The removable palatal expansion appliance is comprised of a stainless steel and clear acrylic frame surrounding the permanent first molars, the primary molars, and primary cuspids, with palatal acrylic and an expansion mechanism in the midline of the palate (roof of the mouth).
The KDE appliance is used to slowly and carefully broaden the upper jaw by exerting lateral pressure on the two halves of the maxilla (upper jaw) in patients with a constricted maxilla (narrow upper jaw). If done properly, bone grows in the middle and a once-constricted maxilla can attain proper width to improve the bite. Expanding the maxilla may also help to create space for eruption of permanent teeth.
Please avoid sticky/chewy candies and gum while the appliance is in the mouth.
We encourage patients to clean the appliance with toothpaste and a toothbrush. If the appliance needs a deeper cleaning, anti-bacterial soap and warm water can often help, followed by a cleaning with toothpaste. Mouthwash should NOT be used and hot water should also be avoided to prevent distortion of the acrylic. The appliance should be worn while eating and removed for cleaning following completion of a meal or snack.
Upon initial placement, there may be some tongue obstruction, but your speech will be back to normal in just a few days.
Read your favorite book, magazine, etc. to yourself in front of the mirror for five minutes a day – your speech will be perfect in no time.
The teeth in direct contact with the appliance may be sore for a day or two following an adjustment. Normal NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication—Advil® or Tylenol®) may be helpful if necessary. Patients may feel pressure on the bridge of the nose during an adjustment as the maxilla widens.