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Orthodontics/palatal expander temporary removal MRI


my 16 y.o. daughter has a palatal expander and requires an MRI tonight, advised to remove expander. This was done at dental office yesterday in such as way that she can "pop it off" (soak in listerine) and then replace it. I was not along to ask questions and now office is closed for holidays.  the expander is attached to clear plastic that covers her back teeth and seems still to be "glued" on, could not move it with my fingers when I do I do this? spoon to pry gently?

I'm not an orthodontist but I provide resource information on the field. I did some online searching and found this animation (click on the right-hand image):

They don't say HOW to remove it, but I would think you pry it down and off with your fingertips placed over the wire/plastic at the edge where it wraps around one or more back molars, first on one side and then the other, kind of with a rocking motion, until it comes free. I think it will "pop" off like a retainer, which I've used myself for years.

Here is a YouTube video (not great quality) that also makes it sound as though you "just" pull it off: though it doesn't show her close-up.

Lastly, here's an image of a removable expander at, with general instructions on its use, though not on the actual removal.

Hope this helps - best wishes to both of you!


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Pamela Waterman


I can supply tips, hints, recipes and resources about a braces-friendly lifestyle, for parents of children and teens in braces as well as for adults in braces. Although I am not a medical/dental professional, I have colleagues in the field and will do my best to point you to additional resources.


I am the author of two specialty award-winning cookbooks of soft-food recipes and tips targeted to all ages of braces-wearers (including adults) and give workshops to dental hygienists to help them help their patients with this type of information. I have worn braces both as a teen and as an adult, and am from a family of three generations of braces patients. I regularly contribute information to the public website of the American Association of Orthodontists and Orthotown magazine.

Women in Orthodontics, American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, Independent Book Publishers Association, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Orthotown, Cricket, Family Fun, Highlights, Better Homes and Gardens Kids' Rooms, Chicago Tribune, East Valley Tribune (Phoenix AZ), Healthy Alternatives, Organic & Natural, Desktop Engineering, Machine Design

BS Astrophysics, MS Radio Astronomy/Electrical Engineering

Awards and Honors
Good Parenting Award from Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist - Next Generation Indie Books, Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group

Past/Present Clients
American Association of Orthodontists, Smile for a Lifetime

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