Orthodontic Spacers (or Separators)
What are spacers (or separators)?
Spacers (or “separators”) have been placed between your teeth. They may be elastic (green, blue, or clear) or metal (look like a small clip).
Teeth normally fit tightly against one another, and the purpose of the spacers is to move your teeth apart slightly in order to make room for bands. At your next appointment, the spacers will be removed and bands will be fitted around the teeth. The spacers often make your teeth sore for two or three days. If soreness does occur, eat a soft diet and take the same over-the-counter pain reliever you would use for a common headache.
ORTHODONTIC SPACERS QUESTIONS
Will my spacers fall out?
Taking care of your separators will make the next appointment much easier:
- Do not play with separators with fingers, toothpicks, etc.
- Brush normally, but do not floss in the area where the separators are located.
- No gum or other sticky foods. Such items could dislodge the separator.
What If my spacer falls Out?
After spacers have created small spaces between the teeth, they often become loose and may fall out. If a spacer falls out and is swallowed there is no reason for concern. The spacer will pass through the digestive system without causing any problems. Check your spacers every day to make sure you haven’t lost any. If a spacer falls out it needs to be replaced at least 2 days before your next scheduled appointment. If you are comfortable doing so, you may replace any missing spacers if you still have them. If you are not comfortable replacing your own spacers, we will be happy to do it for you. Please contact Hodges Orthodontics and we will schedule that appointment (662.407.0713)
How can I put the spacer back? Can I replace the spacer?
If you are comfortable doing so, you may replace any missing spacers if you still have them.
- The first step is to thread a piece of dental floss through the center of the separator.
- 2. The next step is to double the floss back on itself. Repeat this with one more piece of floss. Hold one piece of floss on either side of the separator.
- Slide the floss between the teeth where the separator has come out.
- Pull the separator in between the two teeth.
- Keep a finger on top of the newly placed separator. Gently pull one end of a doubled back piece of floss out of the mouth. Repeat with the other side leaving the separator in between the teeth.