An expander is one of the most common orthodontic appliances used for treatment on growing children or adults who are experiencing crowding and cross bites. These appliances look intimidating and tend to scare patients and parents alike. But have no fear! Expanders are perfectly safe, painless, and will start you or your child on the way to a healthy and beautiful smile.
When the expander is first placed, there may be some slight discomfort, but this occurs because the teeth have never experienced a similar sensation. Patients report that they feel pressure on the teeth, in the roof of the mouth, behind the nose, and even between the eyes as their expander is activated, but the pressure will quickly subside.
Besides the initial pressure, there may also be difficulty speaking clearly the first few days. To adjust to this new orthodontic device, you may want to find some easy foods for you or your child that don’t require a lot of chewing such as yogurt, soup, or ice cream. A day or two after the expander is put in place, normal eating may resume.
Typically this treatment lasts four to five months, providing a way to correct the bite without surgery or more invasive measures.