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Records and Patient Orientation

After the consultation, if you are ready to start braces, we obtain additional documentation for our records. Pretreatment records include:

Facial and dental photos

Models of your teeth

Panoramic x-ray

Cephalometric x-ray

We use the records to document your starting relationships and to finalize the diagnosis and treatment plan. In a few complex situations a second consultation is beneficial to consider the treatment process a second time, introduce care and compliance issues, or to present computer-simulated treatment changes in complex situations.

Treatment often begins at the Patient Orientation. Your orientation will include important instructions on the care of your teeth, gums and braces. Not only will we explain things, we will give everything to you in writing for latter reference. This appointment takes about a half hour.


Orthodontic separators, also known as spacers, are rubber bands that make room for the metal bands or crowns we may fit around your teeth at your banding appointment. Most patients do not require separators since in most situations we do not use bands or crowns.

Proper care of your separators

Brush carefully after each meal, including the teeth that have the separators between them.
Avoid using dental floss between the teeth that have the separators.
Do not touch, pick or play with the separators.

Do not chew gum or eat candy or anything sticky that could pull your separators out.
Separators may make your teeth sore and tender for the 24 to 72 hours. This is a normal reaction for teeth that are moving. An over the counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen often helps relieve the discomfort.

If a separator comes out and it is not lost or swallowed (they are digestible), rather than coming back to the office, you may wish to try to replace it yourself by using two pieces of dental floss as follows:

Using the dental floss as a handle, gently slip the separator between the teeth until it is in place and then slowly pull the floss out by one end. With young patients sometimes, so much space is created that the separator is difficult to keep in. If this is the case, wait for one day and try to slip it in again. Separators are an important part of your orthodontic treatment. They will make your first banding appointment much more comfortable for you if they are left in place. If one or more falls out and you are unable to guide it back in, please call the office so we can replace them in a timely manner.