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What You Should Know About Orthodontic Spacers

People often picture the brackets and wires of traditional braces when they hear the word “braces.” However, you should know that you may require orthodontic spacers before placing braces. Many people who plan to wear braces find that using orthodontic spacers helps them get ready for the new appliances.
In the preliminary stages of wearing braces, you may utilize orthodontic spacers (sometimes called separators). One can wear them temporarily to prepare the back molars for the placement of metal bands that will link the archwire.
Usually, using spacers in conjunction with orthodontic treatment is short-lived; patients wear spacers for a week or two before bands are placed on their back teeth. These spacers will create small spaces between the teeth so that a tooth brace or molar band can be placed, or an expander is fit with metal rings.

Types of Orthodontic Separators

Rubber Spacers

You can wear these little elastic loops by sliding them between the back teeth. Commonly, you’ll see them in a blue hue.

Metal Spacers

Your unique situation and your doctor’s preferred care method will determine which one your orthodontist ultimately employs. People use rubber spacers in most orthodontic cases.

Are Spacers for Everyone Getting Braces?

Spacers, also known as orthodontic separators, are necessary for most people who have traditional braces. With conventional braces, one affixes brackets to the front of teeth and uses wires to move them into the desired position. Metal bands that resemble rings are placed around some of your back teeth to secure the wires. The orthodontist frequently crams those back teeth together. To make room for metal bands, your orthodontist will use spacers to separate some of your teeth, typically molars.

Inserting Spacers and How they Work

Before getting braces, patients who require spacers will have them placed. Before placing rubber spacers between your teeth, an orthodontist will stretch them out with a small tool or dental floss. The next step is to open your mouth wide as they wriggle each spacer between your molars.
Some patients report a slight pinching or squeezing sensation when the spacer is at the gum line.

Procedure for taking out spacers

Removing spacers is straightforward and shouldn’t take too much time. The orthodontist uses a little tool to pop them out. The orthodontist can easily remove the spacers if they have created extra room.

What to Eat When You Have Spacers

Many orthodontists recommend that patients with braces avoid eating specific foods. Such meals tend to be crunchy or sticky, like:
• Sweets such as caramel toffee and gummy bears.
• Chewing gum or chewy foods like steak.
If you use spacers, you should refrain from eating the above foods. Think of this as practice for when you get braces.

Brushing and flossing with dental spacers

The quick answer to how to clean your teeth with spacers in your mouth is this: very gently.
Start by gargling with water to remove any food debris from your mouth. Brush your teeth thoroughly yet softly, paying specific attention to the rear teeth. Then rinse with water.


With the use of spacers, you can begin the process of achieving an ideal dental alignment. For more information on orthodontic separators, read our personal guide. To learn more about our offered orthodontic treatments, contact Swan Orthodontics today. Please fill out our contact form to arrange a free consultation appointment in Caledonia, Michigan.