Palatal Expander

woman with braces

Widening the upper jaw

picture of a palatal expander on a mold of an upper jawThe palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. The animation below will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.

Adjusting the palatal expander

You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.

illustrated gif of step 1 for adjusting a palatal expanderStep 1

In a well-lit area, tip the patient's head back.



illustrated gif of step 2 for adjusting a palatal expanderStep 2

Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.



illustrated gif of step 3 for adjusting a palatal expanderStep 3

Push the key toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.


illustrated gif of step 4 for adjusting a palatal expanderStep 4

Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.