Instructions For Your New Expander

What is an expander?

An expander is a metal appliance used to widen the jaw to correct cross bite or make room for new teeth. It's glued to the molars for 9 months.

  • If the expander becomes loose, make an appointment to re-insert. Do not try to further loosen or remove expander.
  • Clean and rinse the expander thoroughly after every meal to dislodge food.

How do I turn my child's expander?

  1. Have the child lie on his or her back with the head over the edge of a bed or over the arm of a sofa. Use adequate lighting from a bright lamp or flashlight.
  2. Opening as wide as possible will minimize the gag reflex.
  3. Place the key in the center of the hole and turn in the direction of the arrows that are on the expander.
  4. Turn the expander toward the back of the mouth until you can see the next hole.
  5. Carefully remove the key in a down-and-back direction. Caution: Be very careful not to “un-turn” the expander when removing the key.
  • Turn expander using the key every night (same time) until directed by doctor.
  • Takes a week for the patient to feel normal after insertion.
  • Patient needs to practice talking and drinking

What can I expect with my child's new expander?

  • Their speech will sound funny at first, but improves with practice
  • They will salivate more
  • They will feel tightness on the molars and possible tingling across the bridge of the nose, this will subside in 5 minutes after turning the key.
  • Every turn will create a ¼ mm space
  • A space between the front teeth may appear over time but will decrease once you stop turning expander.
  • You will return to the office after 2 weeks so your doctor can note the progress of your expansion.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to give us a call!