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Comfort Tips For Your Palatal Expander

Posted on July 13th, 2021 by Dr. David J. Griffin

While a palatal expander is necessary and effective for a variety of oral issues such as overcrowding, the need for maxillary expansion, to widen the upper jaw, and to correct impacted teeth, we understand that it may not always be the most comfortable experience. However, there are ways you can relieve palate expander pain and pressure to make it more tolerable.

Eat Soft Foods

For the duration of your palatal expander treatment, it’s best you stick to just liquids and soft foods to avoid any painful chewing or damage to the expander. Foods such as yogurt, protein shakes, mashed vegetables, and hearty soups are easy to eat but also have the nutrients to keep you full. If you eat solid foods that must be chewed, make sure to take small, slow bites.

Keep a Napkin Handy

With a palatal expander in place, you should expect to be producing more saliva than normal. This might make you susceptible to drooling or feeling the need to spit, so carrying around a napkin or handkerchief in your bag could be helpful.

Take Medication

Painkillers such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Aleve can help alleviate pain associated with the expander. It’s highly suggested to take a dose about an hour or so before turning the key so you’ll feel as little pain or discomfort as possible, as key turning is probably the most uncomfortable part.

Use Ice

Applying ice to your cheeks after turning the key will reduce inflammation, therefore helping reduce pain. You can also enjoy a cool treat such as ice cream or smoothie to soothe the area. Any sort of cooling or numbing agent such as Orajel may work for you.

Don’t Forget To Floss

Because the expander is permanently put at the roof of the mouth for the time being, it’s especially important to keep it clean. If bits of food or debris get stuck in the metal, it could feel uncomfortable and become harder to clean. Consistently keeping up with your daily hygiene habits will keep the expander free of bothersome bits and pieces, and keep your teeth and gums healthier at the same time. You may also want to consider a water flosser to get to hard-to-reach places.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have ongoing or consistent pain or discomfort, it’s best to get it checked out. While it may not be the most pleasant experience, your palate expander side effects should never be severe or debilitating. If you have any questions or concerns about your expander, or are looking to get started on your orthodontic journey, we encourage you to call us today. For superior orthodontics and a team who truly cares about your smile, our orthodontist in Oak Creek WI is here for you.

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