Rapid Maxillary Expansion AppliancePalatal Expander

An expander, also known as a rapid maxillary expansion appliance, is used to widen the upper jaw when necessary to correct a bite relationship or severe crowding. Expanders are often used in Phase I treatment with patients age 7-11, and can occasionally be prescribed during comprehensive treatment when the patient is a bit older. When we are young and still developing, the suture running down the center of the maxilla (or upper jaw) is cartilage. Since cartilage is pliable, we are able to use an expander to widen the maxilla and gain room for teeth in the mouth. When we stop growing, that cartilage becomes bone, and is no longer able to be manipulated with an expander. Using an expander when the patient is young is a great alternative to having permanent teeth extracted.


The Forsus appliance is affixed to specific brackets of the teeth. Springs mounted on the side of the appliance help the top teeth move back and the lower jaw rotate forward. This is used to correct abnormal malocclusion known as a Class II bite relationship.


Retainers are most commonly used to hold teeth in place after active treatment. A variety of options are available, from permanent retainers affixed to the back of front teeth, to removable options which are typically worn at night. In some cases, retainers can also be used to correct minor shifting in teeth. When using these spring retainers in active treatment (trying to move teeth), they must be worn for longer periods of time until the desired results are achieved.

Twaddle Orthodontics

  • Twaddle Orthodontics - 4600 Executive Dr., Columbia, MO 65203 Phone: 573-234-2774 Fax: 573-234-1028
  • Jefferson City Location - 1300 Edgewood Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109 Phone: 573-636-4000 Fax: 573-634-7777
  • Osage Beach Location - 6257 Osage Beach Parkway, Osage Beach, MO 65065 Phone: 573-348-3127

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