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Keeping A Healthy Smile During Orthodontic Treatment
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Ultra-Esthetic System

Read what our patients are saying about our Ultra-Esthetic System
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Getting Braces

Dr. Kemp makes getting your braces as comfortable as possible
Read More »
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The Right Age

Orthodontics can benefit patients of virtually any age
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Oral Hygiene

Keeping A Healthy Smile During Orthodontic Treatment
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Expanders

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is a wonderful orthodontic appliance to use for patients whose upper jaw is narrow, protrusive and crowded. Your Rapid Palatal Expander gently widens the upper arch (palate) by stretching the center palatal connective suture. Once the palate is widened, the suture knits together with newly formed bone. The Rapid Palatal Expander is prescribed usually prior to completion of growth. A parent or the patient adjusts the RPE every other day as instructed until the palate has been widened enough. The RPE is an excellent orthodontic appliance especially to help change abnormal growth patterns.


The Rapid Palatal Expander is custom made for each patient. As the key is turned you may feel some initial pressure and these symptoms:
  • Tingling or itching sensation under the expander.
  • Tingling sensation across the bridge of the nose.
  • Pressure in the cheek area.
  • Spacing between the upper front teeth.
A special key is used to activate the Rapid Palatal Expander. Follow these instructions:
  • Loop the string on the key around your finger to prevent the possibility of the key being swallowed.
  • Insert the key into the key hole. The key will not touch the roof of the mouth due to the key being bent.
  • You want to push the key toward the back so the cylinder of the (RPE) rotates back. You want to turn the key enough so you can see the next hole to be visible at the front. Look for the next hole to rotate forward enough so you will be able to place the key for the next activation.
  • Remove the key.
  • Turn as you have been instructed.
A guide to remember when brushing:
  • Use a Proxabrush and regular toothbrush.
  • Brush as usual.
  • Use a water rinse or a water pick to flush under the expander.
  • The use of a Waterpik is helpful to dislodge food particles that can become caught in the expander.
The removable expander is designed to widen just the same as the fixed expander. The expander should be worn as instructed by Dr. Kemp (Orthodontist). Your expander needs only to be worn at night time. To insure your expander stays clean please keep your expander clean by brushing with toothpaste. Never store your retainer in a car or hot sun as they will warp. Pets love to eat them so keep them away from “Rover”. Please bring your expander to your appointment so Dr. Kemp can make sure your expander is fitting properly.

Instructions for Expanding
  • Hold the expander right side up (shape of a rainbow) then place the key in the slot/hole of screw.
  • Turn the key one full turn upwards (“over the rainbow”).
  • The expander should be activated (turned) once a month in all three places unless told otherwise.
  • Continue to turn the key as prescribed until Dr. Kemp (Orthodontist) advises you to stop.

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