Appliance Instructions

Adjusting the palatal expander

You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.

Step 1

Step 1

In a well-lit area, tip the patient's head back.

Step 2

Step 2

Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.

Step 3

Step 3

Push the key toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.

Step 4

Step 4

Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.

Essix retainer care instructions 

You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.


  • Wear your retainer at all times, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean the 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 its case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Separators Instructions

You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.

First step:  SEPARATORS

WHAT….       Small doughnut shaped elastic modules or springs placed between your teeth.

WHY…..         To create space between your teeth so the “bands” can be   placed accurately.

AND…..         Your teeth may become sensitive, but the discomfort will be gone in a few days.

SO…..            To relieve any soreness, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and/or take Tylenol.

IF…..               Spacers fall out by themselves do not be concerned.  This means they have done their job!

BUT…..          Don’t pick at them or eat sticky foods that may pull them out prematurely.  Their purpose is to make your next visit easier.

DON’T…..      Floss your teeth where the separators are placed

DO’S                                                DON’TS

Hershey Kisses                               Bubble Gum

Ice cream                                        Caramel

M&M’s (all kinds)                             Frozen Candy

3 Musketeers                                  Gummy Bears

                Peanut Butter Cups                         Jolly Ranchers

                Popsicles                                         Starburst

                Life Savers                                      Twizzlers

                Popcorn                                          Skittles

                Reese Pieces                                  Salt Water Taffy                                                           


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