Palatal Expanding Device

h-braces5In some cases, orthodontic problems are caused by the lack of enough bone growth to accommodate the upper teeth. In other cases, there is room for the upper teeth but the palate, or the roof of the mouth, is so narrow that speech is impaired or made difficult. It is possible that the palate is so high that it actually cuts down on the amount of air that can pass through the nose, making deep breathing without opening the mouth impossible. In all of these situations, a palatal expanding device is most helpful.

The upper jaw (maxilla) is joined in the center by a joint, allowing it to be painlessly separated and spread. You may see a space temporarily develop between your upper two front teeth. This will slowly disappear in a few days. Once this has occurred, the two halves knit back together and a new bone is laid down to make the jaw wider. 

The palatal expanding device is cemented in place and the screw must be turned by you or your parents daily—usually at night.

The key is inserted into the hole and then pushed in all the way to the back of the throat. This will bring the next hole into view.  Keep the string looped around a finger or wrist to prevent swallowing it.

After the palate has widened enough, it is necessary to hold it in place so the new bone will fill in the space. The expanded space needs to be held so the new bone will be given time to fill in, approximately a 3-4 month time period.