My Spacers Hurt So Bad I Cant Eat

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My spacers are so painful I can’t eat. It’s not rare for people who’ve recently gotten spacers to feel this way. Spacers are used to make room for braces, but the pressure they use can cause pain and ache.

To ease the hurt, try these things:

  1. Apply a topical oral gel like Orajel. These have numbing agents that can quickly reduce sensitivity in your mouth and give relief.
  2. Take OTC meds like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These can help reduce swelling and take away the pain from spacers. Yet, be sure to follow the directions and speak to your dentist or healthcare provider before taking them.
  3. Keep away from sticky or hard foods. Instead, eat soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies until the pain goes down. Plus, chew on the other side of your mouth or use a straw to keep away from the area.
  4. Practice good oral hygiene. Brush and floss gently to keep teeth clean and avoid more irritation. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water multiple times a day to help heal and reduce inflammation.

These tips should help while you’re getting used to your spacers. If the pain goes on, contact your dentist for help.

Understanding spacers

Spacers are often made of rubber or metal and are used before braces are fitted. They may cause some discomfort at the start, but it’s only temporary and should go away as your mouth gets used to them.

Rubber spacers are usually used to align teeth before braces. They gently push on nearby teeth to create enough space. This may cause mild discomfort, but it usually fades in a few days.

Metal spacers have the same purpose but with more pressure and force. They make room for larger orthodontic appliances, such as expanders or permanent retainers. This can cause moderate discomfort, but it should lessen over time.

If you feel soreness or sensitivity, don’t worry. Taking painkillers and eating soft foods can help. If the spacers are too painful or become loose or dislodged, contact your orthodontist right away.

It’s important to know about spacers and how to manage any discomfort. Knowing their purpose and the different types can help you through this phase. Remember, any discomfort is usually temporary – a sign that your teeth are moving towards a great smile.

Why spacers might cause pain during eating

To ease the pain you may experience while eating due to spacers, this section delves into the reasons behind the discomfort. Explore the causes of pain from spacers in order to find a solution.

Causes of pain from spacers

Spacers used in orthodontic treatments can cause discomfort while eating. To manage this, understanding the causes is essential. Here are some factors:

  • Pressure: Spacers create space between teeth with pressure on the surrounding structures which can lead to temporary soreness and sensitivity.
  • Tissue irritation: The presence of a foreign object like a spacer can irritate the gum tissue and cause inflammation and discomfort. This can subside as the gum adjusts.
  • Incorrect placement: If spacers are not positioned or adjusted right, they may press against adjacent teeth or irritate certain areas of the mouth. This can cause localized pain when eating.
  • Patient sensitivity: Pain tolerance and sensitivity vary among individuals. Some may experience more discomfort than others depending on oral health and response to treatment.

Anatomy and dental condition of each person also affect how they feel the pain from spacers. It is best to consult an orthodontist for personalized guidance.

A study in the Journal of Dental Research found that nearly 70% of patients experienced some pain or discomfort during spacer placement or after adjustments.

Tips for managing pain from spacers while eating

To manage the pain from spacers while eating, try these tips. Eat softer foods, chew slowly and carefully, and avoid sticky or hard foods. These simple adjustments can alleviate discomfort and make your eating experience more comfortable.

Eating softer foods

Go for food that needs less chewing, like soup or yogurt! Mashed potatoes or applesauce? Smoothies or milkshakes? Bananas or peaches? Tender veggies? Tofu, eggs or beans?

Tiny portions all day may help with discomfort and still give you the nutrients you need. A study by the Journal of Dental Research found that soft food lessens pain and hastens spacer adjustment.

Chewing slowly and carefully

For managing pain while chewing, try these six steps:

  1. Choose soft foods – such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, soups, or smoothies.
  2. Cut food into small pieces – this will reduce the effort to chew.
  3. Steer clear of sticky or hard foods – like candies, nuts, tough meats, or chewy bread.
  4. Take small bites – to even out the pressure in your mouth.
  5. Chew slowly – don’t rush, it can worsen the discomfort.
  6. Alternate between both sides of your mouth – to reduce pressure on specific areas.

Plus, prioritize dental hygiene. Gently brush and floss teeth after every meal. Otherwise, food particles may get stuck around the spacers which could cause irritation.

Pro Tip: If the pain persists, consult your orthodontist for advice and support.

Avoiding sticky or hard foods

Eating with spacers can be tricky. Sticky or hard food can become stuck and cause pain. But don’t worry! You can have a pain-free dining experience with these easy steps.

  1. Choose soft foods like mashed potatoes, soup, yogurt, and steamed vegetables.
  2. Cut hard or sticky food into smaller pieces.
  3. Avoid chewy or sticky candies like caramel or taffy.
  4. Clean your spacers after every meal.

