What is 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. Our orthodontist Dr. Ron Hessamfar 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.
What To Expect from Wearing Palatal Expander?
- 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 expansion is working.
- Your teeth will shift later to fill the gap.
- The bite may feel off
How To Care For Your Palatal 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 a soft diet for the first few days
- Avoid any sticky and hard foods that can dislodge the expander
Adjusting the Palatal Expander
Tip the patient’s head back so that the expander is thoroughly visible.
Place the key in the hole firmly.
Gently push the key toward the back of the mouth. The fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. When the key meets the back of the expander, the rotation will stop.
In order to remove the key, pull expander down towards the tongue. At this point, you will notice the next hole for insertion of the key.