Why dental spacers?
If a growing child’s baby teeth begin falling out prematurely, the remaining teeth will shift as their permanent teeth emerge. The teeth will naturally find an open space to grow in when there is a gap. A way to keep the teeth from overcrowding the open area is to have dental spacers installed.
What are dental spacers?
Dental spacers are fixed into the mouth in the gap between two teeth. They provide plenty of room for the growing tooth to move in without being jammed or impacted. This procedure is not just for aesthetic reasons — crooked and crowded teeth can create complications in a developing mouth.
Are separators always needed?
Spacers for teeth are not always necessary when treating new teeth. If the new tooth seems to be already growing into place, a spacer would not be needed since the surrounding teeth won’t have much time to crowd the area. However, spacers may be ideal if your child has difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene. They provide space for the gum to heal and reduce the risk of infections.
Either way, consult your orthodontist on whether a dental spacer is necessary for your child.
Are dental spacers painful?
Dental spacers are not usually painful for the individual. Once it is placed, your child may first experience slight discomfort and run their tongue against it, initially causing irritation. However, your child can become used to the spacer in their mouth over time and may not even recognize it.
How dental spacers are installed
Dental spacers are installed by inserting a small rubber band between the teeth, which is then extended around the tooth’s crown. This rubber band spacer puts pressure on the adjacent teeth to move them away from the open area. Your child may feel some discomfort related to this pressure, but this feeling will not last long.
Once the rubber spacer has created enough space in the mouth, a metal or acrylic appliance will be fixed onto the surrounding teeth. This maintains the space and will not allow the surrounding teeth to adjust.
Caring for dental spacers
Following these do’s and don’ts will result in a durable dental spacer.
- Floss regularly, but be careful around the spacer.
- Brush gently to clean out any food particles that may be trapped.
- Continue to schedule regular dental visits for checkups on the spacer.
- Call your doctor if the dental spacer becomes loose for any reason.
- Eat sticky foods like chewing gum or hard, crunchy foods like popcorn.
- Push or pick at the dental spacer with the fingers or tongue.
Our dental spacers treatment process
Mik Ortho has two offices that provide dental spacers, coming in for your complimentary consultation. At you appointment, you’ll meet Dr. Mik, who will give you a thorough orthodontic exam. If our evaluation shows evidence that your child would benefit from Dental Spacers, we can begin your treatment right away.
Dr. Mik will insert small rubber bands between the teeth, which is then extended around each tooth’s crown. Once the temporary spacers create enough space in the mouth, a metal or acrylic appliance will be fixed onto the surrounding teeth.