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What to Expect at the Separation Appointment

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Goal

In order to make space for the metal bands that go around the molars, we will separate your back teeth. Small plastic rings or metal springs will be wedged between each molar to gradually move them apart. The separators typically stay in for 1-2 weeks prior to the banding appointment.

Taking Care of the Separators

For the first few days, your back teeth will likely feel sore. You may take ibuprofen, just as you would for a minor headache, and we recommend eating softer foods to help with any discomfort. Please continue to brush your teeth twice daily as normal, but be careful to not dislodge the separators.

Losing a Separator

Once enough space has been created, the separators tend to fall out on their own. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about. To ensure that enough space has been made, simply pull dental floss between the teeth where the separator fell out. If the floss slides through easily, you do not need a replacement. If you lose many of the separators, please call our office, and we will determine if they need to be replaced.

What to Expect at the Banding, Bonding and Archwire Appointment

Policies

This appointment is scheduled between 2 days and 1 week after the separator have been placed. The braces placement appointment lasts approximately 2 hours. We schedule these appointments during ‘slower’ office hours, anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

During the appointment, we respectfully have parents wait in the reception area. Parents are welcome to join us in the treatment area once the appointment is finished and the doctor is giving special instructions on caring for the braces.

Parts of Braces

The bands (metal rings that go around the molars) and brackets (metal or ceramic orthodontic devices that hold the archwire in place) are cemented to your teeth. A light-weight archwire will be placed into the brackets to allow you to adjust to the new appliance. Either elastic or metal ligatures will be wrapped around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.

What to Expect at the Adjustment Appointments

Scheduling the Adjustment Appointments

Adjustment appointments are made on a regular basis, typically every 6-10 weeks apart. Each appointment can last anywhere from 15-45 minutes, depending on the type of work that needs to be done. The average time for an adjustment appointment is about 20 minutes.

Repairing Braces

If your braces break or are damaged, please call our office as soon as possible. We will do our best to assess how we’ll fix your braces. Depending on how many repairs are necessary, a repair appointment can last longer than a simple adjustment. If this is the case, we may need to schedule you another appointment.