In cases where the upper jaw is too small or narrow an expander may be the
These devices are glued onto the teeth and slowly expand the jaw to its correct size. The technical name for them is rapid maxillary expander or RME.
RMEs are fitted to the upper molars. There is a tiny screw in the middle which the parents then turn once a day to gently expand the smile. RMEs are usually used to correct a cross-bite and to create space to fit in all the teeth prior to or with braces. When used in young children they can be quite effective as the bones are still growing and easily expanded.
After achieving the desired expansion, the expander is usually left in place for 6 months to allow things to stabilize.