Separators make space between your teeth so that orthodontic bands may be placed around those teeth at your next appointment. When the separators are first placed, it may feel like food is stuck between your teeth, and your bite may feel different. The teeth may feel sore during the first few days, especially when you are biting down. Pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil may help. Avoid eating sticky or chewy foods, because those may cause the separators to come out. Avoid flossing the teeth that have the separators, and avoid pushing on the separators with your fingers or tongue. These can also make the separators come out. If any of your separators do come out, please call the office so that we can determine if you need to have them replaced. If there are just a few days until your appointment, they will not need to be replaced.
Elastics help to move your teeth so that they can fit together correctly. When you first start wearing your elastics, it is normal for your teeth to feel sore, and for your bite to feel different. Pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil may help. As you continue wearing the elastics regularly, the soreness will subside. You may remove the elastics for eating, sports, and cleaning your teeth. However, if you can eat with the elastics on, that increases their effectiveness. The elastics must be worn for the prescribed amount of time and on the correct teeth to be effective. Change them three times a day (or after meals). If you forget to wear your elastics for even one day, the teeth may move back and it could take double the time to make up for it.
A palate expander helps to widen the upper jaw so that the upper and lower teeth can fit together correctly. It may take a few days to get used to the feeling of the expander, as well as eating and speaking with it. Practicing to speak by reading books out loud can be helpful. When the expansion screw is turned, it is normal to feel some pressure around the teeth, jaw, and nose area. Usually this goes away within about half an hour. Make sure you brush the expander well, reaching around all of the sides and in the back.