Orthodontic Expander Instruction, Types, Problems, Cost, Side Effects

Orthodontic Expander Instruction, Types, Problems, Cost, Side Effects

An orthodontic expander is a device that gradually extends the child’s jaw and palate, providing room for their adult teeth to grow naturally or correcting jaw misalignment. Each orthodontic expander is designed specifically to match the natural palate of the child. It is also known as a palatal expander, and it progressively creates extra room in the upper jaw. 

Orthodontic expanders fix dental issues. This procedure is most effective when completed before the child’s jaw has finished developing. In some cases, however, the surgery can be performed on an adult.

Orthodontic Expander Instruction

It is normal for orthodontic expanders, like any other dental appliance, to require some initial adjustment time. The adjustment time is normally a few days. It is imperative to exercise caution when eating, adjusting the device, and brushing one’s teeth while the device is in position. The foods that require minimum chewing are preferred at the early stages. One can adjust to the sensation of the device while eating by consuming soft foods like cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and applesauce.

Orthodontic Expander Instruction, Types, Problems, Cost, Side Effects

The soft foods are no longer required after the first few days. The following are likely to be restricted or avoided at the recommendation of the orthodontist:

  • Chewing ice.
  • Gum. 
  • Taffy.
  • Caramel.
  • Hard candy.
  • Nuts. 
  • Popcorn.

Orthodontic Expander Types

Orthodontic expanders come in a variety of forms, with some being removable. However, they are usually kept in the mouth until treatment is finished. The common types are as follows:


It’s possible to take out a removable orthodontic expander, just like a retainer. It can be removed for cleaning or eating. 

These orthodontic devices are mainly used for minor issues. These devices are turned every few days instead of daily like those in the mouth.


This type of gadget is maintained in place by bands wrapped around the teeth. The device’s middle part goes over the roof of the mouth. It consists of several screws that, when turned, make the device wider. People are typically instructed to turn the screws daily using a key-like device.

Quad Helix

The quad helix gadget, or “quad” for short, fastens to the teeth through metal bands, just like the hyrax. This is a metal device in the shape of a “U” which contains four-helix (corkscrew-shaped) springs that make it expand.


A hyrax device and a Haas expander are alike. Acrylic, on the other hand, is used to cover the screws that are placed on top of the roof of the mouth. The device is attached to the teeth by an orthodontist using metal bands. It needs to be adjusted every day at home using a turnkey.

Orthodontic Expander Problems

Orthodontic expanders come with an equal number of disadvantages as advantages. The device’s age restriction is its biggest drawback. Cost, pain, and smell are some other drawbacks. 

It is easier to remodel the mouth and jaw because they are still developing before puberty. These expanders get increasingly tedious and unpleasant with age. As children’s mouths are still developing, the process of employing this expander is simple and pleasant for them. However, adults typically face more challenges. For this reason, these devices work better on kids than they do on adults. 

Both children and adults can experience some discomfort from using these expanders. These devices often cause an unnatural sensation due to the metal composition and placement within the mouth. However, adults feel greater pain and discomfort than children. 

Orthodontic Expander Cost

The cost of the orthodontic expanders is between $2,000–$3,000. This cost depends upon the following points:

  • The location of the person.
  • The orthodontist. 
  • Insurance.

Furthermore, the information regarding the cost can also be obtained by the local orthodontist.

Orthodontic Expander Side Effects

Adult orthodontic expanders can take longer, but aging isn’t a risk. Adult bones take longer to move because they are already completely grown and formed. The adjustment period for a new orthodontic expander can be long. Some short-term side effects can be:

  • Lisping.
  • Headaches.
  • Mild pain or discomfort.
  • Drooling.

In conclusion, the accumulation of food particles and plaque on this expander can result in an unpleasant taste or odor. To prevent this, clean the expander daily.

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