Separators are little blue rubber rings that are placed between the back teeth usually one week before braces are fitted. They make room for a ring type of brace (called a ‘band’) to fit on the back teeth.
While you have your separators in it is important not to eat anything sticky such as minties, toffees, chewing gum, dried fruit, etc. Anything sticky may dislodge or pull out the separators from between the teeth.
It is important to brush well around the separators, but not to floss where the separators have been placed - as they sit in the gap between the teeth.
The separators remain in place for one week prior to the bands being placed on the back teeth. If the separators fall out naturally within a day or two of your next appointment this usually means they have worked and enough space has been made between the teeth. It is often a good idea to call one of our receptionists and let them know how many separators have fallen out and they will let you know if you need to come in to have any replaced or not. You can check to see if they are still in place each day, as they are blue and should be visible between the back teeth – often one if front and one behind the back tooth.
It is quite normal for the back teeth to feel tender for 2-3 days after the separators have been placed. This is just an indication that the teeth are moving. Soft foods and some Panadol or Nurofen should provide relief and after 2-3 days the discomfort will settle.