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FAQ:  Orthodontist Palate Expanders

Jaw Expansion Appliance
Expander Alternative: Extraction Orthodontics
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  • Am I too old for a palate expander? I went to an ortho consult yesterday and they said my parents waited too long and I'll have to get surgery. I am 15 years old and have just about every dental problem imaginable. Am I too old to get a traditional expander or will I have to go with the painful surgery? ..... Visitor from Wisconsin     (answer)

  • Palatal expander falling out: My son had a palatal expander inserted twice. Both times it came loose. His dentist seemed frustrated and accusatory. He is now placing bands around his molars and attaching the expander to the brackets. Before the expander was attached directly to his teeth. Should the dentist have used the brackets to begin with. Also he charged us an additional $350.00. ..... Visitor from Maryland     (answer)

  • Expander - Bad Smell: I have a Rapid Palate Expander in and there was plaque building up on the outside of my expander. I removed it and I noticed that the smell wasn't so pleasant. Is that normal ? ..... Visitor from Los Angeles     (answer)

  • Expander Pain: I'm 14 years old and in high school. 21 days ago I got an expander in and it was the worst 21 days of my life. My teeth hurt so bad there were some days I didn't eat anything except for Advil. So I went back to the orthodontist and they told me that I need to do this again, 1 turn a day for another 21 days. Why are they doing this to me? ..... Visitor from New Jersey     (answer)

  • Delay recommended Expander treatment: My daughter who is 8 years old needs a dental expander due to her alignment is off on her upper jaw. I was wondering could I wait one more year or should I do it now? What is the benefit of doing it now than wait one more year? ..... Visitor from Warren     (answer)

  • 8 year old has mild fever after palatial expander tightened: My daughter just had a palatial expander put in and after we tightened it she felt pressure on the bridge of her nose, (which we expected). But, she also has a mild fever and says her whole body aches and feels sore, is this common? ..... Visitor from TX     (answer)

  • Length expander should stay in: My 9 1/2 year old had the expander put in with the key. After about 4 months they took it out and put a bar across the roof of her mouth. Now they say that this has to stay in until she is 12! They told me at the beginning it would be about a 6 month process. What is the deal? .... Visitor from Daly City     (answer)

  • Amount of expansion: How does the orthodontist determine the amount of expansion to correct a functional shift? My ten year old daughter will be expanding 11mm; this sounds like a significant amount to me. .... Visitor from Allen     (answer)

  • Palete Expansion Surgery: My daughter just turned 15 and when I took her to the orthodontist, I was told she had to have a palate expansion surgical procedure. What exactly do they do in this surgery, and what is the healing time? Is it painful? I am wondering if I should wait until the summer time when she is out of school to have this done. .... Visitor from Tucson     (answer)

  • Palatial Expander for Adults: I continue to read that expanders do not work on adults over a certain age. However, my ortho recommended the appliance to help me correct a crossbite. I plan on getting invisalign after the expander is removed, but I am 37 years old and wonder will the expander do anything for me? .... Visitor from Washington DC     (answer)

  • My son had a pallet expander when he was 9 (now 18). He had braces and now wears a retainer. Can his pallet go back to its original shape if he doesn't wear his retainer? He hasn't been wearing it lately and now the retainers are tight. His ortho told him he may need braces again if they don't move back. .... Visitor from Trenton     (answer)

  • Palate expander for 12 year old (girl) - did I wait too long? I was just told that my daughter, who just turned 12, will need braces after a palate expander because we waited too long to do a palate expander. It had been suggested for a few years at each visit because she had a mild upper left crossbite, but she (and I) were afraid of it, not ready. Now my child is ready, but we were told we waited too long, (only one baby tooth left), and were told the expander will cause the teeth to spread, and I probably won't like the spaces between the teeth it creates, and will now need expander and braces to correct that, since the teeth won't self adjust because we waited until she was 12. Is that true? Did I make a bad mistake waiting? .... Visitor from TX     (answer)

  • Rapid Palatal expander protocol? What is the process or procedure for placing an axpander? Are there any impressions that need to be taken before hand to get model of the patients mouth so you can have a properly fitted expander? .... Visitor from MN     (answer)

  • Palate expander causing loose teeth: My daughter, 13 was fitted with a palate expander (upper jaw) about a month ago. We crank it on alternate days. Today she said one of her top incisors feels loose. Is it normal? .... Visitor from MA     (answer)

  • How long is too long for an expander: Is wearing an expander for 6 months to a year normal if you have a really bad cross bite and an open bite? .... Visitor from IN    (answer)

