Unfortunately, not everyone’s jaw is big enough to accommodate their teeth, and this can result in crowding and misalignment. A palatal expander can make room for your teeth as it “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. 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 regression.
How to Adjust Your Palatal Expander
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: Pushing 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: By pushing back and down toward the tongue, remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.
Please watch the video below if you are having trouble adjusting your expander:
Lower arches can also be expanded when teeth are crowded, but because the lower arch doesn’t have a suture to close, the bone cannot be expanded; instead, the lower expander simply moves the teeth.Lower expanders will “upright” teeth that are tipped inward, but for lower jaw expansion some orthodontists prefer using removable retainers with built-in expansion screws, or traditional fixed braces to tip and align the teeth at the same time.