Spacers (sometimes called separators) are either round, elastic-like modules or spring-like wires that are placed between the back teeth in order to create space. This space will make it possible to fit the bands (metal tooth rings) on your back teeth at the next appointment. You may feel them when you bite. Spacers feel like you have a piece of food caught in between your teeth. The number of spacers that you get will depend on the spacing of your teeth and the number of bands needed for your braces or appliances. When the spacers are being placed, you might feel some pressure in between your teeth.
Spacers will probably make the teeth somewhat tender for a couple of days. This is normal and should be only temporary and slightly uncomfortable. Dr. Mibab recommends Tylenol or Advil for any discomfort you may experience.
Separators can be dislodged with hard or sticky foods such as chewing gum, taffy, caramels, etc. Your diet should be restricted somewhat to avoid problems.
If any of the spacers come out on their own, we usually do NOT need to reinsert them. Chances are they have created the space that was needed. If you lose a spacer, you can find out if it has done its job by slipping some dental floss between the two teeth. If the floss gets stuck, the spacer has not made enough space and needs to be reinserted. When spacers fall out due to eating something sticky or chewy or from being picked out by the patient, please contact our office.
You may brush your teeth as usual with spacers, but dental flossing will dislodge the spacers.
For instructions on how to replace a lost spacer, click here.