The palatal expander is an orthodontic/orthopedic appliance used to widen the upper jaw. It is frequently used while the patient is still growing, in order to give the palate an appropriate shape and width, and improve or correct crossbites or crowding. Expanders can be fixed or removable and are used for approximately 6 to 8 months. Dr. Tendler will provide the appropriate instructions on how to activate the expander and she will monitor the progress of the expansion periodically. Be prepared to see a space open up between the front upper teeth. This gap is to be expected as the palate will be widening with each activation. Typically, the space closes by itself or as the permanent teeth continue to come in.