Expander #3. Seriously.

Expander #3. Seriously.

Well, we ended up getting to our 3rd palatal expander with Gavin.  The left bracket kept breaking apart in the same location due to his inability to leave crap alone.  The 3rd expander our ortho built with more anchors so that it could be rigid and not allow for him to keep messing with it AND worked for almost 4 weeks!  We were able to turn it every night and then the night before our appointment, guess what?  “Mom, my expander is loose, again!”

It has been a trying four weeks folks.  I have been all over him to keep his hands out of his mouth, to use his WaterPik after every meal and to make sure he was brushing properly and removing all of the food that was getting stuck in and around the metal contraption.  He has had some sleepless nights complaining of his jaw aching, which I know must have really hurt because he actually asked for Tylenol a couple of times. This process is definitely a process for all involved.

Showed up for our appointment and thankfully we are done with turning the expander.  It was supposed to remain in for an additional 8 weeks.  Since it was broken yet again, it was decided that a permanent bar would be put in and accelerated in the timeline rather than having another expander made to just hold things in place for 8 weeks.  I am hoping that the permanent bar will be less intrusive and that this kid will be able to handle it better than the expander.  Here goes nothing, right?


I live in SoCal with my husband and two kids. Love reading, writing, being a foodie and coffee aficionado. I support other moms of cleft affected children. Our family is continuing along on this journey and we seek to help other families navigate terrain we've already covered. All Smiles is what we want for all cleft kiddos!

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