A 3D rendering of dental separators between teeth.

Lost Separator

A common orthodontic emergency that can occur is a lost separator. An orthodontic separator is a small rubber band or metal spring used in orthodontic practices to aid in creating space between the teeth so orthodontic bands can be placed.

These orthodontic devices are typically left in place for approximately one to two weeks. If you find yourself in a position where you have lost a separator, this may be considered a dental emergency, depending on your case. It is important to consult with your orthodontist and have the issue fixed in a timely manner to prevent any delay in treatment.

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Home » Ortho Specific Emergencies » Lost Separator

Common Causes Of Lost Separators

You can more effectively prevent the loss of separators by understanding common causes such as:

  • Consuming sticky or hard foods
  • Aggressive oral hygiene practices such as brushing or flossing
  • Natural movement

After contacting your orthodontist about the loss of a separator, they can advise whether it needs to be replaced. If it is in your best interest to have it replaced, this can be completed with a quick dental visit. If it is close to your scheduled appointment time for the next phase in your treatment plan, replacement may be unnecessary.

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Loose Bracket

Sad teenager holding a model of teeth with braces and a retainer.

A loose bracket is a common orthodontic issue that occurs while wearing braces. If not promptly addressed, your treatment could experience a setback that could take months to rectify. By addressing the problem quickly, you can ensure your orthodontic treatment remains on track while reducing the risk of experiencing discomfort.

Common reasons brackets become loose:

  • Injury or trauma to the mouth
  • Eating hard foods
  • Biting down hard directly on one of the lower braces
  • Aggressive or improper oral hygiene practices
  • Low bond strength of the bracket to the tooth from tissue inflammation or contamination with saliva during the bonding procedure.

Wire Irritation

model of teeth with braces

Wire irritation typically occurs when the wire secured into your brackets becomes loose, breaks, or pops out of the brackets. If not addressed promptly, this can lead to discomfort, cuts, sores, and infection. The most common reasons you may experience wire irritation is the result of:

  • Eating foods not appropriate when receiving braces treatment, such as hard and/or sticky foods
  • Injury or trauma to the mouth
  • Poking and prodding at your braces

Wire irritation is not a cause for panic. However, it is an issue you will want to address quickly to reduce aversive side effects that can easily lead to more serious problems and discomfort. Absolute Dental is available to address your orthodontic emergency needs.

Lost Separator

3d render of rubber separators between teethSeparators are small rubber bands or metal rings placed between teeth to create space for the subsequent placement of orthodontic bands. Separators are designed to be temporary, but they occasionally become dislodged or fall out prematurely. This can happen due to factors such as:

  • Aggressive or vigorous flossing
  • Chewing sticky foods
  • Natural movement of teeth
  • Trauma or injury to the mouth

If you lose a separator, it is important to notify your orthodontist as quickly as possible. The absence of a separator can negatively impact future planned orthodontic adjustments, and immediate replacement may be necessary to support the proper spacing between teeth. Contacting your orthodontist immediately can ensure your treatment plan stays on track and that your teeth are adequately prepared for the next phase of your orthodontic journey.

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We Accept Most Dental Insurance

Absolute Dental is a preferred provider for most insurances, unions, and hotels that include: Aetna, Ameritas, Boon-Chapman, Caesars Palace, Cigna, Delta Dental, Diversified, Geha, Guardian, Harrah’s, HealthSCOPE Benefits, Health Plan of Nevada (HPN), Humana, Liberty, Met-Life, MGM-MIRAGE, Premier Access, The Standard, Station Casinos, Teachers Health Trust, United Concordia, United Healthcare, Venetian, and The Zenith. We also accept Medicaid.

If you do not see your dental insurance listed here, just give us a call to confirm!

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FAQs

Contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. Your dental professional can advise you on how to address and rectify the situation.

A lost separator isn’t necessarily always a dental emergency, but it can be. If you experience a lost separator, it is better to air on the side of caution and contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to avoid any aversive side effects or delays in treatment. If it is close to the next treatment step, your orthodontist may advise that a dental visit is unnecessary and to attend your next scheduled appointment as normal.

Teeth spacers for braces can sometimes fall out due to the natural movement of the teeth. However, some ways you can prevent this situation is to avoid hard or chewy foods as well as refrain from aggressive brushing and flossing.

Talk to your dental professional if you have any questions or concerns regarding proper oral hygiene or foods to refrain from consuming. They can provide you with the necessary information to best prevent the loss of a separator and reduce your risk for other issues that may prevent your treatment progress.

Call Absolute Dental Today

A 3D rendering of dental separators between teeth.

Absolute Dental is a leading Las Vegas dental care provider with the experience and expertise to handle all your dental health needs. We offer a wide array of services and financing options to ensure everyone can get the best dental care possible without worrying about how they will be able to work it into their budget.

In addition to financing options, we offer several special offers to fit every budget, as well as our Smile Saver program!

Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are ready to answer any questions you have about our services, including those related to traditional braces

References:

Benedetti, A. (2014). Orthodontics, lost spacer below gumline. What should I do?
Larson, J. (2020). Everything You Need to Know About Orthodontic Spacers for Braces.
What to Know About Orthodontic Spacers.

 


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Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89129
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89108
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89110
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89139
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89110
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89148
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
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