Expander Instructions

The expander is used to expand the patient's upper jaw.  It creates more room for the teeth to erupt, and it corrects back teeth that are in crossbite.

You create the expansion by turning the expander with the key given to you.  To turn the key, place the metal tip into the hole, push the key towards the back of the throat until you see the next hole, and finally remove the key at an angle toward the back of the mouth without pulling the key forwards and undoing the expansion.  The doctors will tell you how much to turn, but normally you will turn once a day for 28 days.

The amount of expansion created with each turn is only 0.25mm, so there should not be any significant discomfort.  You might feel some pressure the first few days while getting use to the appliance.  The expander usually causes patients to slightly slur their speech during the first few days while they are adjusting.  Reading or singing out loud can help improve this.  You will probably notice a space opening between the patient's front teeth.  This is normal and demonstrated that the expander is working!

Eating can be difficult at first with the expander.  Stringy foods, like spaghetti and cheesy pizza, are not the best choice of foods for the first couple of days.  We suggest that you eat your entire meal, and then to clean out the expander either gargle water or use a proxy brush.  With the expander patients are not allowed to eat STICKY, GOOEY, CHEWY, HARD, or CRUNCHY foods.  Eating these types of food can cause the expander to break.  If the appliance ever feels "wiggly" in your mouth call the office, and tell the receptionist that your expander feels loose.

Brushing your teeth with the expander requires extra care.  Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes in the morning and at night.  Parents you might need to help your child remove all the food from around the expander. 

3401 Northside Pkwy NW
Atlanta, GA 30327
Phone: (404) 233-1972


Mon – Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.