Meta: When embarking on an orthodontic treatment, you may be prescribed spacers. Here’s everything you need to know about what is often a first step in your orthodontic journey.
So, you or your child have begun the exciting journey of getting braces! Congratulations. Now the fun begins! One of the first steps in your orthodontic journey may be something called “spacers”. But what are spacers, and why does Dr. Abelar say you or your child need them? Here’s everything you need to know about those new spacers!
WHAT ARE SPACERS?
Spacers, or orthodontic separators, are small bands made of either rubber or metal, that fit around your teeth to make space for metal bands that will fit around your teeth. Spacers are actually quite a common part of the orthodontic process. Many people who get braces will end up needing spacers at the beginning of their treatment.
DO SPACERS HURT?
Spacers are generally comfortable, however they may hurt a bit the first few days after they are installed. Thankfully, spacers are usually only needed for a few weeks before the next stage of your treatment begins.
WHAT DO SPACERS FEEL LIKE?
A common question many people have is, ‘what do spacers feel like?’ Spacers kind of feel like having food stuck between your teeth, however unlike when you get food between your teeth, we advise you to not floss between the teeth with spacers on them, as the spacers can become dislodged and pop out.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY SPACERS COME OUT?
If you do have spacers and one should fall out, don’t panic- but call Dr. Abelar immediately so you can be seen to put it back in. Spacers are an important part of your treatment. When you return to Dr. Abelar’s office, he will determine if you need a new spacer, or if you can move ahead with your treatment plan and get your metal bands installed.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY SPACERS?
Spacers are easy to care for. Just brush gently around them, and again, remember, do not floss them. Do floss between the rest of your teeth as usual, though!
Also, it’s important to avoid certain types of foods with spacers. Anything sticky or chewy or very crunchy should be avoided during the entire orthodontic process, including the spacer stage. Foods like gummies, caramel, gum, and chips, pretzels, and crackers should be avoided. Even nuts and crunchy vegetables should be avoided. Steam vegetables or opt for softer veggies and fruits.
Ultimately, having spacers won’t take much time in the orthodontic process, but it is still an important stage in any treatment plan. The great news is if you take good care of your spacers while you have them, it will go by as quickly and painlessly as possible!
For any questions or concerns about your spacers, or for an orthodontic or other appointment, please contact Dr. Abelar’s office today!