Life With An Expander

In the magical world of Westfall Orthodontics, smiles are our specialty, and your teeth are the show’s stars! Dr. Westfall is ready to dazzle you with his dental dexterity. Whether you’re in Richlands, Abingdon, or Bristol, we have a stage for your grand smile transformation. If the doctor recommended a palatal expander for your child, here’s everything you need to know!

Understanding Expanders: The Unsung Heroes of Orthodontics

Meet the orthodontic expander, also known as the palatal expander, the secret agent of the dental world. Its mission? Stretching the jaw’s top part allows permanent teeth to grow in just right. This undercover device is typically called into action for children and adolescents whose jaws are still in the exciting development phase. 

The expander, custom-made to fit like a glove over several top teeth in the back of the mouth, applies a gentle nudge to the two halves of a child’s upper jaw, encouraging them to grow apart. This process, known as palatal expansion, is a superhero in preventing or correcting issues like crowding, crossbite, and impacted teeth. 

While jaw expansion might sound like a scene from a sci-fi movie, the process is gradual and typically gets a thumbs-up from patients. With the guidance of our orthodontic superhero, Dr. Westfall, an expander can be your sidekick in achieving a healthier, more aligned smile.

Getting an Expander: The Adventure Begins

The journey to getting an expander starts with a thorough examination by your Dr. Westfall. This includes taking X-rays and impressions of your teeth to ensure the expander is custom-made to fit your mouth like a superhero’s suit. Once the expander is ready, it’s securely bonded to your upper molars during a procedure as non-invasive as a superhero’s landing.

After the expander is fitted, you might experience a sensation of pressure or mild discomfort. But don’t worry; it’s just a sign that the expander is starting to flex its muscles and do its job. The discomfort typically disappears after a few days, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage any initial soreness.

The heart of an expander is the tiny screw in the center. Dr. Westfall will teach you or your parents to turn this screw a small amount each day with a unique key, much like winding up a secret agent’s gadget. This daily adjustment phase lasts a few weeks and is crucial to the mission’s success.

Remember, every superhero and their sidekick are unique, so getting and adjusting to an expander can vary from person to person. However, Dr. Westfall and our team at Westfall Orthodontics are committed to making the process as comfortable and straightforward as possible. We will provide clear instructions and ongoing support to ensure a successful mission.


In the magical world of Westfall Orthodontics, smiles are our specialty, so today we're teaching you about life with an expander.

Living with an Expander: The Daily Adventures

Adjusting to life with an expander can be a grand adventure. Still, with some patience and practice, it becomes part of your daily routine. Here’s what you can expect:

Eating is challenging in the initial days after getting your expander. It’s advisable to start with soft foods like soups, mashed potatoes, or yogurt, gradually introducing more solid foods as you get used to your new sidekick. Be mindful of chewy or gummy foods, which can dislodge the expander or get stuck. 

You may notice a slight change in your speech or a lisp when you first get your expander. This is because your tongue needs to adjust to the new gadgetry in your mouth. Practice speaking and reading out loud to help your language adapt more quickly.

Some people experience extra saliva production when they first get their expander, which can feel strange, especially at night. It’s normal and should decrease as you get used to the device.

Good oral hygiene is crucial when you have an expander. You’ll need to brush around the expander, cleaning all the itty bitty spots where food particles can hide. A water flosser can be a helpful tool for cleaning around your expander. Regular rinsing with water or mouthwash can also help keep your expander clean.

Feeling discomfort or pressure is normal, especially after an adjustment. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help, and rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can soothe any irritation. If you experience persistent discomfort, it’s essential to contact us!

Living with an expander is a temporary phase. It might seem daunting initially, but remember; every day brings you one step closer to your goal. Dr. Westfall and his team at Westfall Orthodontics are always there to provide guidance, answer your questions, and support you throughout your orthodontic journey. With our help, you’ll soon find that life with an expander becomes second nature.

Dr. Westfall On Expanders: Your Orthodontic Superhero

Dr. Westfall’s expertise and patient-centered approach make the journey with an expander a smooth one. With years of experience in orthodontics, he understands the concerns and questions that patients and their parents might have about expanders.

Dr. Westfall believes in educating his patients about their treatment. He takes the time to explain how an expander works, why it’s necessary, and what results to expect. He also provides clear instructions on caring for the expander, including cleaning it and making the required adjustments at home.

Dr. Westfall’s commitment to you extends beyond your time in the orthodontic chair. We intend to create beautiful smiles and ensure our patients feel confident and informed throughout their orthodontic journey.

In the magical world of Westfall Orthodontics, smiles are our specialty, so today we're teaching you about life with an expander.

Palatal Expanders At Westfall Orthodontics

Well, folks, we’ve reached the end of our tooth-fabulous tour, but don’t fret; the show at Westfall Orthodontics is far from over. Dr. Westfall and his team of tooth fairies are always ready to sprinkle their magic in Richlands, Abingdon, and Bristol. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to step into the spotlight and let your smile shine. Schedule a free consultation today, and let us orchestrate your opus of oral health. Remember, at Westfall Orthodontics, your smile is our symphony!