Spacers for braces, also known as orthodontic separators, are used to put spaces in between your teeth before you are fitted for braces. They are either made of rubber or metal, though rubber is most commonly used. It is possible to experience pain from spacers but this varies from person to person.
Some patients feel pain as soon as the spacers are applied, while others do not feel any pain for a couple of days. Over-the-counter pain medications may be used to alleviate the pain. See here for a list of remedies
Spacers for braces are required if your teeth are too close together and your orthodontist is unable to immediately place the braces on. The spacers will stay in between your teeth for 1 to 2 weeks while your teeth slowly move apart for the braces to fit.
Spacers are applied by either flossing rubber bands in between your teeth, or placing metal bands around your teeth. As they fit in between the teeth, they slowly push the teeth apart.
This is a slow process that can be very uncomfortable. It also makes flossing one’s teeth impossible as the spacers must remain in between the teeth until they can be removed by the orthodontist.
Once the spacers are worn for a determined period of time, they are removed so that the orthodontist can then fit the teeth with the metal bands. These bands are connected to the braces and hold them in place.
Heck yes…. speaking from experience, Spacers for braces are often very uncomfortable. The discomfort is usually more of an annoyance than a painful experience, similar to having something stuck in between the teeth that cannot be removed.
The inability to remove the spacers only increments the discomfort of having them. The use of spacers for braces can be painful at times, but the pain is far from reaching the unbearable level. Most pain arises as result of the spacers slowly moving the teeth out of position, which is just natural. The best way to describe the pain would be like having painful gums.
Spacers generally remain in between the teeth for a period of seven to ten days. They are removed before the braces are installed on the teeth. While many complain that braces themselves can be uncomfortable, the discomfort associated with the use spacers for braces is even worse. In fact, many would say that it is a relief to eventually get rid of the spacers in favor of braces.
Once the spacers are removed they are removed for good, and only under rare circumstances that the spacers will be put back. Spacers for braces are usually effective in adding sufficient space in between each tooth, barely enough for the braces to be fit in.
The are some occasions that the spacers may fall due to cases like chewing a bubble gum or eating a sticky food. If this happens, visit your dentist immediately. Orthodontists will have to assess first if the spacers for braces will be re-installed or not. If the spacers will have to stay in for another one to two weeks, then the spacers for bracers will be inserted back by the dental expert.