The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. The animation below will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.
Adjusting the palatal expander
You can also download these instructions in a printable PDF document.
In a well-lit area - maybe lying down on a bed or sofa with a phone light or flash light- tip the patient's head back.
Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place. There is a "hilt" on the key to prevent you from accidentally poking the roof of the mouth so don't worry about pushing the key in too far once it is inserted into the hole.
Push the key toward the back of the mouth. You will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.
Press back and down toward the tongue to remove the key. Be careful not to unwind the rotation you have done as you remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.