widens the upper jaw
A palatal expander is an appliance used by the orthodontist to widen, or “expand” the upper jaw. It does this by putting a gentle pressure on your the upper molars every time it is adjusted. Once the desired width is obtained with the expander, it will remain in the mouth for approximately 6 more months so that the expansion can become solidified and teeth and jaw do not regress.
In the pictures below, we have illustrated how adjustment with a palatal expander works. It is advisable to have someone help the patient with this process if possible.
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Adjusting a Palatal Expander
First, the patient will tip his/her head back. It helps to be in a well-lit area.
Insert the key into the small hole. Make sure it’s firmly in position.
Next, push the key toward the back of the mouth, so the screw turns or rotates, and a new hole appears in position. S
top rotating the screw when the key does not go any further.
Finally, press back and down toward the tongue in order to successfully remove the key. At this point, the next hole should be exposed for the next adjustment.
Dr. Rothman has served as a faculty member in the orthodontic department at Nova Southeastern University. She has also served as a member of the craniofacial team at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, FL, caring for children with cleft lip/palate and special needs.
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If you have questions about treatment or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our office today! Proudly serving Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and the greater South Miami region, we would love for you to come experience the Pinecrest Orthodontics difference!