What to know about orthodontic spacers for braces?

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Wear braces is the most popular way to straighten crooked teeth and align your bite. Your teeth must be prepared for braces before you get them. Your orthodontist may place orthodontic spacers between some of your teeth to prepare your mouth for all the braces gear.


You won't have spacers for very long if you need them, but you must take care of them while wearing them.


What are Orthodontic Spacers?


Your orthodontist will want to prepare your mouth for the most excellent outcomes before fitting you with braces. Therefore, they utilize orthodontic spacers to make room for the brackets that secure braces to your teeth.


Once your orthodontist identifies your specific dental requirements, your orthodontist will place them as necessary. Small elastic or metal separators, orthodontic spacers, help make spaces between teeth. The separators have a diameter of around one centimeter.


Initially, it's possible to experience pain, tightness, and soreness when orthodontists insert spacers between your teeth. However, the discomfort and pain disappear after a few days.


Typically, you only wear spacers for one to two weeks. You should be cautious about your meals to prevent spacers from jarring. Additionally, you should avoid flossing in the areas between teeth where spacers are present.


Does everyone need spacers before braces?


Most patients who receive traditional braces will require spacers, commonly known as orthodontic spacers.


Traditional braces use brackets bonded to the front of your teeth and wires to link them. Around several of your back teeth, metal bands resemble rings that the wires are fastened to. Those back teeth are frequently quite tightly crowded together.


Therefore, to allow your orthodontist to place metal bands around certain teeth, typically molars, spacers help to create a small gap between particular teeth.

 What to know about orthodontic spacers for braces? 

Types of Orthodontic Spacers


Orthodontic spacers come in different materials. The following are the most typical kinds of spacers:


  • Rubber spacers: To add additional space between your molars, rubber spacers that look like tiny rubber bands are placed between them.
  • Metal spacers: These might appear to be tiny metal rings.


The price of your braces will include spacers because they are the first step to getting braces. According to survey data from the American Dental Association, the price range for full braces treatment is between $5,000 and $7,000.


There are numerous payment methods available. If you have dental insurance, find out if it includes orthodontic care and, if so, what portion of the overall cost you might be responsible for.


How are Orthodontic Spacers inserted?


If you need spacers, you will receive them about a week before your braces. Your orthodontist stretches out each rubber spacer before inserting it with a tiny instrument or dental floss. As your orthodontist puts the spacer toward your gum line, you may experience pressure and a pinching feeling throughout the procedure.


Spacer removal is a relatively easy technique that does not take too long. They pop out of place by your orthodontist using a tiny instrument. If the spacers have effectively created room, they are relatively simple to remove.


Do spacers hurt?


Everyone experiences pain differently. Spacers can be extremely painful in one person's opinion and unpleasant in another. However, both those who obtain spacers before getting braces and those who wear braces frequently complain of pain. The good news is that discomfort usually gets better with time.


According to research, things do seem to improve rather quickly. A 2015 research of 62 teenagers examined the discomfort they experienced from spacers. According to the study, the first two days after receiving spacers were the most painful.


However, you might not reach the stage where you do not remember the feel of spacers in your mouth. You can still feel as though there is something stuck in your back teeth.


If you feel discomfort, your orthodontist can suggest taking an over-the-counter painkiller to ease the pain. To reduce the soreness, you can also try rinsing three to four times daily with a warm salt water solution (one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of water).


Benefits of Orthodontic Spacers


  • Straight teeth: Straightening your teeth might be one of the purposes of braces. Compared to the rest of your life living with a smile that makes you feel confident, the time you spend wearing braces is minimal.
  • Better oral health: You have a higher risk of plaque and cavities if your teeth are crowded and rubbing against one another. You can clean and floss more efficiently when your teeth are arranged uniformly in your mouth.


Caring for your Orthodontic Spacers


Orthodontists frequently advise patients with braces to avoid specific meals. These are often hard or gummy meals, like:


  • Sweets like gummy bears, toffee, and caramel
  • Chewy food that requires a lot of chewing, like steak, chewing gum


Avoiding the same foods with spacers in your mouth is a good idea. Consider it as a form of orthodontic training.


The answer is highly cautious if you're wondering how to brush and floss your teeth with those spacers in your mouth.


Start by giving your mouth an excellent watery rinse. Next, use your toothbrush to carefully clean your teeth' surfaces, particularly the rear teeth—re-rinse with water. Last but not least, you can floss your teeth. Just remember not to floss around the spacers. You might unintentionally knock one over.


The most crucial things you can do when wearing spacers are to be cautious when caring for your teeth and watch what you eat. To prevent unintentionally moving one, avoid picking or pulling at them.




The first step toward straighter, more uniformly spaced teeth is to use spacers. Since the purpose of orthodontic spacers is to prepare your back teeth for the bands that will shortly be applied there, you won't have them for very long.


Call your orthodontist if you experience any spacer issues. In the meantime, take it easy on your teeth.


Contact your Pinole Orthodontics, Dr. Hoss Abar, DDS, MSD, at Abar Orthodontics to learn more about orthodontic spacers for braces.




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This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition.

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