My orthodontist put “Donuts” in between my teeth

December 21, 2017

Did your orthodontist just put donuts between your teeth?  Confused?  Fascinated?

Ring separators, donuts or spacers are just one of the few ways to describe rubber or elastic separators and are commonly used in orthodontics. Most patients do not have spaces between their teeth, and fitting a ring or a band would be painful. To make room we put separators between the teeth for approximately 1 week to create enough room to insert something called bands on the molars.

Band or as we like to call them “rings” are used on the back molar teeth to fabricate orthodontic appliances or add attachments to teeth.  These bands are much like metal rings that wrap around your entire tooth.

Our patients do very well with these separators and you will often hear Dr. Virdee joke that they feel like “chicken” stuck between your teeth. These rubber bands are essentially small elastics that are first stretched out with a special instrument. We put them in by flossing them between the contacts of your teeth where additional space is needed. The patient might feel slight pressure because of the rubber band squeezing between their teeth.

Between the appointments we ask the patient not to floss or pick at their separators. It is also important to avoid chewy, sticky food as this can dislodge the elastic. If a separator falls out, this is normal – it just means that enough space has been created. If this is to happen please call us and we can schedule you to have your separator replaced before your next visit.

The separators feel a little bit like you have a piece of food stuck between their teeth.  Patients may notice that they have a brief soreness from the slight tooth movement and pressure. If you have any discomfort during this process you take over the counter pain medication such as Advil.

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