Lauren Windhorst, DDS, MS
formerly Lauren Gossett
803 N. 36th Street, Suite A
St. Joseph, MO 64506
307 South Main Street, Suite B
Gallatin, MO 64640

Appliance Instructions

Spring Loaded Expander (SLE)

Keep your appointments so progress can be made. If you must cancel, please call in advance and reschedule.

  1. Check your appliance regularly and call the office if you need a repair appointment. A tooth can scar or decay under a loose band.
  2. Brush your teeth and SLE twice a day.
  3. You may use wax if the appliance is rubbing a sore.
  4. If your teeth get sore, take Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  5. Avoid hard and sticky foods, such as caramel, bubble gum, jolly ranchers, nuts, and ice. Do not have popcorn or foods with seeds which may get caught under your appliance.

Spacers

Spacers are plastic or metal rings designed to make space between teeth for banding or braces (and to make it as comfortable as possible to do).

  1. Your teeth may be sore – take Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen as a pain reliever.
  2. No sticky, chewy food, gum, or candy – your spacers will fall out!
  3. Brush well but do not floss between teeth with spacers.
  4. If you lose a spacer before your next appointment, call the office. (It may not need to be replaced if it is the day before.)

Space Maintainer/Lip Bumper

  1. Keep your appointments so the appliance can be checked. If you must cancel, please call in advance and reschedule.
  2. Check your appliance regularly and call the office if you think a band is loose. A tooth can scar or decay under a loose band.
  3. Brush your teeth and appliance twice a day.
  4. You may use wax if the appliance is rubbing a sore.
  5. Avoid hard and sticky foods such as caramel, laffy taffy, jolly ranchers and bubble gum. Avoid popcorn as the hulls can get stuck around your bands and cause a problem.

Headgear

Headgear helps guide the growth of the face and jaws and helps move upper and lower teeth into a better position.

  1. You must wear your headgear 12 -14 hours daily – more is great but less will just not work.
  2. Take Aspirin, Tylenol or Ibuprofen for soreness as you adjust to the new pressure.
  3. Do not wear headgear for rough play, sports, running or biking – this can cause serious injury.
  4. If anyone grabs your headgear, hold onto the facebow to protect yourself.
  5. Unhook your strap to remove headgear and pull facebow straight out. Bending up or down may loosen bands and that means another trip to see your friendly orthodontist!
  6. Check bands that headgear fits into – make sure they aren't loose!
  7. Bring your headgear with you to every appointment so your doctor can adjust it as needed.

Clear Retainers

Retainers hold your teeth in their final position. Wearing your retainers is essential to your treatment and preserving your new smile.

  1. Retainers must be worn at all times for the first 3 months or until your doctor tells you differently.
  2. Take your retainer out only to eat and brush your teeth.
  3. Keep your retainer in the case provided. If you wrap it in anything else, or put it in your pocket, you may lose it or throw it away. Retainers are EXPENSIVE to replace.
  4. Bring your retainers to all appointments for adjusting and to check the fit.
  5. Call the office IMMEDIATELY and schedule an appointment if you lose or break your retainer, or if you notice your teeth shifting or moving. There is a charge to replace broken or lost retainers.
  6. To put your retainer in, push the retainer over your front teeth and then use your fingers to apply equal pressure over the back teeth until the retainer snaps in. DO NOT BITE INTO POSITION.
  7. To remove the retainer, start on one side at the back and slowly work your way around to the other side. Alternate sides each time you take it in and out. To help prevent damage, avoid unnecessary removal.
  8. When the retainer is removed, immediately rinse with water, shake off excess water and store in the case.
  9. Clean your retainers each time they are removed with a soft bristle toothbrush using water.
  10. You may use denture cleaner if your retainers need to be cleaned, but do not soak them in mouthwash. Avoid using toothpaste.
  11. Except for water, we recommend that you do not eat or drink while wearing your retainers. This is to avoid formation of cavities and stains, and warping of the retainers with extremely hot drinks.
  12. Brush and floss your teeth after each meal or snack prior to re-inserting your retainers.

Wire and Plastic Retainers

Retainers hold your teeth in their final position. Wearing your retainers is essential to your treatment and preserving your new smile.

  1. Retainers must be worn at all times for the first 3 months or until your doctor tells you differently.
  2. Take your retainer out only to eat and brush your teeth. Brush your retainer also.
  3. Soak your retainer in white vinegar for 30 minutes and then brush it to remove calculus deposits.
  4. Retainers may be cleaned by soaking in warm/cool water and denture cleaner for a short time.
  5. Never soak your retainer in mouthwash or boil it – this will ruin it. To disinfect your retainer, soak it in bleach water for 15 minutes.
  6. Keep your retainer in the case provided. If you wrap it in anything else, or put it in your pocket, you may lose it, throw it away or break it. Retainers are EXPENSIVE to replace.
  7. Keep retainers safe from pets – they love to chew them up.
  8. Bring your retainers to all appointments for adjusting or just to check the fit.
  9. Avoid extreme hot and cold temperatures (in a car).
  10. Call the office IMMEDIATELY and schedule an appointment if you lose or break your retainer, or if you notice your teeth shifting or moving.
  11. Keep your plaster models for repairs.
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