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Braces can be placed on your teeth usually in one visit, but sometimes, we have to prepare your teeth for braces. Are your back teeth close together? If so, we may need to place braces spacers between your molars before we straighten your teeth with braces. 

What are braces spacers? They’re one of many orthodontic appliances we use at Smiles By the Bay to create your beautiful, new smile. Not everyone needs spacers for braces. We’ll be able to tell you whether orthodontic spacers are right for you.

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What Are Spacers For Braces?

An orthodontic spacer is an elastic or metal loop we place between the back molars to make space between them. This is done so we can slip metal bands on the back teeth for your braces. 

An archwire connects your brackets for braces. The ends of that archwire slide into round holders attached to brackets on the back molars. 

That means to wear braces, we need to place those bands on your back molars. We need enough space to do that. That’s where braces spacers come in. 

How Are Spacers Placed?

Braces spacers are relatively easy to place. We slide them between your teeth with dental floss or a small tool. It may take a minute or two to move the elastic into the proper position, but once we wiggle it into place, we’ll remove the dental floss or tool, and you’ll be good to go! 

You may feel a bit of pressure as we place your braces spacers. You may also feel it touching your gum. This is all normal. 

Your back teeth may be sore for a day or two, but you can use an over-the-counter painkiller. We also recommend you stick to soft foods for the first day or two.

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How Long Do Spacers Stay In?

Most people only wear spaces for about a week, but they can be worn for up to two weeks. It depends on how quickly your teeth move apart and how much space the bands need. Once we have enough space, we will use a unique tool to remove the devices. 

How Do I Care for Spacers for Braces?

It’s very important to care for your spacers and follow your instructions so they don’t come out before we remove them. Here are some things you will need to do to protect your spacers. 

  • Avoid sticky foods or chewy foods that could pull the spacers out. This includes caramels, gummy bears, and chewing gum. 
  • Do not pick at your teeth with a toothpick or fingernail — or anything else, for that matter. You could accidentally pull out the device.
  • Do not use dental floss between teeth with the spacers. Be careful when brushing your teeth, but do brush your back molars. We can clean between those teeth once the spacers are removed. 
  • Avoid eating foods high in starch or sugar during the week or two you have spacers. It will reduce plaque and your chances of tooth decay. 
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What Is the Next Step After Spacers for Braces?

We will remove the spacers once there is enough room between your back molars, usually within 7-14 days. We will use a unique tool to remove the spacer. We can then clean between your teeth and prepare to place your braces. 

We will place bands around the back molars and use a special dental adhesive to bond them to your teeth. This should keep your brackets in place for your braces treatment. 

We will then place brackets on each tooth for your orthodontic treatment. We use self-ligating braces that are more comfortable than traditional metal braces. These braces are also more efficient and faster than older metal braces. 

Once we place your brackets and bands, you’ll be ready for the archwires, which press against the brackets and move your teeth with gentle pressure. Then, you’ll be ready to go! 

Once You Have Your Braces

As with the spacers, you’ll want to eat soft foods for the next few days because your teeth will be a bit sore. That should disappear quickly, and you’ll get used to having your braces. 

How long will you wear braces? That will depend on how many dental issues you have and how severe they are. We’ll let you know how long you will wear your braces as part of your first visit with us. 

Spacers and Braces in Annapolis, MD

Will you need braces spacers? We’ll be able to tell you after a thorough examination during your first visit. Schedule an appointment with Smiles By the Bay if you need braces in Annapolis, MD, Kent Island, MD, and Denton, MD. We want you to have the smile of your dreams!

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