Spacers are tiny rubber or metal pieces that your orthodontist uses to prepare your teeth for braces. How do they work? Does it hurt when the orthodontist puts them in?
What Are Orthodontic Spacers?
Before your braces are installed, your orthodontist will place spacers between your molars. Orthodontic spacers are small rubber bands or metal spring clips that push against the molars. The orthodontist usually puts them in during your second visit.
The spacers will stay between your teeth for a week or two. They slowly move your molars apart to make space for the orthodontic bands of your braces. Your orthodontist may put between one and eight spacers in your mouth before the molar bands are applied.
What To Expect
While the orthodontist is inserting the spacers between your molars, you will feel a lot of pressure and some sensitivity as they rub against the gum tissue.
After the procedure, there will be some discomfort as you get used to the feeling of the spacer/s between your teeth. It will feel like there’s food or debris stuck back there, and you will have the urge to keep poking at it with your tongue.
In the days after the procedure, you may experience pain in your teeth, gums, or jaw. Over-the-counter pain relievers should help relieve the ache and the soreness.
Certain foods will be off-limits while you have the spacers inside your mouth. You won’t be able to have hard foods like apples and corn on the cob. You should also avoid having gum and other sticky foods.