King Orthodontics Blog

How to Turn an Expander

A palate expander is used for a variety of reasons. Growing patients may need an expander to widen their upper jaw to make room for permanent teeth, improve their upper and lower jaw alignments, or to enhance the look of their smile. 

When you wear an expander, you will need to turn it at home daily for the expander to be effective. At King Orthodontics, we’ve put together some tips on how to turn the expander and what to expect while wearing one. 

Lauren, an Orthodontic Technician at King Orthodontics, provides a detailed explanation on how to use the key to turn your upper and lower expander daily and also provides tips on how to avoid reversing the turn as you remove the key.

Turning Your Expander

Be sure to use a well-lit area to perform the turns. Firmly gripping the blue key, carefully insert the key into the hole that is in the middle of the expander. Push the key in gently and steadily from the front of your mouth to the back. It is normal to feel some resistance while turning. The next hole will move into position as you complete the turn. Push gently on the key toward your throat to remove the key. 

Keep in mind, after turning the expander, you should not feel any pain. If you feel any pain or discomfort, be sure to contact our office for what the next steps should be. 

How Often and How Many Times Do I Turn My Expander?

It is essential to understand that every case is different, so the number and frequency of your turns will depend on the treatment recommended by Dr. King. It is also crucial to only turn the expander once a day. If you miss a day, don’t worry and don’t try to make up for it by adding an extra turn to the next day. 

Expert Orthodontic Care for a Confident Smile

In most cases, patients will wear their expander for 4-6 months and should continue to brush and use a water syringe to effectively remove food debris. If you need more information on how to turn your expander, contact King Orthodontics today! 

Pittsburgh's Most Confident Smiles

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I have 4 children who are patients of King Orthodontics and we always look forward to our visits. The atmosphere is relaxing and the staff is kind, & courteous. To top it off, we have never had to wait more than 10 minutes or so! Dr. King... and Dr. Bryan, are kind and knowledgeable and easily accessible too. I can’t say enough about this practice!

Elizabeth K, Monroeville PA

I just wanted to take a minute to write and let you know what a wonderful addition Dr. DeMiria is to your office. I was in twice this week and saw Dr. DeMiria on Monday for the first time. She is absolutely wonderful - just so nice and she really seems to be invested in her patients. The entire staff at Wexford office is wonderful and Dr. DeMiria is just icing on the cake.

Jen R, Pittsburgh PA

I absolutely love King Orthodontics!! The staff are so friendly and actually care about you and your teeth. Almost everyone who works there knows you by name which is very uncommon for a place with so many patients. It is so worth the hour drive it takes me to get there. I would highly recommend King Orthodontics to anyone!!!!!

Andrew G, Midland PA