Common Questions About Expanders
What does my expander do?
Your new appliance is called a Palatal Expander. It is designed to widen your upper jaw (maxilla) by separating a suture down the middle of your palate. The suture is pliable and allows the upper jaw to widen. This widening may be necessary to correct a crossbite or to help create enough space for your teeth.
How often should I turn my expander?
The amount of expansion required is different for every person. Dr. Hosier will customize the amount of expansion that is best for you. Typically, it will take 2 to 3 weeks of turning the expander 1 or 2 times per day to achieve optimal results. It is important that you follow the doctor’s instructions and if you have any questions, please call the office. Please turn your expander ______ times per day.
What should I expect after I turn my expander?
Patients usually experience some pressure or tenderness near the bridge of the nose and out toward the cheekbone. This is very normal. Tylenol or ibuprofen may be helpful for this. You will most likely notice a space developing between the upper front teeth. This also is normal and is a good sign that the palatal bones are widening. Some people only experience a small space, while others notice a significant space. Do not be alarmed. Once you have completed your expansion, this space will begin closing naturally.
What should I do if I miss my next appointment?
If you should have to change your first appointment after receiving your expander, it is very important that you stop turning your expander when you have completed the prescribed number of turns! This will help prevent the chance that the upper jaw is widened too much. Your next appointment is scheduled for _____________. If you should miss this appointment, please stop turning on this date.
How long will I wear the expander?
Typically, the expander is left in place for 9 to 12 months after adequate expansion is achieved. This allows the palatal suture to fill in with bone and decreases the chance that the upper jaw will lose some of its expansion.
Be sure to keep your expander very clean and avoid hard or sticky foods. Use the small brush provided to clean around your expander. Swishing water in your mouth may help if large particles are stuck between the expander and the roof of your mouth.
If the expander is damaged or comes out of the mouth, call the office to schedule a visit. Bring the expander and related parts to that next visit.
As always, please feel free to contact our office with any concerns you may have.