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Retainer & Expander Instructions

Retainers and Expanders are extremely important parts of your orthodontic treatment, so be sure to follow these instructions carefully, to ensure that they do as effective a job as possible!

Retainer Instructions

  • Wear your retainer full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainer out when eating... and always put it right back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean your retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak with your retainer. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If your retainer is lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or your retainer needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacement is expensive... but with proper care, they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when swimming.
  • Keep your retainer away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Removable Expander Instructions

Wear your expander all the time. That means all day, during meals, and while sleeping.

Remove your expander only to brush your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Fixed Expander Instructions

Turn your expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole and turn toward the arrow. If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.

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