  • Expander for a 15 yr old: My daughter had an expander once before when she was 12 and it expanded it well with no pain, but then relapsed back to starting point almost. Now her new dr is putting another one in. With her being 15 will there be alot of pain since her pallet is more adultish and stronger? She has an awful crossbite among other things. .... Visitor from IN    (answer)

  • Expander front teeth gap: I just got a rapid palatal expander about a week and a half ago and it is creating a gap in between my two front teeth. I realize this is normal and can be expected however I am getting braces purely to remove the gap that is already in between those teeth and the expander is worsening the problem. My question is, is there anything I can do to minimize this gap and how long should I have to crank my expander (I'm cranking once a day and they want to have it expanded around 8mm)? .... Visitor from OH    (answer)

  • My son who is 11 years old has crowding in his upper and lower jaws. The dentist recommended expanders for both. He said that not much space would be needed in lower jaw but would use an expander to be on safe side. At 11 years old would an expander be beneficial for lower arch or is jaw already formed? .... Visitor from SD    (answer)

  • My daughter had expanders put in 4 weeks ago. She is still in pain, it cuts her tongue, and she doesn't eat much. I have contacted the orthodontist several times and they always say "that's normal". I am very concerned for her and it has definately changed her life in a negative way. She cries most of the time at home and sometimes at school. Her teacher has even said something about it 2-3 times. Is this normal and if so when should we see some improvement? ... Visitor from TN     (answer)

  • I had one when I was a kid. Worked well. Now all my kids have the same thing and I'm in a new city. A new ortho we visited said expanders don't work as well as this new face mask. I took a brochure home and it looks like it does the same thing, only this ugly contraption is on the outside of the face as well as the inside (made by StayWell in San Bruno CA). It really scares me that I'll be doing something that's way too weird and invasive to my kids when they could just wear an expander and be done with it. ... Visitor from CA     (answer)

  • Palate Expanders only for kids? Is there an age when palate expanders stop working? Are they only effective for children? ... Visitor from PA     (answer)

  • Palate Expansion: My son has very little room for his permanent teeth to come in on the top and bottom. We have been using serial extraction for the last couple of years (about 8 teeth). Are palate expanders less painful? Do they yield better results? Is this something I should suggest to his dentist? ... Visitor from AR     (answer)

  • Expander changes face shape? My daughter is 10 years old and just had an expander put in her mouth. She models part-time and I am concerned that expanding her palet 8mm will change the look of her face. Does the expander have a noticable change to a childs face? ... Visitor from NH     (answer)

  • Avoid using Palet expander? My daughter is 7 years 3 months old. She sucked her thumb vigorously until she was 6 years 9 months and stopped, thanks to a thumb sucking appliance. She has moderate crowding, moderate to severe overbite, crossbite on the right side, upper and lower midlines don't match up. To initiate treatement: Dr's #1 & #2 recommend a palate expander. Dr #3 recommends serial extractions and is against palate expanders for many reasons but the one that concerns me is that he said new reports from ENT's discourage the use of expanders. I think the expander is the best option for my daughter. Have you heard of any ENT's discouraging the use? ... Visitor from TN     (answer)

  • Palet expander average length of time to turn key: My 12 year old son had a palet expander put in 2 weeks ago. Yesterday at the visit the Orthodontist said to keep turning the key once a day for the next month. How long is too long to stretch the palet? Is this a normal time span? ... Visitor from PA     (answer)

  • Effects of wearing a palate expander: Does it hurt to get a pallet expander on? What does it do? I'm worried that I won't be able to go to basketball practice or play in my game because of the pain. Does it affect how you talk? I am singing in an audition next week and I want to actually be able to sing. ... Visitor from TN     (answer)

  • Palate Expander in 4 year old: My daughter is 4 1/2. Her dentist wants to insert a palate expander to correct a crossbite. He said her bones are growing crooked and need to be corrected now before her permanent teeth come in. Everyone is telling me this is wrong, that it's too early and painful and won't do any good on baby teeth. I don't know what is right. Should I let the dentist do this? ... Visitor from LA     (answer)

  • Expander or Retainer? My daughter is almost 8 years old. One of her canine teeth fell out almost 18 months ago. We have taken her to an orthodontist who suggests a partial retainer to pull back one of her front teeth and move the other one over to allow for the canine to come down. He also states she may need a pallet expander later and definitely braces at a later time. Can expanding her pallet cause TMJ? ... Visitor from MA     (answer)

  • How come my expander expands my jaw but my two front teeth are spacing out. It's really ugly. When does it stop? I am very concerned looking like this for awhile. I hope it doesn't last long. ... Visitor from MI     (answer)

  • Expander on a Child: Do you think it's best for a child to be wearing an expander when she still has her baby teeth? I feel it's a waste until her real teeth come in. ... Visitor from IL     (answer)

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