After getting orthodontic spacers, patients can eat the foods they normally eat with the exception of sticky foods, such as gummy candies, caramel and taffy, explains Theresa Shaver Orthodontics, P.C. Patients should also refrain from chewing gum to keep the spacers from falling out too early.
Orthodontic spacers are also called separators and are placed between molars to create a small amount of space between the teeth before a patient receives wire braces, explains Shaver. The space created allows orthodontists to fit molar bands around the back teeth when applying the braces.
Typically, spacers require only a few days to move the teeth enough to create the necessary amount of space, notes Shaver. They may fall out on their own once the spacing is complete, but patients should not do anything to cause them to fall out prematurely, such as eating sticky foods, flossing between the affected teeth or picking at them with a toothpick. Patients can brush their teeth as normal with spacers.
Patients sometimes experience discomfort or small amounts of pain while they have spacers between their teeth. They may feel an odd sensation similar to the way they feel when they have food stuck between their teeth, or their mouths may be a bit sore as a result of the tooth movement, states Shaver.