Palatal Expanders

A Rapid Palatal Expander is an appliance used to widen the roof of your mouth. Attached with bands, it gently separates the elastic membrane in the center of your palate, allowing new bone tissue to fill the space.

It is sometimes necessary to use a rapid palatal expander in order to expand the upper jaw for proper alignment with the lower jaw or to make room for crowded teeth. The expansion process typically takes 2 to 4 weeks, but the appliance remains in place for 6 to 8 months to allow time for the new bone to grow.

With the rapid palatal expander, you may feel some tingling and pressure. Also, a space may form between your two front teeth, but this is temporary and it will close. You can take Advil for any discomfort you may feel. Use your toothbrush and toothpaste to carefully clean around the expander. Also, we recommend using a mouthwash to keep your mouth clean of food particles.

It is important to activate your appliance twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, unless we tell you differently.
Activate your appliance as instructed by Dr. Kallis:

  • First, insert the key carefully into the hole in the middle front part of the appliance.
  • Then gently push the key from the front toward the back of your mouth. Do not back up. By pushing the key as far back as possible, a new key hole is presented and is ready for the next activation.
As a parent, you play a key role in the expansion process. Your responsibility is to activate the appliance and follow the instructions given by Dr. Kallis. Also, make sure that the expander is cleaned at each brushing.