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Expanders Instructions

ExpandersThe appliance given to you will widen (expand) your upper dental arch.  The key that we gave you fits into the appliance.  The key is put into the appliance, and moved backward as far as it will go, so that the key can be put into the appliance for the next turn.  You should see a new hole appear in the front of the appliance.  Either you or your parent can turn the expansion screw with the key.

The schedule for turning the appliance with the key is as follows:

  • Once turn per day for approximately 14 days.  We will see you in about 2 weeks to make sure the expansion is going correctly.  We will then continue to monitor as needed.
  • Please follow the suggested schedule.  Too many turns will cause discomfort.  Too few turns will not produce the desired results. Most people experience a feeling of tightness or pressure around the teeth and cheeks for the first few days.  If you feel discomfort, pain, or dizziness, stop turning the appliance and call the office.
  • A space will probably develop between the upper front teeth during the first three weeks as the appliance widens the arch.  Do not get alarmed, this is an expected change.   The space will disappear in the following few weeks as the front teeth come back together.
  • Please brush your teeth as normal, however extra attention will need to be spent cleaning around this and other appliances.  With good oral hygiene, you will protect against cavities and gum disease.
  • After expansion is completed the appliance is sealed and worn for about 15 more weeks.  This allows for bone healing.
  • One of the interesting possible side benefits of maxillary expansion is improved nasal breathing because the floor of the nose is the same bone that is widened.  Let us know if you experience this.

View this instruction sheet as a PDF. View as PDF