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Palatal Expander Model

The palatal expander widens your upper jaw by applying gentle pressure on your upper molars every time an adjustment is made. When the desired expansion is achieved, the patient will have to wear the appliance for at least three months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.

Adjusting the Palatal Expander:

  • The “key” that we provide fits into the center of the appliance. After inserting the key, it is important that you move the key as far back as it will go, or it will be difficult to find the hole the next time. DO NOT turn the key back toward the front of the mouth.

  • Please follow the suggested schedule. Too many turns may cause discomfort while too few turns may not produce the desired result.

  • It is normal to feel some tightness or discomfort after each turn. If necessary, take an Advil or Tylenol.

A large space will open between the upper front teeth as you continue opening the appliance. Don’t be alarmed – it means that everything is working correctly! Once you have stopped widening the appliance, the space will close naturally over the next few weeks.

After meals and snacks, brush all surfaces of the expander, including all metal parts and the bands around the upper molar teeth. Rinse with mouthwash and/or water to dislodge any food that remains. Swelling may occur around the molars, caused by trapped food. Rinse with warm salt water and brush thoroughly several times a day.

If the expansion appliance becomes partially detached from your teeth, stop turning the appliance, keep it in place as best as you can, and call our office as soon as possible. A patient’s appliance may become loose and/or damaged if they do not follow the suggested food items to avoid.

Food Items to Avoid While Appliance/Expander Is Cemented:

  • Sticky food: Taffy, caramels, starbursts, gum, etc.

  • Hard food: popcorn, nuts, hard candies, etc.

  • Also avoid chewing on pens, pencils, and fingernails.