Herbst and Crossbow Expanding Appliance Care Instructions



After you get your appliance, you might feel a little sore and your teeth may be tender to biting for 3-5 days. If it’s severe, take Advil®/Tylenol® to ease the discomfort. Your lips and cheeks may become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and get used to the arms. It may take a few days to get used to talking with your new appliance.

Care Instructions

  • Brush and floss your teeth twice daily.
  • It’s important to have regular cleanings at your dental office. We recommend going every 6-12 months.
  • Be careful not to open your mouth too wide or yawn too big, because the arms of the appliance can come out. If that happens, please call us immediately and we’ll accommodate you as soon as we can.
  • If there is an expander, turn the key as directed, and make sure to tie it with a piece of floss to avoid swallowing it.
Examples of Foods to Avoid
  • Hard foods: popcorn, nuts, ice cubes and hard candies
  • Sticky foods: caramel, sugary gum, beef jerky, jujubes and licorice
  • Avoid chewing on pencils and fingernails
  • Cut apples, carrots and any other hard fruits or vegetables into small pieces before eating them
Examples of Foods to Be Careful of
  • Pizza crust and meat on bones
  • Break chips into small pieces

Sore Mouth Rinse

If the appliance causes any sores in your mouth, mix one teaspoon of salt in a small glass of
lukewarm water and rinse for 1 minute.