Dental: Wearing Separators

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Orthodontic separators make room between teeth for orthodontic appliances. Separators are small elastic bands placed between your child’s teeth (Picture 1). The separator moves the teeth apart, so space is made between them to fit an orthodontic band(s).Wearing Separators

At first you will feel pressure from the separators. You will likely feel some tenderness or sensitivity for the first few days as your teeth move. The feeling usually goes away. It is normal for your bite to feel different while you have the separators.

When You Have Separators:

  • Eat soft, cool foods if teeth and bite are uncomfortable.
  • Brush normally. Do not floss in the area of the separators.
  • Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever like ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®) if needed.
  • Keep all scheduled appointments with your orthodontist.
  • Do not pick or remove the separators.
  • Do not eat sticky or chewy foods like gum, taffy, or caramels.

Contact the Orthodontic Treatment Program at (614) 722-5602 if your separators fall out before your next appointment.

If you have any questions about the separators, ask your orthodontist or their assistant.


Orthodontics: Wearing Separators PDF, Somali (PDF), Spanish (PDF) 

HH-II-88 1/85, Reviewed 4/22 Copyright 1985, Nationwide Children’s Hospital