Dental Spacers

Maintaining a straight smile is important, and dental spacers assist with this goal. While children typically use these orthodontic devices, adults can also take advantage of spacers for teeth. James River Orthodontics offers these appliances to help patients achieve beautiful and healthy smiles.

What Are Dental Spacers?

Dental spacers are appliances that reserve space in your mouth until a permanent tooth or prosthetic fills it. This device, which comes in fixed and removable options, prevents surrounding teeth from shifting and entering the gap. Dental spacers can be placed on the upper or lower jaw and are especially helpful for back teeth where there is limited space.

Long-term spacers for teeth are made from acrylic or metal materials while temporary options are usually elastic bands.

Are Separators Always Necessary?

There are cases when losing a baby tooth or permanent molar does not require installing a dental spacer. However, some instances when you could benefit from this appliance include:

  • Losing baby teeth early: Dental spacers can act as a guide for permanent teeth when your child’s baby teeth fall out prematurely.
  • Experiencing injury or decay: If you knock teeth out because of a fall or need to remove them due to cavities, dental spacers help prevent crowding.
  • Waiting for prosthetics: Losing teeth as an adult may require a prosthetic. Until then, dental spacers ensure your other teeth don’t fill the empty space.

Are Dental Spacers Painful?

You can rest assured that the dental spacer installation process is painless. While there may be minimal discomfort as your teeth shift to make more space, nonprescription pain medication can help manage the effects.

How Spacers for Teeth Are Installed

Before installing a dental spacer, your orthodontist will ensure there’s enough room for it in your mouth. In some cases, especially if there is crowding, they may insert an elastic spacer first to make room for a long-term device. Then, your orthodontist will install a removable dental spacer or cement a permanent appliance in the area.

Maintaining Dental Spacers

When you have dental spacers, it’s critical to take good care of them to ensure hygiene and effectiveness. Some care tips include:

  • Brush and floss regularly: Caring for your teeth is especially important when you have an orthodontic appliance. However, if you have a temporary elastic spacer, avoid flossing that tooth until you have a more permanent device.
  • Let the appliance do its job: Touching or playing with dental spacers may move them out of place. Leaving the spacers alone will ensure you get the most benefits from this treatment.
  • Eat safe foods: While most foods will not affect your dental spacers, try to avoid meals that may potentially affect the device, like sticky items.

Why You Should Choose James River Orthodontics

At James River Orthodontics, we strive to develop authentic relationships with patients while delivering up-to-date care. Our goal is to support our surrounding community through friendly assistance and skilled expertise, ensuring our patients experience the best treatments. When you partner with us, you can trust that you’ll feel comfortable throughout the process and emerge with a beautiful smile.

Still have QUESTIONS

schedule an appointment

Looking for dental spacers in the Henrico County or Richmond, Virginia, areas? James River Orthodontics can help. Schedule an appointment today for high-quality orthodontic care!

Request your complimentary exam

with the highest-reviewed orthodontists in Richmond, VA to begin a life-changing journey.