Spacers for Braces Guide: How They Work, Pain & More

Spacers for Braces Guide: How They Work, Pain & More

We all are familiar with braces, but few people know that sometimes your orthodontist applies spacers before the braces to help with better results. This article will explain what spacers for braces are, how they are applied, and what to eat and avoid when wearing spacers. If you are in the position to decide whether you’ll have spacers or not, this will be a good guide for you.

What Are Spacers for Braces?

What Are Spacers for Braces?

Most people who choose conventional braces can benefit from spacers or orthodontic separators. Spacers are small elastic or metal appliances that get between your teeth and create a gap. Your doctor should assess your needs and place them between specific teeth. There are two types of spacers: rubber and metal. Rubber spacers are like small rubber bands, and metal spacers look like metal rings. Spacers are usually removed after two weeks. your doctor might advise you not to floss during this period.

How Does It Feel to Have Spacers for Braces?

At first, spacers might cause a little discomfort and soreness as they are forcing your teeth into the right position. However, the pain and discomfort should go away after a couple of days. You can eat soft and cold food to soothe this discomfort. You should contact your orthodontist if pain or discomfort persists for more than two or three days.

How Are Spacers for Braces Placed and Removed?

To place rubber spacers, your doctor inserts them with a small tool or a string of floss between the targeted teeth and then wiggles the spacers to fall into the right position. During the placement procedure, you might feel some pinching and pressure as the spacers are getting into position.

On the other hand, removing spacers is not that complicated and doesn’t take long. When it’s time to remove them, your doctor just pops them out with a tool. Since they have been creating more space between your teeth, removing them should be much easier than their placement. In case they fall out before the end of treatment, you should contact your doctor immediately, so you can replace them with new ones as your orthodontist sees fit.

What Foods to Avoid with Spacers for Braces?

There are foods you should avoid during the time you have spacers. If you eat these forbidden foods there is a risk of breaking or popping your spacers. Here are the foods that affect your treatment:

  • Crunchy foods like potato chips or pretzels;
  • Hard foods like nuts, apples, and raw carrots;
  • Chewy or sticky foods like chewing gum and licorice;
  • Sugary foods like candy or chocolate.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Spacers?

Naturally, you want to know about the advantages and disadvantages of spacers for braces. Here are the most important ones:


  • Straight teeth: spacers and clear braces can help you get the best smile of your life;
  • Better dental health: straightened teeth are easier to brush and floss, which means fewer cavities and plaque.


  • Risk of decay: during your treatment, it is hard to brush or floss with spacers or braces;
  • Strict diet: with spacers and braces, you can’t eat many of the foods you might love because they affect your treatment.

What Is the Alternative to Spacers for Braces?

If the disadvantages of spacers have made you reconsider your decision about getting braces, you should know there is an alternative called Invisalign®. It consists of a series of removable, invisible retainers that you can take out for eating and brushing your teeth. Another article, “Invisalign® vs. Braces; the Answer Is Clear!” has covered the differences between the two methods in detail. Dr. Maryam Horiyat also has a video on why Invisalign® is a better option than traditional braces.

Do You Need Help Making A Decision?

This blog post walked you through the procedure of spacers for braces and the aftercare. However, if you’re still not sure whether you want to choose this treatment for your dental issues, we have a suggestion. Aria Dental Care in Orange County, California, is a holistic and biological dental office that provides many services including orthodontics and aligners. Our professional team can help you with your decision and discuss every step of the way to ensure you are confident to proceed. Contact us today for a consultation so we can start right away.

Aria dental tm - Contact us

Share this article:

Leave a Reply