Orthodontic spacer – wikipedia soft foods after tooth extraction

Spacers are usually used to put spaces in between teeth before braces are established. It can be agitating or painful, but patients are often warned not to pick at them or they will fall out. They are usually rubber, but sometimes they can be metal. They can be used when a patient’s teeth are too close together. Although they are sometimes very painful, they are usually only in place for one to two weeks. Spacers can also cause toothache and gum pain because of the constant pressure against the patient’s teeth. The gaps that the spacers create are necessary to apply certain appliances or braces. There are two common types of expanders used after the spaces have been made. One, very primitive, model is a metal bar that has a key used to tighten. Secondly, and more contemporary, there is an expander that is two ‘L’ shaped metal rods, attached at the molars.


Brackets fit against the edges. It is secured with a spring in the middle that applies pressure. [2] Pain [ edit ]

There are various reactions patients experience to having spacers placed between their teeth. If the patient has a relatively small amount of space between their molars (or none at all), then the spacer may irritate the nerves in the gum of the mouth, causing constant pain. In some cases the spacer digs into the gums, causing bleeding and swelling; and would be more uncomfortable than the actual braces. An orthodontist may advise the patient to drink cold drinks or to eat ice cream, producing a similar, although less efficient and short-lasting effect. Spacers are usually painful, although pain relievers can alleviate the pain if needed. Depending on the placement of the patient’s teeth, spacers may not hurt when first applied, then start to hurt after some time, or they may immediately start to hurt. Depending on the type, spacers may cause pain while chewing, making certain foods (usually those that are tough or crispy) difficult to eat. Some people may also experience a sensation similar to having loosing there milk teeth or like having food stick between there teeth. The patient may feel the need to try to remove the spacer but that isn’t advised as it makes the next step in your braces harder and more painful. Brushing will not cause spacers to be displaced and regular, if not more, brushing while spacers are in place is encouraged. [ citation needed] Application [ edit ]

The application process of spacers usually involves stringing floss through the rubber band and placing the spacer between the teeth. Some spacers are small metal spring clips that squeeze the teeth apart. There is some pressure throughout the process and some soreness after, but overall, the spacer application process is quite painless, although the patient may immediately start to feel pain from the pressure exerted on the teeth. Sometimes special orthodontic tools are used to stretch open the rubber bands, depending on how crowded the teeth are. If the jaw is especially crowded, the spacers may cause intense constant pain due to the teeth moving closer together. This pain begins a while after placement and usually lasts for several days. Removal [ edit ]