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Appliance Instructions

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Wright Orthodontics dedicates its efforts to providing orthodontic appliance instructions for local residents so that everyone can have a beautiful and bright smile.

For your orthodontic treatment to be productive and achieve your desired results, it is necessary to follow the appliance instructions put forth by Dr. Wright. He is a leading Atlanta and Marietta, GA, orthodontist who works hard to give you the end result you want. It is essential to understand that your teeth and jaws will only move into their corrected position by wearing your orthodontic appliances as directed. The following are the instructions for the appliances you may have for your treatment:

Spacers or Separators

  • These are small elastic rings that go between your teeth prior to being fitted for braces. The spacers create the necessary space to properly fit braces.
  • The initial feeling that food is stuck between your teeth because of spacers goes away within the first few days as you get used to them.
  • Avoid sticky and chewy foods that might stick to the spacers and even pull them out.
  • Spacers should stay in place and not be removed by anyone other than your orthodontist.
  • Brush and floss your teeth as usual but avoid flossing between the teeth with spacers.
  • Spacers are worn for about a week prior to getting braces.
  • Make sure to count your spacers every day to ensure they are still there. If not, please let us know immediately so that we can replace them if necessary.

Palatal Expander Instructions

  • Avoid foods that are sticky and chewy as well as hard or brittle, including gum, chewy candy and fruit candies, ice, hard pretzels, and hard candy. If you eat fruits and vegetables, such as apples and carrots, make sure to cut or slice them to make them easier to chew.
  • Make sure to turn your expander once a day, usually before bedtime as it is easy to make it part of your nightly oral hygiene routine. To turn it, place the key into the hole in front of the appliance, pushing it toward the back of the mouth, and turn it until it will not turn any further. The next hole will appear in the front of the appliance. Remove the key by pulling straight down rather than forward. Please call our office if you cannot find the hole so that we can help you.
  • Please note that you may have to get used to speaking with the expander in your mouth. Try to speak as much as possible so that you become accustomed to having it in your mouth so that your speech returns to normal.
  • It is essential to keep the expander clean by brushing the appliance including the portion that goes across your palate when you brush your teeth.
  • Because expanders widen your upper arch, you may develop a gap between your two front teeth. This means that the expander is doing what it is supposed to do. Don’t panic because the gap will only be there for a short period of time.
  • If your teeth are initially somewhat sore or sensitive, it is due to the pressure from expanding the palate. By taking over-the-counter pain relievers, you can alleviate that feeling of discomfort.
  • By the time we see you for your next appointment, you should have turned the expander about 21 times since the appointment is typically three weeks after it is placed in your mouth. Even if you miss that appointment, please keep turning the expander.

Retainer Instructions

  • Your retainer should be worn at all times except when eating and cleaning your teeth until the doctor says you can remove it.
  • When eating, please keep your retainer in its case to prevent loss and keep it clean.
  • Be sure to clean your retainer every day with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and warm water. We also recommend using a denture cleaner but not in place of brushing.
  • Your retainer should always be in its case if you are not wearing it as it is easy to lose or misplace it.
  • Be sure to practice speaking, reading, and singing out loud so that you can get used to having your retainer in your mouth.
  • Be careful with your retainer as it is breakable and expensive to replace. However, if you should break it or lose it, please call us immediately so that we can get you a replacement.
  • If it gets loose before your next appointment, please call us immediately for directions but do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Make sure to bring your retainer to your orthodontic appointments.
  • If you swim, be sure to remove your retainer.
  • Your retainer can melt, so keep it away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and even napkins so that you do not inadvertently throw it out.


Positioners are worn for about four to eight weeks in order to complete your treatment.

Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Rubber bands improve the fit of your upper and lower teeth. They are very efficient if worn as prescribed by Dr. Wright.


If you have an overbite or underbite, we may recommend headgear to treat these issues by gently “pulling” on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.

Dr. Wright and his staff want to ensure the success of orthodontic treatment for local patients. By following these directions and calling us with any questions or issues, you can expect to get the results you want.

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If you are considering orthodontics, check out our Smile Gallery to see before and after pictures. This will give you a good idea of the benefits of the orthodontic treatments offered by Dr. Wright.

Dr. Wright is a leading orthodontist who understands that each patient has unique needs and desires. He has improved the lives of and given a bright smile to many people in and around Atlanta and Marietta. He and his staff are committed to helping you get the smile you have always wanted whether you are a child, a teenager, or even an adult. Call us today at 404-507-2078 (Atlanta Office) or 770-648-2835 (Marietta Office) for your free consultation!