RAPID PALATAL EXPANDER
RAPID PALATAL EXPANDER
WHY DO I NEED A RAPID PALATAL EXPANDER?
In order for the teeth to fit together properly, it is essential that the upper jaw be wider than the lower jaw. When this does not occur naturally during development, the condition is termed a cross-bite. While a patient is young, the bones are still very pliable, making expansion possible. This can only be done, however, while the jaw is still growing. Once growth is complete, the two bones of the upper jaw fuse together as one, making expansion possible only with surgical assistance. Therefore, it is best to correct a cross-bite while a person is typically 8-12 years of age.
WHY IS THERE A SPACE FORMING BETWEEN MY TEETH?
It is perfectly normal to see a space between your front teeth as we expand, so do not worry. It is a sign that expansion is occurring properly. The space will eventually close.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO WEAR IT?
After turning your expander once a day for approximately 4-6 weeks, Dr. Williams will determine when enough expansion has been achieved. Your expander will then be left in place until the bone in the roof of your mouth has been reformed. At that time your expander will be removed and replaced with a smaller retaining appliance. screw. Without turning the screw towards the front of the mouth, remove the key.
HOW WILL IT FEEL?
When the expander is first cemented, speaking and eating may feel somewhat awkward. It will take a few days to become accustomed to speaking with the appliance in your mouth. You may need to drink more liquids as you eat in order to wash out food that becomes trapped. An adult will use a key to activate the expansion screw that rests in the roof of your mouth. When the expander is activated you will most likely feel some pressure, but this is typically not painful.
WHAT FOODS CAN I EAT?
Avoid hard, sticky foods; they tend to loosen or break expanders.
How DO I ACTIVATE THE EXPANDER?
Tie a piece of floss approximately 16 inches long onto the key to prevent swallowing it. Insert the key into the keyhole as shown in the photograph. The key is then pushed towards the back of the mouth until it can no longer be turned any further. At this point the next keyhole will show through the front of the expansion screw. Without turning the screw towards the front of the mouth, remove the key.
- Pain and discomfort:Take Advil or Tylenol for any discomfort. If pain is severe or persistent, please contact our office.
- Loose band: Contact our office immediately so that it can be re-cemented.
- Difficulty cleaning around the appliance: Angle your toothbrush so you are able to better clean under the appliance and around the bands. A Waterpik® is also helpful.
- Unable to get the key into the keyhole: You may not have turned the key far enough to bring the next hole up. Try to insert the key into the back hole and complete the turn until you see the next hole appear in the front. If you are having trouble, call our office.
- The expansion screw will no longer turn: The screw may be completely turned out. Call our office.