Orthodontic spacers are inserted between the back molars prior to wearing braces. These are used to make room for the support bands anchoring the wires that straighten the teeth. At Elegant Orthodontics, Susan Baloul, is a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics. Dr. Baloul often uses spacers on patients living in Boston, Brookline, Norwood and Framingham, MA or the surrounding communities, to prepare teeth for braces.
What Are Spacers for Braces?
When wearing the more traditional type of braces with brackets and wires, the wires are secured in place on the back molar with a special bracket on a band. The band is cemented to the back molar. Because it wraps around the tooth, there must be room for the band between the teeth. Spacers for braces are small bands usually made of metal or elastic, and are used to add that space. Once they have created the space they usually fall out indicating they have done their job.
There are also times when a small amount of space is needed between teeth to prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay during orthodontics. This is the case when teeth are overcrowded and need room to make oral hygiene easier to accomplish.
How Do Spacers Work?
Also called expanders for braces, spacers are very small, only about a centimeter thick. Placing spacers between the necessary teeth is an easy process. Dr. Baloul takes a spacer and stretches it to fit between the teeth. Once it is inserted, she positions it and releases the tension. The spacer stays there to create enough space for the support bands. She typically inserts them a week or so prior to applying braces.
Do Spacers for Braces Hurt?
There may be a minimal amount of discomfort or a feeling of something between your teeth for about 24 hours before you are used to them. Many patients do not feel anything at all. They are easy to insert and create the space in a short time.
How Do I Care for My Spacers for Braces?
Caring for orthodontic spacers is like caring for braces. It is best to avoid gummy, chewy and hard foods that may cause the spacers to fall out before they are ready. Normal oral hygiene should be maintained, but flossing between the teeth with the spacers should be avoided.
How are My Spacers Removed?
With some patients, expanders for braces simply fall out. This means there is enough space for the bands. If they remain in place, Dr.Baloul simply removes them prior to placing the support bands.
How Much Do Spacers for Braces Cost?
Spacers are part of the entire orthodontic process and are not priced separately. We discuss the cost of wearing braces during a consultation with Dr. Baloul along with payment and financing options. For patients with dental insurance, we can help determine whether the plan offers or provides coverage for orthodontics.
At Elegant Orthodontics, Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, often uses spacers to prepare for braces. Contact us to schedule your consultation today. We proudly serve patients residing in Boston, Brookline, Norwood, Framingham and nearby areas.