The palatal expander
The palatal expander is a device that normally is used in many orthodontic and dent facial orthopaedic treatments when there are some issues with the maxillary width.
It works by giving the roof of the mouth an adequate width dimension and in addition moving the molars to their correct position.
The palatal expander is supported by steel bands that are ring shaped and that stick to the teeth with very resistant special dental cement, but they can detach if they are subjected to great strain, chewing or biting hard things.
The bands do not usually cause discomfort, however as with any device you can get sores on your gums, checks or tongue. These can be relieved by putting wax balls on as we showed you in the clinic, but if they are too annoying and do not improve on the third or fourth day, it is best to consult with us.
After the first few days you will get used to the palatal expander.
Some patients initially have some difficulty when swallowing some foods, but it will disappears soon after.
The palatal expander ACTIVATIONS will be done according to the interval that the doctor tells us, generally between 1 or 2 activations per day.
This consists of placing the KEY that we will give to you, in the hole of the device and moving it in the posterior direction (towards the throat) until you notice it stop.
You may feel a small pressure that will disappear within a few minutes. When taking the key out, after completing the rotation special care should be taken to not undo the movements already made, if you are not careful, at the next activation, the hole to place the key will not be seen and you must come to the clinic again to return the hole to its proper position.
As the device starts working, one of the characteristic signs that will appear will be the SEPARATION of the incisors, DO NOT WORRY, a few weeks after you stop activating the device, they will only come together by themselves.
Once the adequate width of the roof of the mouth is achieved, generally in 3 or 4 weeks, we stop the activations, however the device will remain in place for a determined period; approximately 12 months to allow the mouth to adapt to its new width, if removed earlier, some width may be lost.