Instructions For Your Retainer or Expander
Retainers and Expanders are extremely important elements of your orthodontic treatment, so be sure to follow these instructions carefully, so that they do their jobs properly!
- Wear your retainer at all times, until your orthodontist instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case right away! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- Clean your retainer thoroughly every day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm (not hot) water. Brushing retainers help remove plaque, bad tastes, and odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used as well, but do not take the place of brushing.
- If your retainer isn't in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- At first, you may find it difficult to speak with your retainer. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud.
- Retainers are breakable, so be careful. If your retainer is lost or broken, call us immediately to keep your treatment on track.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or if your retainer needs an adjustment, call us. Don't try to adjust it yourself.
- Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
- Replacing your retainer is expensive... but with proper care, it will last for years!
- Remove your retainer when swimming.
- Keep your retainer away from heat, including hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine and dryer, and napkins.
Removable Expander Instructions
Wear your expander full time: all day, during meals, and while sleeping.
The only time you should remove your expander is to brush and floss your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Fixed Expander Instructions
Turn the expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole and turn it toward the arrow. If you can't keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.