Maintaining Your Schwartz Lower Expander

Getting treatment with a Schwartz Lower Expander helps so much with the spacing of your teeth and your jaw alignment. That's why it's vital to keep the appliance clean and well-maintained.

We use the lower expander to provide you with the space you need for the future alignment of your lower teeth. Having an expander does require some extra maintenance. It's important to wear the expander for 24 hours a day and keep it clean. Here's what we recommend to clean your expander:

  • Use a Waterpik, needleless syringe, or a water flosser to remove any food or debris trapped under or around the lower expander.
  • When you brush your teeth, be sure to spend two minutes twice a day brushing. After brushing your teeth, use the toothbrush to clear around the expander. We recommend using a soft-bristle toothbrush and Colgate Total toothpaste.
  • Twice a day, you should clean your mouth with mouthwash. Swish the mouthwash for at least 30 seconds. Commonly, we recommend using ACT or Listerine.
  • You should keep flossing as you normally would. If necessary, you can use a proxy brush to clean around your brackets and the appliance.

You may find eating or speaking difficult when the appliance is first placed. These symptoms will go away after a week or two. Whenever your mouth becomes more comfortable with the appliance, you'll be able to talk and eat normally. Sometimes, you'll encounter a sore or swollen tongue from rubbing or resting against the expander. You can use dental wax as a barrier between your tongue and the expander. This will relieve the soreness and give your tongue a break from the expander.

You may have trouble swallowing during the first few days, so we suggest eating only small foods, mashed potatoes, soups, and soft or liquid foods. This will allow you to eat while getting used to the appliance. Once you've adjusted, slowly start adding solid foods to your diet until you're back to the diet you're used to!

While the appliance is in place, you'll need to avoid crunch, sticky, and hard foods. Some, but not all, of those foods are:

  • Chewing Gum
  • Gummy Candy
  • Licorice
  • Caramels
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Ice
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Snickers
  • Hard Pretzels
  • Apples
  • Beef Jerky
  • Kettle Chips
  • Starburst
  • Gobstoppers
  • Doritos
  • Hard Tacos
  • Raw Vegetables

This list might look intimidating, but there are still numerous alternatives to these foods and other preparations you can do to enjoy them! Some examples include:

  • Steamed Vegetables instead of raw vegetables
  • Cut apples into small pieces
  • Replace hard tacos with soft tacos
  • Pringles or cheese puffs instead of Doritos and kettle chips
  • Instead of chewing ice, have a snow cone or a slushy
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Cake
  • Milkshakes
  • Ice Cream
  • Pasta

You're free to enjoy these foods and a plethora more while wearing your Schwartz Lower Expander. Many of your favorite foods, meals on restaurant menus, and the foods you have in your house are still on the list of foods you can eat.

Have any questions or concerns? We're happy to help. Don't hesitate to contact our team at Shoe Orthodontics! We're so excited to have you on the way to a healthier, more beautiful smile.

The Team at Shoe Orthodontics

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