Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is for patients whose upper jaw is narrow. Your Rapid Palatal Expander gently widens the upper arch (palate) by stretching the centre palatal connective suture. Once widened the suture knits together. The Rapid Palatal Expander is prescribed only prior to completion of growth. A parent or patient adjusts the rapid palatal expander daily as instructed until the palate has been widened enough.
Before the Rapid Palatal Expander feels comfortable, the patient may sense some initial pressure and expect to feel or see:
• Tingling or itch under the expander
• Tingling sensation across the bridge of the nose
• Pressure in the cheek area
• Space appear between the upper two front teeth
A special key is used to activate the Rapid Palatal Expander.
• Insert the key into the round hole key slot; the key will not touch the roof of the mouth.
• After placing the key into the hole, gently push towards the back of the mouth, rotating the spindle completely until the next hole is visible. Gently remove the key from the mouth.
• Record number of turns each day and keep to the prescribed amount.
Remember when brushing:
• Use an interproximal and regular toothbrush
• Brush as usual
• Use a water rinse to flush under the expander
• The use of a waterpik is helpful to dislodge food particles that can become caught under the expander