One of the most common orthodontic appliances used in orthodontics is the palatal expander.
Arch expansion is one of the most common ways to eliminate crowding and crossbites in growing patients. An expander is attached to the upper arch by bands placed around the teeth or plastic bonded over the teeth. Although there are removable expanders, fixed ones have an important advantage in that they cannot be lost or forgotten.
While there may be some initial discomfort when an expander is placed, for the most part, upper arch expansion is relatively painless.
As you adapt to your new expander, you may want to find some foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Examples include yogurt, pudding, mashed potatoes, ice cream, etc. A day or two after the expander has been placed, it will feel natural in your mouth, and normal eating will resume. While expanders are more forgiving of hard and sticky foods than are braces, it is recommended that patients avoid jelly-like candies that would get stuck in the expansion screw.