tooth.jpgBefore braces are placed on your teeth, separators (or sometimes called spacers) are placed between specific teeth in order to move them apart slightly and create space for orthodontic bands.

What are "Bands"?

Bands, which are rings that surround the whole tooth, are placed on the large back molar teeth since they act as anchors. Since teeth normally contact each other very tightly, a separator is placed on the front and backsides of these molars to gently move these teeth slightly apart.

puzzle.jpgHow many types of separators are there?

Separators are either the rubber type Clittle pieces of latex rubber) or the metal type. Both types of spacers will give the sensation of having a piece of food caught between your teeth.

How long do I wear separators?

Separators can be placed from two days to two weeks before the banding appointment (the day the braces are placed).

Will it hurt while I'm wearing them?

It is normal to be a little sore, but if YOU are uncomfortable try rinsing with warm salt water. The soreness is temporaryand will go awayin one to three days. You may also take over-the counter pain relievers such as aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen to provide even more comfort.

What happens if the separator falls out?

If the separator is accidentally dislodged and it is several days before your next visit, then a new separator should be placed. You will be shown how to replace these separators and given a backup supply. Once the space has been gained, the rubber separators may fall out. The space will begin to close up on its own, so wait until three to five days before your next appointment to replace them. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THEY BE IN PLACE fOR YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT. If any questions arise as to whether replacement separators are needed or not, please contact our office. Also, if they are accidentally swallowed, do not be concerned, as they are harmless.

Do I still brush & floss my teeth?

First of all, avoid ALL STICKY fOODS while YOU are wearing separators. You can brush normally around these separators, but do not floss or use toothpicks in these separated areas. flossing should be immediately resumed when the separators have been removed.