Today we placed your expander. This will help widen your jaw and create the necessary space required to align the upper and lower jaws and provide more room for your teeth.

Expansion is accomplished by attaching the appliance to the teeth and turning the screw of the appliance to widen the bones of the jaw, or by allowing the wires of the appliance to slowly push on the teeth.

What to expect:

  • You will produce more saliva. It will feel difficult to swallow at first due to the expander crowding your tongue. Take small bites and sips and keep swallowing. Your tongue will learn to adapt!
  • If your tongue plays with the appliance, you may also get bumps or irritations on your tongue. These will go away after your tongue is used to the appliance.
  • Initially, you may also have slurred speech. Eating will be more difficult and smaller objects may get stuck under the appliance. Rinse your mouth with water or use a medicine syringe to flush out the food.
  • You will most likely see a space open between your front teeth. We will close this space after the expansion is complete.


1. Turn the screw in the interval as instructed by Dr. Lauren Hood-Olson.
2. Turn the screw for the number of days as instructed by Dr. Lauren Hood-Olson. We will then check your progress and decide if you need to continue with more turns.
3. Complete your recommended turns.
4. Expect mild pain or soreness. This usually happens for a minute or two after turning the screw, but it should not be extremely painful. Take a pain reliever if needed to help with the soreness. If you experience excessive discomfort or pain that continues for several days or gets worse with each turn, call our office.
5. Avoid anything sticky or chewy, including gum, and do NOT chew ice.

Once the desired amount of expansion is accomplished:
Keep a record of the number of turns accomplished with the date on a separate page to make sure you stay on track! Please bring that sheet with you to your next visit so we can monitor your progress.