by the orthodontist right before the braces are attached and replaced by metal orthodontic bands, or they may be left in place or readjusted.
Who is a Good Candidate for Spacers for Braces?
Children and adults with misaligned or crooked teeth who are preparing to have braces fitted are typical candidates for spacers, as the use of spacers is simply a preparatory step that aligns the back molars in order for braces to be fitted correctly.
What Should I Expect When Wearing Spacers for Braces?
You may eat most foods that you normally enjoy; however, we recommend that you avoid sticky foods, such as caramel, toffee, chewing gum and gummy candy because these foods may stick to the spacers and pull them out of place. If the spacers fall out prematurely, they may need to be refitted. You may brush and rinse your teeth as usual when wearing orthodontic separators, but avoid flossing as this may dislodge the spacers.
Are Spacers for Braces Painful to Wear?
For most patients, the fitting is completely painless, but you may experience discomfort afterward, particularly soreness in the jaw caused by the force applied during the fitting. Initially, it may feel as though there is something lodged between your teeth, causing a sense of pressure between the teeth and sometimes against the gums. This may feel like a minor annoyance, or it may become painful. The initial discomfort experienced during the first 24 to 48 hours of wearing spacers depends on an individual’s pain tolerance. If your molars are very close together, you may experience increased discomfort as the separators create a gap between these cramped teeth. Typically, discomfort will diminish after the first two days of wearing separators, however, discomfort may last for up to a week after the fitting in some patients.
What Should I Do Next?
If you are preparing to have braces fitted and live in Charles County or St. Mary’s County, Maryland, contact our convenient Waldorf or Leonardtown offices to schedule an appointment to discuss the insertion of spacers or orthodontic separators at Sequence Orthodontics.