30492 Gateway Pl #220

Rancho Mission Viejo, CA 92694

 Call or Text: 949.767.3925

  30492 Gateway Pl #220 Rancho Mission Viejo, CA 92694

Expander Tips and Tricks From Your Friendly & Local Orthodontist

Expanders are a commonly used appliance in orthodontic treatment. Expanders are mainly used in growing patients to widen the upper jaw.


If you start early enough (between the ages of 7-9) you have a good chance that the child’s future hasn’t fused and we can actually gain more bone for teeth to erupt in and hopefully prevent extractions of adult teeth in the future.

Expanders are also used to correct crossbites (meaning the lower jaw is wider than the upper jaw).

Orthodontists want to correct crossbites usually before the child has all their adult teeth in and this is another good reason we like to consult all patients over the age of 7.

So your child has an expander. Here is what to expect and some tips and tricks.

1. Expect to see a gap open between your child’s two front teeth. This is a good sign that the appliance is working and the two bones of the upper jaw are separating to gain more bone. If this gap is esthetically unpleasing to your family you can opt for some braces on the top four teeth to close the gap.

2. When turning the key at home, the most common error is unturning the appliance as you remove the key. Instead, make sure to pull the key back before pulling out. (We have an instructional Tik Tok video if you need more help)

3. If you miss a turn, do two turns the next day

4. We recommend to not turn before school or bed and instead after school in case your child experiences a headache.

5. If you don’t see a hole, this means your last turn didn’t turn all the way to bring the next hole around. So look for the hole midway down and finish the last turn so a new hole will be brought around.

Ready for a quick evaluation? Our Orthodontist is ready to (virtually) see you!

As always follow @socopdo on Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok for more tips and tricks!