A palatal expander is a device that is used to widen the upper jaw by applying gentle pressure on the upper molars. This is typically done over a period of several months to achieve the desired expansion. The device is adjusted periodically by your orthodontist to widen the jaw to the appropriate position gradually.
Adjusting the palatal expander is a relatively simple process that your orthodontist will guide you through. The expander is attached to the back molars, and a small key is used to turn a screw in the center of the expander.
ADJUSTING THE PALATAL EXPANDER
You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for adjusting the palatal expander:
First, make sure that your hands are clean and that you have the key that your orthodontist provided.
Insert the key into the hole located in the center of the expander.
Turn the key in the direction instructed by your orthodontist. Typically, you will need to turn the key one or two full turns.
After you have turned the key, remove it from the hole.
Rinse your mouth with water to remove any saliva or debris.
Clean the key with a toothbrush and soapy water, then dry it off.
Repeat this process daily, as directed by your orthodontist, until the desired expansion is achieved.
It is normal to experience some discomfort or pressure in your mouth after adjusting the palatal expander. Over-the-counter pain medication can be used to help alleviate any discomfort.