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Instructions For Palatal Expander

  1. Purpose: Palatal expansion is used to increase the width of a narrow upper arch so that it can fit properly with the lower arch. Expansion may also be required to provide a space to accommodate the upper teeth or to improve nasal breathing or speech.
  2. How Does it Work? The upper jaw is joined down the middle by a suture of joint that allows it to be painlessly separated or expanded. Your expansion appliance consists of bands cemented on permanent teeth and a screw that provides the expansion force.
  3. TO ACTIVATE THE EXPANDER: The appliance should be turned by a parent or responsible adult. The Doctor will direct the number of turns per day and for how many weeks. The key should be inserted into the hole facing toward the front and then pushed slowly back all the way toward the throat until the next hole comes into view. Always
  4. Discomfort: Your teeth may be somewhat uncomfortable for the first few days. Although some pressure may be felt, especially during activation, any marked discomfort is not normal and should be reported to the doctor at once. (Tylenol could be used if necessary)
  5. HOW LONG WILL YOU HAVE TO WEAR YOUR EXPANDER? Once your palate has been widened sufficiently, the expander must be left in for 6-8 months to maintain the expansion until new bone fills in the space.
  6. DO YOU HAVE SPACES OPENING? Eventually, a space may open between your upper center front teeth. This is normal and means that the expander is working. This space will be closed later in treatment by the doctor.
  7. HYGIENE: Flush out between the expander and the roof of your mouth with water and brush your expander. There is usually extra saliva in mouth that last about 2 days when you get your expander.
  8. DIET: Please stay away from sticky, chewy and hard foods.