Expanding your jaw

In preparation for orthodontic treatment, some patients may benefit from treatment with a palatal expander. This appliance is designed to expand (or widen) your upper jaw.

palatal expander

How does the palatal expander work?

The palatal expander is an adjustable appliance which will gradually widen your jaw. Every time it is adjusted, gentle pressure is placed on your upper molars encouraging them to move outwards, thus widening your arch and creating more room for the rest of your teeth.

Adjusting your palatal expander

The animation below instructs how and when to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression. Orthodontic treatment can then begin. 

Step 1

In a well-lit area, tip the patient's head back. 

Step 2

Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place. 

Step 3

Push the key toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander. 

Step 4

Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible. 

You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document

Want to start your journey to a beautifully straight smile? Book your free consultation with the friendly Fillman Orthodontics team today. 


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CA 92399