A palatal expander (PSA) is a non-removable orthodontic appliance that is used to widen the upper arch and to obtain room for permanent teeth to erupt.
There is generally very little tooth discomfort for the patient, however there is a short adjustment period. During this adjustment period, the patient may have extra saliva in the mouth and may lisp slightly until the tongue becomes used to the appliance. Chewing may be difficult the first few days because the appliance covers the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Cut food up into bite size pieces and stay away from sticky and hard foods such as candies and pretzels.
A few patients may experience a small sore on the tongue from the bar of the expander. If this happens, rinse the mouth with warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide mixed half and half with water, a few times a day until the sore heals. If the tongue becomes swollen or does not heal within a week, please call the office for an appointment.
Depending on the patients tolerance and adaptability level, the adjustment period lasts from 2-5 days.
To obtain the expansion needed, the palatal expander will need to be activated or turned a number of times before your next visit. The doctor will prescribe the exact number of times the expander will need to be turned.