Palatal expanders increase the width of the upper jaw, using gentle pressure on the upper molars to facilitate movement. Consult the animation below to see how and when you should adjust your expander. Once the jaw has reached the ideal width, no more adjustments will be made and the expander will stay in place to ensure the facial structure does not regress.
Adjusting the palatal expander
The process can be broken down into four steps. printable PDF document.
In a spot with good lighting, tilt the patient’s head backwards until the keyhole of the expander is visible.
Place the key in the keyhole.
Push the key towards the back of the mouth. The fender will rotate and a new hole will appear. Rotation stops as the key hits the back of the expander, signaling the adjustment is complete.
Press back and down in the direction of the tongue to take the key out.