Treatments > Rapid Maxillary Expansion (RME)

A Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME) is an appliance designed to;
  • Expand your upper arch;
  • Aid in making room for crowded teeth;
  • Helps promoting symmetry;
  • Helps achieve a better bite.

The expander is cemented in place and the patient is required to turn a screw in the appliance. Dr Coveney will show you how to turn the screw and ask that a parent assist the patient doing this.
You will feel some pressure on the roof of your mouth. Some patients may experience a tingling sensation around the mouth, bridge of the nose and tooth sensitivity. Any over-the-counter pain reliever will effectively relieve the discomfort. You may have some difficulty swallowing for the first few hours. You may also notice a difference in your speech for a few days. Once you get used to the appliance you will begin to speak normally again.
A gap will open between the upper front teeth, don’t be alarmed this is normal and the space will be closed as treatment progresses.
Expect to wear your RME for approximately six months while expansion is taking place. The appliance will then remain in place for several months after expansion is complete while new bone is filling the space.

For your orthodontic treatment to work well and in the shortest possible time it is important you take care of your teeth and the appliance. Regular appointments are required so Dr Coveney can check your progress and make adjustments to your appliance. Usually you will have an appointment every 6 to 8 weeks (unless Dr Coveney specifies otherwise).
It is important to;
  • Be consistent with the turning of the screw – Don’t try to rush treatment;
  • After eating, rinse your mouth vigorously with water, this will dislodge any large particles of food that may be trapped in the screw;
  • When brushing your teeth, also brush the roof of your mouth and brush the appliance and wires;
  • We ask that a parent confirm turning the screw of the expander as prescribed.
To prevent damaging your appliance and teeth, you should avoid the following;
  • Sticky, chewy, hard and sugary foods like toffees, Minties, chewing gum, hard biscuits & crackers, crusty breads, chocolate & chocolate bars like Mars Bar & Boost Bar, nuts and ice.
  • Soft drinks (including diet drinks) and excessive amounts of fruit juice.
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