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Expansion plates are generally recommended for children who have a narrow upper dental arch that has minimal space for their permanent teeth; however it can also be used for adults with bite discrepancies. The expansion plate will sit in the dental arch and will require a screw to be activated as directed to slowly expand the plate and guide the dental arch to a broader mandible. Activate the screw with the key provided as advised.

Compliance is absolutely essential and your expansion plate will need to be worn at all times or as directed by your orthodontist otherwise they simply will not work.

  • Activate the screw at night just before you go to sleep.

  • You should expect a mild degree of ‘tightness’ around your teeth, but NOT pain. If you experience pain, please undo the activation and ring us immediately.

  • After a period of time, you may notice a ‘gap’ between your two front middle teeth. Do not panic. A gap is a sign that the expansion is working.

  • If you’re not sure about how to activate the screw, do not hesitate to ring us.



Maxillary expansion appliances are used to broaden narrow jaws, most commonly the upper jaw in relation to the lower jaw.

Expansion is usually needed to correct a poor bite caused by an underdeveloped jaw and can result in improved breathing and avoid the need for extractions.

There are numerous types of maxillary expansion appliances – both fixed and removable. The most common types are fixed and use an expansion screw (which is turned regularly by the patient) or a wire spring device (which is widened by the orthodontist). Fixed maxillary expansion appliances are usually glued to teeth.

Removable maxillary expansion appliances are essentially ‘orthodontic plates’ with a built-in expansion screw which is turned regularly by the patient.


  • Retainers need to be cleaned daily using a toothbrush and soapy water.

  • Retainers need to be kept safe in the container provided whenever they are not being worn.

  • Any breakage or distortion of the retainers needs to be reported immediately.

  • Failure to wear retainers as prescribed may cause unwanted tooth movement.


Your orthodontist will sometimes recommend bonded retainers, where a dental wire is placed permanently behind the teeth that have a high tendency to return to their original positioning. These kinds of retainers are usually advised for patients where there is a high risk of non-compliance with wearing removable retainers.





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Victoria Park Dental Specialists

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