When there isn't enough space between your molars, your orthodontist will need to create some before your braces can be attached. However, spacers can be painful. Also referred to as "orthodontic separators", the pain experienced while wearing spacers is often worse than that felt when wearing braces. Despite the pain, ultimately, your spacers will contribute to the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment.

In general, most patients are required by their orthodontists to wear their elastic spacers for 7-10 days. Some patients must continue to wear their spacers even after braces have been placed. However, the pain is usually most intense during the first 48 hours. After that, it diminishes somewhat. But some patients, especially those whose molars are in very close proximity to each other, may experience toothache-like symptoms for up to a week.

If you are struggling with the pain caused by your spacers, the following remedies will help to ease the pain.

Use Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Toothpastes like Sensodyne and Colgate Sensitive, are designed to gradually reduce sensitivity in teeth. These toothpastes help to reduce the pain of spacers by stopping pain signals from reaching the nerves inside teeth. Try brushing your teeth with one of these toothpastes 2-3 times a day to relieve the pain.

Apply Some Numbing Gel

Numbing gels are also effective pain relievers. Orajel and Anbesol, both of which contain benzocaine, a local anesthetic, can be applied to sore teeth and gums to numb the area and reduce the pain. While using benzocaine, only apply the recommended amount as using too much is dangerous to your health. 

Gargle Warm Saltwater

Gargling warm saltwater also helps to relieve the pain of spacers because salt  reduces inflammation and swelling. If your gums in the vicinity of the spacers are red and irritated then, saltwater is a simple and readily available pain remedy.

Take an Anti-Inflammatory Analgesic

Ibuprofen and paracetamol are both anti-inflammatory analgesics which means that like saltwater, they reduce swelling and inflammation. They also work to block pain signals to the brain. Take the recommended dosage each day to relieve spacer pain.

Watch What You Eat

Your diet too plays a part. For instance, if you eat hard foods such as steak, which require you to chew more, you will exacerbate the pain and irritate molars that are already under significant pressure. Stick to soft foods, at least for the first 48 hours.

By following these tips, you should be able to better deal with the pain brought on by your spacers. And whenever you feel like taking them off, remind yourself that without your spacers, your teeth won't be ready for braces. For more information, contact companies like Melrose Dental.