Also known as an RME (Rapid maxillary Expander) device.
The expander is attached to your teeth by custom-fitted bands and slowly activated to widen your upper jaw. This means more teeth can fit in, and better match the width of your lower teeth.
Don't worry if you have gaps in your front teeth during this process. It is normal and this gap will close by itself!
After the expansion is complete, the appliance will act as its own retainer while the new width stabilises.
How to turn the expansion screw?
Find yourself a helpful parent first!
1) Lie on a flat surface with a pillow popped under the neck to tilt the neck back, and a bright light source to help illuminate the screw
2) Carefully insert the blue key into the hole in the middle of the expander
3) Gently, but steadily push the key from the front of the mouth towards the back of the mouth until it stops, and you can see the next small hole appearing.
4) Your orthodontist will advise you how many turns are required to expand your top jaw
Watch the video on the left with sound on for full instructions!
What to expect
Turning the expander every day produces gentle and graduate pressure.
It is best to expand the expander just before you sleep, that way most of the expansion can be completed during your sleep!
For most of it, this expansion procedure is not painful. However, you should expect to feel pressure at the roof of your mouth, and some tooth sensitivity.
This sensation dissipates quite quickly after the expansion is done.
It is normal to have excess saliva, and speech difficulties in the first few days fafter you receive your expander. Use the provided wax as required to cover any annoying bits!
It's important that you ensure the expander is kept as clean as possible!
Please brush your expander arms, and pay extra attention to your expander screw!
If too much food gets stuck in the screw, it will be very difficult to continue turning the appliance.
Occasionally, the screw might get stiff, use a bit more pressure and wriggle the screw back and forth a few things to loosen things up.
After your expander is fitted, we like to keep a close eye on your progress.
Usually, we like to see you in 30 days to ensure everything is happening according to plan.
If you are unable to keep this appointment, please let us know.
It is important that you do not over-turn the expander. Please do not continue expanding if you have already done your required number of turns.