My Orthodontist -  - Orthodontist

My Orthodontist

Orthodontists located in Lawrenceville, Bayonne, Cherry Hill, Deptford Township, East Orange, Medford, Paterson, and West New York, NJ & Langhorne, PA

A narrow jaw can create a number of orthodontic problems. If you or your child is suffering from a crossbite or crowding, schedule a visit to one of My Orthodontist’s nine offices, conveniently located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and Deptford Township, Lawrenceville, Medford, Bayonne, West New York, West Orange, Cherry Hill, and Paterson, New Jersey. Their team of orthodontic experts can fit your child with a palatal expander that slowly and gently widens their upper jaw to help correct their bite. Get started with your expander today by calling the office or booking a visit online.

Expanders Q & A

What is an expander?

An expander is an oral appliance that’s used for jaw expansion and bite correction. It’s made up of two halves that are custom-designed to fit around your upper molars and is connected in the middle by a screw-like device.

You use a key to turn the screw a small amount every day, which pushes the two halves of the device farther apart and exerts a small amount of pressure to make the jaw expand. 

You keep wearing the device for a few more months after you’ve reached your target expansion to allow new bone to form and stabilize your smile. Treatment with an expander typically takes between 3-6 months total.

Does having an expander hurt?

The description of an expander can make it sound scary or painful, but it’s a relatively painless and simple treatment. Expanders are typically used on children, whose jaws are still developing. The upper jaw actually develops as two distinct halves that don’t fully fuse together until some time after puberty, so the expander is really just pushing apart two bones that are already separated.

You might feel a little soreness or pressure immediately after you activate the expander each day, but patients report that it’s easier than getting braces tightened.

What conditions does an expander treat?

An expander is effective in treating malocclusions, crowded teeth, and impacted teeth.


This is a malocclusion (“bad bite”) where the upper jaw is too small to fit in properly with the bottom jaw, leaving the back top teeth to bite inside of the lower teeth. 


Widening the upper jaw with an expander can create room in your smile without having to have extractions.

Impacted teeth

If a tooth is unable to erupt because it’s been blocked by another tooth, using an expander to widen the upper jaw can make space for the impacted tooth to find its way out. This frequently happens with canine or eye teeth.

What are the benefits of an expander?

When treating malocclusions, impacted teeth, and crowding issues, expanders have several benefits for your smile, such as:

  • Enhancing the aesthetic appearance of your smile
  • Reducing the need for extractions
  • Improving breathing
  • Shortening overall orthodontic treatment time

To learn more about how an expander can improve your smile, schedule a visit to My Orthodontist today by calling the practice, or booking online.