What is an Expander?

An “expander” is a general term for a variety of orthodontic appliances that aim to modify the size and shape of the mouth or maintain space. These appliances can either be fixed (permanent) or removable depending on the treatment plan. Expanders apply gentle force to change the shape of the mouth as necessary, they may be spring loaded or screw activated. The goal of expander usage is to create an even and properly aligned bite. 

Why would an Expander be needed?

Expanders are recommended in cases where the bite is not aligned properly, preventing upper and lower teeth from coming together correctly. Your orthodontal specialist can determine your exact needs and develop a treatment plan to correct your bite. Often expanders are used at the beginning of a more complex treatment plan which may include braces. 

Close Up Mouth Of Crooked Teeth With Braces Toothbrush In The Mouth Of The Adolescent

What happens during appointments?

During your first appointment, our orthodontic team will take photos, x-rays and impressions of your upper and lower teeth. These will be sent to our lab where your expander or other appliance will be created. You can even select custom colors to make wearing the appliance more fun. At subsequent visits, your orthodontist may adjust your appliance to ensure the proper movement is being achieved.