Expander instructions

Congratulations! Your orthodontic treatment is now underway.

For the first couple of days, you (the patient) may need to read out loud to get used to speaking with your new appliance. The reason we ask you to read is that when you see words you actually have to think about them to speak, and this helps train your tongue. You will also need to drink through a straw. This will help you get used to having the expander on the roof of your mouth.


Some symptoms to look for are headaches, popping in your ears, dizziness, blurry vision, runny nose, or anything else associated with pressure. This is due to the tissue being separated in the roof of the mouth, which recreates a bone growth area similar to the soft spot you had on your head as a baby. Most of these symptoms will not happen, and if they do, it will be very brief so no worries. For a runny nose, do NOT take decongestants or anything else to dry you up. Please just use tissues, this will pass in a day or two. If you start to run a fever, you will need to see your family physician. A fever is NOT associated with the expander.


Keeping your expander clean is very important. Having an appliance in your mouth makes it very easy for food particles and plaque to get stuck in the expander. Brushing every time after a meal will help to keep the expander clean. Make sure to brush all over the expander. We recommend a water-pik to help remove unwanted particles; however, swishing mouthwash or water in your mouth will also help.

Don’t forget to have Mom or Dad use the key to rotate the holes towards the back of your mouth. Do this as instructed by Dr. Black, normally once in the morning and once in the evening for one week.