Separators are required before placing orthodontic molar bands. (An orthodontic band is sort of like a ring on your finger.) Since your back teeth are very close together, we will need to create a slight space between your back teeth so the molar band can slide between your molars easily during your band fitting appointment. By placing separators between your back teeth, we can comfortably fit your molar bands at your next appointment.
The separators may feel funny at first, like food is stuck between your teeth. You may even experience some tenderness or sensitivity in the area where the separators are placed. This is an indication that the separators are working and doing their job. This tenderness will only last a few days. Any discomfort or soreness can be relieved with acetaminophen or other non-asparin pain-reliver.
Usually, the separators need to be in place for a few days to do their job. After a few days, the separators may create enough room between your back teeth so that they fall out on their own. This is perfectly fine and is not an emergency; it simply means there is enough room now. Do not take the separators out on your own. Do not pick at them with your fingers, a toothpick or anything else, because it will cause them fall out prematurely. If the separators come out prematurely, it will make your next appointment less comfortable, since there will not be enough room to comfortably place the bands between your molars.
Brush your teeth with the separators in. They will not fall out even with vigorous toothbrushing. However, do not floss between the teeth that have separators.
You may eat normally with the separators in, but you should avoid chewing gum and eating sticky foods (caramel, taffy, Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears, Snickers or any other sticky candy), since they may cause your separators fall out prematurely.
You will need to keep the separators in place long enough to create ample space for your molar bands, so we can comfortably fit your molar bands at your next appointment. Under most conditions, you need them no longer than one week.