The palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time the expander is turned. Dr. Patel will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for a couple more months to stabilize the expansion.

What To Expect:

  • A temporary lisp and/ or change in speech
  • Excess saliva for a few days
  • Difficulties swallowing at first
  • You may develop a slight headache
  • Some pressure in the back molars, on the roof of the mouth, and nose area might be felt during activation
  • Space opening between front teeth is the indication that the expantion is working. Your teeth will shift later to fill the gap.
  • The bite may feel off

How To Care For Your Expander:

  • Rinse/ swish with water or Waterpik to flush out food between the expander and the roof of your mouth
  • Brush with a toothbrush around the entire expander (including all metal parts and screw)
  • Maintain soft diet for the first few days
  • Avoid any sticky and hard foods that can dislodge the expander
  • Do not pick at the expander with your fingers
  • Call us if the expander comes loose or if you have any other questions

Adjusting the palatal expander

Video not playing? See Instructions Below.

Step 1
In a well-lit area, tip the patient’s head back.

Step 2
Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.

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