(PLEASE REFER TO THE EXPANDER VIDEO FOR AN EXAMPLE ON HOW TO TURN THE EXPANDER)
When indicated, we use palate expanders in growing patients to:
- Widen the upper jaw to create room for erupting permanent teeth
- Improve upper and lower jaw alignment due to a constricted upper arch
- To enhance the esthetics of the smile.
When you first have the expander placed, your mouth may produce more saliva. If this occurs, make a conscious effort to swallow normally by closing your lips and pushing your tongue up against the roof of your mouth. Dry not to "slurp" as it will drive your family crazy! This will go away as your brain gets use to the expander--typically after a couple of days.
You may talk a little funny for a day or two until your tongue gets use to sharing space with the expander – but in no time you will speak normally.
HOW MANY TIMES DO I TURN THE EXPANDER?
The frequency and number of turns is dependent on each individual case.
Please activate as directed by Dr. DiGiovanni the day your expander was placed. If you have any questions, please call our office to clarify. IMPORTANT! Please only turn the expander once a day! If you miss a day, do not try and make up an extra turn the next day.
HOW OFTEN DO WE TURN THE EXPANDER?
The frequency and number of turns is dependent on each individual case. Please activate as directed by Dr. DiGiovanni the day your expander was placed. If you have any questions, please call our office to clarify. IMPORTANT! Please only turn the expander once a day! If you miss a day, do not try and make up an extra turn the next day.
HOW DO WE DO THE TURNS?
In a well lit area, firmly grip the blue key. Insert the key carefully into the hole in the middle front part of the expander. Push the key gently and steadily from the front toward the back of the mouth. You should feel some resistance while turning it. You will notice that the next hole will rotate in position as you complete your turn. Remove the key by pushing it toward the throat out of the hole.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE WHEN IT IS TURNED?
IT SHOULD NOT HURT AT ALL WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR EXPANDER TURNED. If you feel any discomfort, please call our office to discuss. A tingling sensation may occur on the bridge of your nose. Over time, you may develop space open between your two front teeth--but don't worry, it is only temporary.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY EXPANDER?
Brush your teeth as you usually would and brush carefully around your appliance. Use a Water Pik® and/or the water syringe we gave you to dislodge food particles that may be trapped under the expander. Avoid all foods on the "no no list" we provided you--ESPECIALLY POPCORN! Popcorn is known to stick under the expander and cause gum infections.
HOW LONG WILL THE EXPANDER BE IN MY MOUTH?
The length of time you turn your expander or wear your expander depends on what we are trying to accomplish for you. Most patients have their expander 4-6 months. And when the day comes to take it out, don't worry!. It is quick and easy and painless to remove the expander.