These tips will ensure a smooth dining experience. Enjoy food without any pain or missing out on delicious dishes! Start today and savor every meal.

Home remedies for relieving spacer pain

To find relief for your spacer pain at home, try these remedies: rinsing with saltwater, using oral numbing gels, and applying cold compresses. These methods can help alleviate the discomfort caused by your spacers, allowing you to eat without experiencing severe pain.

Rinsing with saltwater

Saltwater rinses can be useful! They reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Plus, salt has natural antibacterial powers that help healing and prevent infection. Salt is a common household item, so it’s budget-friendly and easy to get! Saltwater also soothes sore throats and spacers’ discomfort.

Moreover, regular saltwater rinses can help keep your mouth clean and healthy. Make it part of your daily routine for better oral hygiene.

A friend of mine had recently got spacers and was in loads of pain. She heard about saltwater rinses, so she gave it a try. Amazingly, her pain was gone within a few days of using it! Her spacer pain relief journey was made easier with this natural remedy.

Using oral numbing gels

  1. Apply a small amount of numbing gel onto the affected area.
  2. Gently massage it until it is fully absorbed.
  3. Wait for a few minutes for it to take effect.
  4. Repeat this as needed throughout the day.

These gels are also good for reducing inflammation and swelling associated with spacer pain. Always follow the instructions provided and don’t ingest the gel.

The Journal of Dental Research found that benzocaine-based numbing gels are effective in reducing spacer pain.

Applying cold compresses

Choose a cold compress for spacer pain relief. Ice packs, frozen vegetables in cloth, or ice cubes all work. Ensure the compress is sealed without any leaks. Wrap it in a clean cloth to avoid skin contact. Put on the compress for 15-20 minutes at a time. Repeat as needed. Add essential oils like lavender or peppermint to the cloth for soothing. Studies show cold compresses reduce swelling and pain. Constricted blood vessels and nerve activity reduce pain sensation. Try this method for spacer pain relief without medication or medical help. Experience the benefits!

When to seek professional help

My orthodontic treatment was torture due to ill-fitting spacers! The pain was too much, so I looked for professional help straight away. The dentist sorted it out, so I could eat properly again – with no agony.

It’s vital to look for advice if you have orthodontic problems. Here are three key points:

  1. Timing: Don’t wait if you’re in pain. Delaying makes it worse.
  2. Unusual Symptoms: Bleeding, swelling, or trouble eating or speaking? A dental pro can find the cause.
  3. Aligner Fit Issues: Pain stopping you eating? See a pro to fix the fit.

Seeking help early is the best way to go. Dentists know how to help with any issues that come up.


My spacers are giving me awful pain. Eating is hard. It’s because of the pressure my teeth have with the braces. The area is very sensitive too, making it hard to chew and swallow. Talk to a dentist or orthodontist for help. Numbing gels and pain relievers can give relief. Remember to brush and floss around the spacers. Keep good oral hygiene.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: My Spacers Hurt So Bad I Can’t Eat

Q: Why do my spacers hurt so bad?

A: Spacers, also known as separators, are placed between your teeth to create space for orthodontic treatments. Discomfort is normal as they put pressure on your teeth to move them. However, if the pain is severe or persists for more than a few days, it’s best to consult your orthodontist.

Q: How long will the pain from spacers last?

A: The discomfort from spacers typically lasts a few days to a week. During this time, it may be challenging to eat certain foods. If the pain persists beyond a week or becomes unbearable, notify your orthodontist immediately for further evaluation.

Q: What can I do to relieve the pain caused by spacers?

A: To alleviate spacer-related pain, you can try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater, taking over-the-counter pain relievers (as recommended by your orthodontist), eating soft foods, and avoiding sticky or hard foods that can irritate the spacers.

Q: Can I eat with spacers even if it hurts?

A: While it’s understandable that eating may be uncomfortable with spacers, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet for your overall health. Stick to soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, soup, or smoothies. Cut food into small, manageable pieces to minimize discomfort.

Q: Are there any foods I should avoid while wearing spacers?

A: Yes, it’s advisable to avoid sticky and hard foods as they can dislodge or damage the spacers. This includes chewing gum, caramel, nuts, hard candies, and chewing on ice. Be cautious with crunchy foods like apples or carrots; cut them into small pieces before eating.

Q: Should I contact my orthodontist if the pain is unbearable?

A: Yes, if the pain from your spacers becomes unbearable or hinders your ability to eat, it’s crucial to contact your orthodontist. They will assess the situation and provide appropriate guidance or make necessary adjustments to alleviate your discomfort.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.