The 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.
In a well-lit area, tip the patient's head back.
Place the key in the hole closest to the front of the mouth. Make sure the key is firmly in place.
Push the key toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the apparatus will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.
The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible. If the next hole is not completely visible, then you have not turned far enough. Continue to push the key toward the back of the mouth until the new hole is entirely visible. Then, press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key.