As implied by its name, a palatal expander widens the upper jaw by placing pressure on the upper molars. This appliance is adjusted at home, your orthodontist will provide you with instructions about how often to adjust your expander. Once the jaw is widened enough, you will still be asked to wear the appliance for a few additional months to allow the bone to harden and the expansion to become permanent.
Instructions to adjust the palatal expander. Remember that these instructions are available in a printable PDF document.
Find an area with good lighting and tilt the patient’s head back.
Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.
Push the key toward the rear 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.
Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.