Southbury, Waterbury & Surrounding
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars. 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 relapse of the teeth.
Adjusting the palatal expander
You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.
In a well-lit area, tip the patient's head back.
Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.
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.
Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.
Why Palate Expansion?
Common reasons for palate expanion are to generate space when there is not enough room for the adult teeth to erupt where they should go. If adult teeth do not have enough room they can become impacted. Another reason is when the upper teeth fit on the inside of the lower teeth. This is called a crossbite. Ideally all the upper teeth fit aorund the bottom teeth like a lid on a jar, if uncorrected there can be pramature wear of the lower teeth or asymmetric growth of the lower jaw due to shifting of the bite.