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Palatal Expander Instructions


The Expander appliance we inserted into your mouth is non-removable and is designed to expand (widen) the palate. Its purpose is to correct a crossbite, thus improving the way your top and bottom teeth meet.

The “key” that we gave you fits into the center of the appliance. After inserting it into the hole push it all the way to the back. It is important that you move the key as far back as it will go or it will be difficult to find the hole the next time. Either you or one of your parents can turn the expansion screw with the key.

Step 1: In a well-lit area tip the patients’ head back.

Step 2: Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.

Step 3: Pushing the key towards the back of the mouth you will notice the fender rotate and the new hole will appear.

Step 4: By pushing back and down towards the tongue, remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.

● A fairly large space will open between the upper front teeth as you continue opening the appliance. Don’t be alarmed – it means that everything is working! Once you’ve stopped widening the appliance, the space will close naturally over the next few weeks.

● After meals and snacks, brush around the appliance and then gargle your mouth. It is important to keep the area clean in order to avoid an infection. A Water-Pik can be very helpful to clean this appliance and braces.

● Although it is rare, if the expansion appliance becomes partially detached from your teeth, stop turning the appliance, keep it in place as best as you can and call our office as soon as possible during office hours.


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About Dr. Shawn Pesh

Dr. Pesh is an early adopter of new technologies which benefit his customers and their experience. For example, during the pandemic he was the first orthodontist in Riverside County to utilize tele-orthodontics by implementing Pesh Remote™.