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Some orthodontic problems can be the result of a narrow jaw. At Dr. Paul J. Styrt, Specialists in Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we can plan treatment to widen your jaw prior to straightening your teeth, if needed. To achieve this, we use the palatal expander.
What is a palatal expander?
The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Adjusting the palatal expander
In a well-lit area, tip the patient's head back.
Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.
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.
Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.