The Schwarz Expander is a removable, acrylic appliance used to widen the upper arch thus creating more space for the patient’s permanent teeth. Once the expansion is complete, the appliance is often worn to maintain the space. The Schwarz Expander is used mainly in growing patients whose bicuspids have not yet erupted.
INSERTING/REMOVING YOUR SCHWARZ EXPANDER
1. To insert place the acrylic behind your front teeth and use your thumbs to push the expander into the roof of your mouth
2. To remove slide your fingernail under the metal clasps and pull the expander off of your molar teeth and remove from mouth.
3. (OR) To remove slide your fingernail under the acrylic in an area where there is a gap in your teeth and the appliance and pull down.
1. Turn the Schwarz appliance in the direction of the arrows 1-2 turns each week as instructed with the key provided. Do not reverse the turn or it will not expand. It is recommended to do the turns the same day each week at bedtime, since teeth do most of their moving immediately following the activation.
2. Patients occasionally experience tooth sensitivity while wearing an expander. This is normal since the function of the appliance is to move the teeth and widen the palate. Treat discomfort with over the counter pain medication. If patient experiences severe pain, contact our office.
3. Patients will often notice that their “bite” feels different. This is normal and will end once expansion is complete. The patient will quickly get adapt to their new bite.
4. The expander must be worn at all times (24/7), even while eating at school and in restaurants. Never wrap your expander in a napkin; it will easily get thrown out with your trash. There will be a fee to replace a lost expander.
5. The only exceptions to this 24/7 rule is:
A.) While swimming- The appliance could fall into the water and get flushed away
B.) Playing contact sports- Any sport that requires a fitted mouth guard, or results in bodily contact where your expander can be knocked out your mouth.
If your expander is not in your mouth it should be kept ONLY in the case provided. Placing your expander in a napkin, backpack, pocket, or a purse will result in a broken appliance. If the expander is in the case it should be wrapped in a damp paper towel to keep the acrylic from drying out. There is a fee to replace broken expanders.
6. Expanders should always be kept away from animals, dogs especially because they love to chew them. Expanders should also be kept away from heat sources as this will dry, and distort the acrylic.
7. Keep your expander clean- Brush it as you would your teeth. You can also use a denture cleaner or soak it in white vinegar.
8. If the patient feels no tightening in the mouth after the expander is turned, stop turns and contact our office during normal office hours to be checked.
9. Any questions regarding your Schwarz Expander appliance should be directed to the orthodontic staff.