The Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME) may help increase space for developing teeth and correct crossbites, making it an ideal option for those with narrow jaws. It widens the palate so the upper and lower jaws may fit together properly. Orthodontists may also use this appliance on patients in preparation for jaw surgeries. They will cement the appliance on the upper jaw and use a key for the activation.

Patients may feel initial pressure when the orthodontist places the expander. They may also experience a tingling or itching sensation under the appliance. When the expansion takes place, a gap may start to appear between the upper front teeth.

Some patients may experience tightness and pain as they turn the Rapid Maxillary Expander. They may also have difficulties in speaking as the tongue adapts to the appliance. Indentations may also develop on the tongue temporarily; these will disappear upon the removal of the appliance. Patients wearing the appliance may also experience extra saliva production.

Activating and caring for your RME

Turn the key every day, as demonstrated—continue doing this for four weeks. Loop a string on the key to avoid swallowing it. Make sure you keep the activation to a specific time of day. Keep a record of the daily turns on a calendar, as this will help your orthodontist assess if more turns are required.

Use painkillers as required by your dentist. Keep the appliance clean. Brush it regularly using a proxabrush or a regular toothbrush. Do not eat hard and sticky food like caramel, licorice, taffy, and nuts. Use dental wax on the hooks of the molar bands to avoid sores on the inside of your cheeks.

Read aloud so you can practice your speech and get used to the RME. Consult your dentist if the appliance starts to feel loose. Please feel free to call us at 08 9354 1080 or email us at [email protected] if you have any concerns.