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palatal expander

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. The animation below will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.


Here are a few things to remember during the time you have your removable expander ……..

  1. You are recommended to wear your expander 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. You will eat with it in place, wear it all day and sleep with it in your mouth.
  2. Don’t fold it in your napkin or leave it on the table at a restaurant.  Garbage cans don’t make happy hunting grounds.
  3. Don’t put your expander in your pocket. You might sit on it and break it. OUCH !
  4. Take your expander out when swimming in a lake or ocean.  If it falls out you may not be able to find it.  Wearing it in the swimming pool is OK.
  5. Animals and younger children love to play with it.  Please make sure your expander is in your mouth at all times.  Your expander should only be out of your mouth when brushing.
  6. Speech may be a temporary problem, but after a few days this, too, becomes normal.
  7. Keep things clean!  Be sure to brush your teeth without your expander in.  Do not boil your expander or put it in hot water or the microwave.  Brush your expander with a toothbrush using toothpaste or water.
  8. Once a week your removable expander should be taken out of your mouth and turned one turn with your special key.  

Adjusting the palatal expander

You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.

Step 1

Step 1

In a well-lit area, tip the patient's head back.

Step 2

Step 2

Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.

Step 3

Step 3

Push the key toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.

Step 4

Step 4

Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.

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