Why Do Orthodontists Put Spacers In? Dentist in Spring, Texas
There are several requirements for installing and fitting braces onto teeth. One of these requirements is that there should be ample space between the back molars. It is because braces tend to move the back teeth more snugly against each other. Without enough space, this would cause a lot of pain and discomfort and would lead to worse problems such as an uneven bite.
To prevent this problem, your orthodontist will use spacers – also called separators – to create the required space. Following is an insight into the process, its importance, and other related issues.
What are Spacers?
Spacers are orthodontic accessories that are placed between teeth to create enough room for braces to be fitted. They come in two types: rubber spacers and metal spacers. The model installed depends on factors such as the amount of space between the teeth, and it is your orthodontist who will choose which model fits best.
How are Spacers Installed?
The manner in which spacers are installed primarily depends on their type – that is, whether they are made of rubber or metal.
For rubber spacers, the orthodontist will use flossing string to get them in space. The flossing line will be run through the rubber bands and pulled to stretch them thin – this makes them thin enough to fit in between the teeth easily. Once fitted in place, the orthodontist will then take out the flossing string and leave the rubber bands to stretch to their original diameter, hence providing enough force to create space between the teeth gradually.
Installation of metal spacers is a much more complicated procedure. The orthodontist will use special tools to create enough space between teeth to produce enough room for installation of these spacers. This process may be uncomfortable and even painful as metallic spacers are not elastic, and as such, will not give you enough time to adapt to the changes.
Installation is quite quick and straightforward albeit it may be uncomfortable and even painful.
Complications Associated with Spacers
Spacers may be necessary for creating room for braces and laying the groundwork for better oral health, but they also come with various difficulties. Some of the most common complications are:
- Swelling and Irritation
Spacers will snuggle gently against your gums when fitted into place. This contact with gums will often cause irritation that is usually accompanied by swelling and numbness. It, however, only lasts for several hours or one to two days after installation, depending on how sensitive your mouth is.
- Pain and Discomfort
Teeth are rigid, and moving them even by the slighted degree may cause some pain and discomfort. Considering that spacers are constantly pushing against your teeth to create considerable space, then you are guaranteed to feel some discomfort and even some pain. The pain will kick in during the installation procedure and may linger for several days after the initial installation.
In some cases, the gums may undergo so much pressure that they start bleeding after the installation of spacers. It usually happens when the teeth are set too close together and if your mouth is too sensitive for such an invasive procedure.
Caring for Your Teeth and Spacers
Spacers are foreign accessories that need constant care and maintenance not only to ensure that they are effective but also to minimize pain and discomfort. Some adequate care and maintenance tips as recommended by orthodontists include:
- Making Ice Cream and Cold Drinks
Cold is a numbing agent that has been used to suppress pain for centuries. As such, your orthodontist may recommend taking cold drinks and eating ice cream every once in a while.
- Eating Soft Foods
Spacers may feel tight and firm, but they can quickly come off when nudged repeatedly. As such, it is recommended to not disturb them either with your tongue or food. To this end, you should observe a diet mostly composed of soft foods for the period during which the spacers are in place. It will prevent further discomfort and ensure that the spacers stay firmly in place.
- Brushing Regularly
You will need to brush your teeth as usual but with more exceptional care to avoid dislodging these spacers. As such, brush your teeth using toothbrush featuring soft bristles. Brush gently and prevent flossing as this will interfere with the spacers.
Need Spacers? Visit Vita Dental
Are you in need of spacers? Do you live in or around Spring, Texas? If so, then visit Vita Dental for unmatched care. Our orthodontists have vast experience installing spacers, braces, and other accessories that are necessary for oral health. We install spacers using the latest technology to ensure minimal pain and discomfort.
Our offices are open all week long, and our customer care agents are always available online and via phone. As such, feel free to get in touch to learn more about our services and hopefully book an appointment.