Orthodontic Treatment Options

Palate Expanders

What is a Palate Expander?

A palatal expander is an appliance that fits into the roof of your mouth (palate). It widens your palate to improve the way your upper and lower jaws and teeth fit together (your bite). You wear a palatal expander for about 4 to 6 months. When you first receive your palate expander, Dr. Holland will activate (expand) the appliance for you. You will then be instructed to learn how to expand the appliance yourself. You do this with a metal key that looks like a toothpick with a loop on one end. It may be tricky the first few times you try. But you’ll soon get the hang of it.

After the expander does its job, your palate will be wider. This gives your teeth more space and helps improve your bite. You are now ready for other orthodontic care, if needed.

What you can expect?

Your palatal expander may take a few days to get used to. Chewing, swallowing, and talking may seem awkward. Your mouth or nose may be sore or tingly, or you may have a slight headache. Over the counter pain relievers can help you feel better.

Caring for your expander:

Palatal expanders must be kept clean. Swish water in your mouth after eating or after drinking sugary soda or juice. When you brush your teeth, brush the expander too.

Dr. James M. Holland, DMD

Our Hampstead office is open
Monday - Thursday
7:45am - 5:00pm

Our Rye office has flexible hours




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