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HAAS Rapid Palatal Expander
The Haas Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is a special appliance that will help you grow new bone in your upper jaw to make your jaw wider. The RPE doesn't usually hurt while it is active though you will feel pressure each time the appliance is activated. Most patients get used to the RPE after two to three days.
You will activate your RPE two times per day, unless otherwise instructed by your orthodontist. Turn the key in the screw until the next hole is visible. You will feel pressure in your upper jaw after each activation of the RPE.
The RPE takes a total of 2 to 3 weeks to become fully activated, but this may take longer depending on your age and the amount of progress you are making.
When your upper jaw is wide enough, the RPE will stay in your mouth for three months. This waiting period is necessary to allow the new bone to mature and to help make expansion long lasting. After three months, your orthodontist will remove the RPE.
In some cases, your orthodontist will place braces on the other top teeth to begin to move them before the RPE is removed.
Care of the Rapid Palital Expander
You should clean your RPE thoroughly with your toothbrush and toothpaste when you brush your teeth.
Rinse your mouth once each day with warm diluted salt water (1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of water) or mouthwash.
Some Things that You Should Know
A space will usually open between your two front teeth. Again, DON'T WORRY. The space is completely normal and, generally, it will close by itself. If the space doesn't close in its own, your orthodontist will close it when you have braces.
You will have difficulty speaking at first. DON'T WORRY. The more you speak (practice talking by reading a book out loud) the faster you will get used to speaking with the RPE.
If you have any questions about your RPE, you can always ask your orthodontist or one of our clinic staff.
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