A part of your treatment might require you to wear an expander. This is a device that’s used to fix your bite by widening the structure of your upper teeth. By widening it, you ensure that the upper half makes proper contact with the lower half. This handy device is mostly used on kids and teens as their mouth is still in the process of developing and growing. Adults on the other hand, they’re more set in their ways such that it delivers very little benefits (but there are exceptions). For many patients, this piece of equipment is required to be word prior to the brackets being placed in. It helps separate the teeth and even create space between them, which your braces will rake advantage of when aligning them next to one another.
There are many side effects of using a palatal expander that you should expect. One of the many results of using this device is the creation of a small space between your two front teeth. This is not a common occurrence but depending on your case, you might experience that result. Another possible result of using an expander is that it might cause your teeth to overlap depending on your initial case scenario. Following the use of a braces expander, it is highly likely that your orthodontist will then decide that it’s time to but the braces on in order to begin straightening your teeth. Expect to have to wear this device between 6-9 weeks in order to get the desired results.
When you first install this device into your mouth, you will feel an unusual sense of pressure onto each tooth. After about 1-2 weeks, you will become used to speaking, eating, and the pressure as a result of the appliance. It is not uncommon to experience some slight pain or a subtle headache for the first few days of wearing this appliance. Rest assured that this discomfort will go away once your body becomes used to it being worn. Slight soreness of the tongue should also be expected.
Another side effect you will experience is overproduction of saliva as well as the development of a lisp. Your mouth will always be full of saliva which is good as you’ll want to avoid dryness. The lisp will develop as a result of your tongue not having the same free movement that it is accustomed to. After a couple of weeks, the lisp will go away and you will be able to speak normal as you did before.
Once it’s removed, your mouth will feel very wide, large, and empty. After 48 hours, that feeling will go away. This feeling is perfectly normal and that’s how you know that wearing the appliance was very effective.