Maintaining Your HAAS Upper Expander

Congratulations on starting your journey to a beautiful, healthy smile! We've placed a HAAS Upper Expander to help widen your upper jaw.

The HAAS Upper expander can be one of the most important parts of your orthodontic treatments. It can allow your teeth to align themselves better. Better alignment and a corrected jaw help with various orthodontic issues and often improve your breathing!

That's why it's essential for you to maintain, clean, and protect the HAAS Upper Expander. Keeping it clean will prevent damage to the appliance or your teeth. The hygiene routine is similar to your normal one or the one you'd encounter if you had braces! You need to clean your expander every day. We recommend doing the following daily:

  • Remove any food trapped above or around your expander using a Waterpik, needleless syringe, or a water flosser.
  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Be sure to brush around the expander. We recommend Colgate Total toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Swish with mouthwash twice daily for at least 30 seconds each time. Generally, we recommend ACT or Listerine.
  • Floss as you usually would, and use a proxy brush to clean the wires and brackets.

When you start treatment, you might have difficulty eating and talking usually. After a week or two, you should become more comfortable with the appliance. Then you'll be able to speak and eat normally. You might also have a sore or swollen tongue from rubbing on the expander. You can apply orthodontic wax to provide a barrier from the expander.

We recommend eating only small foods, soups, or mashed potatoes for the first few days. This will allow you to get used to swallowing with the appliance in place. Once you adjust fully, you can slowly move toward more solid foods until you're comfortable eating a regular diet.

You'll need to avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods during treatment. These foods include, but aren't limited to:

  • 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

Don't let this list fool you! There are still plenty of alternatives to these foods and ways you can enjoy these foods. For example:

  • 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 can enjoy these and many more foods while wearing a HAAS Upper Expander. Most of your favorite foods, items on a restaurant menu, and foods in your fridge are still up for grabs!

If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact Shoe Orthodontics. We're happy to help and eager to give you a healthy, beautiful smile!

The Team at Shoe Orthodontics

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