Use And Care Of Your Rapid Palatal Expander


A rapid palatal expander is used to widen a narrow top jaw.

The Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is used to widen a narrow top jaw. It is usually painless, but some pressure may be felt as the palatal expander is activated each day.

  1. As previously mentioned, your appliance needs to be activated each a day for the number of turns you have been instructed to apply. To activate your appliance:
    • Insert the key into the hole in the middle of the appliance.
    • Gently and steadily push the key toward the back of your mouth. Push it as far back as possible.
    • Remove the key towards the back of your throat trying not to pull forward which would reverse the previous turn!
  2. You will experience a tingling sensation around your nose for a minute.
  3. After several turns (or after several days), you may notice a space between your front teeth. This is a good sign! This is only temporary and will be closed.
  4. Be sure to keep your appliance free of food particles.
    • You can do this by brushing your appliance while you brush your teeth, by directing your toothbrush towards the roof of your mouth.
    • Rinsing with a glass of water will also help loosen food particles which may become lodged on the top of your expander.
  5. If at any time you experience discomfort that does not go away or if your appliance becomes loose, please call the office.
  6. If for any reason you cannot keep your scheduled appointment, do not activate your appliance beyond the instructed number of turns.
Download A Printable RPE Information Sheet