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July 9, 2024
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Health Care

The Science Behind Orthodontic Spacers and Their Application

Orthodontic imperfections like crooked, crowded, and misaligned teeth may be common. The Irving Texas orthodontist may provide you with suitable dental appliances like braces to correct orthodontic imperfections to impart well-aligned and balanced teeth to enhance your smile. But did you know you need to get spacers before your braces? 

What are orthodontic spacers- this query may pop up. So buckle to explore everything about orthodontic spacers to understand their role and importance in orthodontic treatment.

What are orthodontic spacers?

Orthodontic spacers are small, elastic or metal separators placed between your teeth to create gaps. These spacers are about a centimeter in diameter. You may feel mild pain and discomfort when spacers are first placed between your teeth since they forcefully move your teeth. These are kept in place for about 1 to 2 weeks before getting braces. 

What are the types of orthodontic spacers?

The most common types of spacers are:

  • Rubber spacers: These are small rubber bands that are placed between your molars to create a little extra space. 
  • Metal spacers: These look like small metal rings 

How are spacers inserted?

Your orthodontist provides spacers at least a week before getting braces. Often rubber spacers are preferred over metal spacers. 

Here is a guide to how the spacer is inserted:

  • Your orthodontist will use a small tool or dental floss to stretch out each spacer first.
  • Once you open your mouth wide, they will wiggle each spacer into place between your molars.
  • You are expected to feel mild pressure and pinching sensation while placing the spacers.

Do spacers hurt?

This depends on the person since every person differs. Some may consider spacers to be very painful, while some just feel a sense of irritation. But most often you may feel mild pain which is common and may resolve on its own in a few days. 

What are the precautions after getting spacers?

Orthodontists clearly advise their patients to take certain precautions while having spacers. These include:

  • Avoid certain types of foods like candies, gummy bears, and chewing gums
  • Rinse your mouth gently after every meal 
  • Brush and floss your teeth very carefully
  • Avoid picking or dislodging the spacer from your teeth


Spacers are your first step to straighter and more aligned teeth. These elastic bands or metal pieces are placed for a short time to prepare your back teeth for bands for your orthodontic braces. Consult your dentist if you desire beautifully aligned teeth and discuss spacers and the duration to be used. 

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