Your Expander

The expander is an important part of treatment if it is needed. We use the expander to correct crossbites and crowding of the teeth. The expander stays in for about 6 months. Active expansion is done for about 1-2 months. Stabilizing is done for the remainder of the 6 months. If you have any questions regarding why of if your child may need an expander please give us a call.


Separators are small blue elastic placed one week before we place the expander.

They are placed to create slight spaces between the molars to ensure that the bands of the expander fit.

You may feel slight soreness on the molars where the separators are placed. Please avoid flossing and eating anything sticky, that may cause the separators to come out.

If the separators come out before the delivery of the expander please give us a call to replace the fallen separators.

We will replace the separators to ensure that there is space for the expander bands.

The Expander:

There should be no pain when we deliver the expander.
Some issues the patient may face are an excess build-up of saliva and getting used to swallowing.

It takes about 1-2 days to get used to the expander.
We recommend not doing a turn until the patient is used to the expander (1-2 days).

Please turn as directed by the doctor.

We typically will see you every 10-14 days to see if we need any more expansion.

Once we have reached our desired amount of expansion we will see you every 2-3 months until we are ready to remove the expander completely.

Turning of Your Expander:

We want to ensure that you are turning the expander correctly.
Please read and take a look at the corresponding photos to learn how to turn the expander correctly:
(1) When taking a look at the palatal expander in the center of the device you should see a small hole. This hole is where you will be using the expander turning tool given to you at the delivery of the expander.

(2)With the tool, you will insert it into the hole.

(3)Turn it towards the patient’s throat.
This is considered one turn. If you think you are turning incorrectly please come into the office. We will show you how to turn in person.
Expander FAQ

Q: Does an expander hurt?

No, your expander shouldn’t hurt although it may be slightly uncomfortable when you first get the expander placed.

Q: How long are you in an expander?

Your expander typically stays in your mouth for about 6-7months. Active expansions from 1-3 months and 4-5 months with no expansion.

Q: How old do you have to be to get an expander?

the typical age for an expander is 10-13 years old.

Q: Can I get an expander if I am older than 13?

Not usually. Expanders are typically for younger patients because they are still growing and their ligaments are more moveable than an older individual.

Q: How do I know if my child needs an expander?

There can be multiple reasons why you may need an expander, it may be because of crowding, a posterior crossbite, or impacted canines. If you are still unsure come and schedule a consultation!

Q: I am experiencing pain with my expander, what do I do?

Schedule an appointment with us ASAP! You may have an issue with your expander that is causing you pain.

Q: How often do I turn my expander?

When you come to your appointment the doctor will let you know how often/if you need to turn your expander. If you forgot, no worries, give us a call.

Q: Does placing the expander hurt?

No! It is a simple procedure of placing the expander on the teeth and gluing it.