An Introduction to Separators

Separators or “Spacers,” as they are often called, are by definition small doughnut shaped rubber rings or wire springs that are used to create small spaces between your teeth for the fitting of orthodontic appliances.

  • Do not floss or use a toothpick around spacers.
  • Do not chew gum or have any hard or sticky candy. See Foods to Avoid for further information.
  • Check separators everyday! If you have lost any spacers, please replace them. Please see the instructions below for separator placement. If they are not replaced, your appliances cannot be delivered at your next appointment.
  • If Spacers fall out 1 day before your next appointment, you don’t have to replace them.

What to expect

Your teeth will become sensitive, but the discomfort will be gone in a few days.
To help reduce soreness, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and take an over the counter pain medication. (Tylenol, Advil, etc.)

orthodontic separators

How To Put The Separators In

Step 1

Get two pieces of floss and your spacer.

Step 2

Thread the two pieces of floss through the spacer, and then wrap the floss strings around your pointer fingers.

Step 3

Pull fingers away from each other so the spacer is now almost flat and tension is created.

Step 4

Just like you would floss between your teeth, gently work the spacer between your teeth. After you have pushed the spacer between the teeth, carefully pull the floss out. Sometimes it is necessary to hold your finger over the spacer when you pull the floss out.

For further help and advice about separators, contact us at the Beach Braces office... because everyone should love to smile!

Patricia J. Panucci DmD, MS • Specialist in Orthodontics For Children and Adults in Southern California