A Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is for a patient whose upper jaw is narrow. It gently widens the upper arch (palate) by stretching the centre palatal connective suture. Once widened, the suture knits together. A parent or the patient adjusts the Rapid Palatal Expander daily as instructed, until the palate has been widened enough. It is then left in place for about four months without further adjustment while new bone fills the centre palatal suture or healing occurs.
Before the Rapid Palatal Expander feels comfortable, the patient may sense some initial pressure and expect:
- To feel a tingling or itch under the expander.
- To feel a tingling sensation across the bridge of the nose.
- To feel pressure in the cheek area.
- To see a space appear between your upper two front teeth.
A special key is used to activate the Rapid Palatal Expander.
- Insert the key in its slot; it will not touch the roof of the mouth.
- Push the key all the way from the front of the mouth to the back.
- Remove the key.
Remember, when brushing:
- Use a Proxy-brush and a regular toothbrush.
- Brush as usual.
- Use a water rinse to flush under the expander.
Avoid hard or sticky foods.
Call (902) 894-9232 for an appointment if:
- A band feels loose.
- You think the appliance needs to be checked.
- You need advice.
- You are experiencing unusual symptoms.