Rapid Maxillary Expansion Appliance

Rapid Maxillary Expansion Appliance (RMEA)

The Rapid Maxillary Expansion Appliance (RMEA) is a glued in appliance usually attached to four teeth and used to widen the upper jaw so that the upper teeth fit properly with the lower jaw and teeth.


  1. Avoid hard or sticky foods such as licorice, gum, toffee, hard candies, ice cubes, etc. These can loosen or damage the appliance. Apples and raw vegetables such as carrots must be cut into small pieces before eating as they can also distort the bands and wires, or cause the appliance to come loose.

  2. As soon as you have finished eating, carefully brush your teeth and the appliance.  Make sure that you clean under the appliance as well as you can.

  3. To turn the appliance, place the key into the hole of the appliance on the roof of your mouth.  Push the key to the back of your mouth until you see the next hole appear. Remove the key. It is very important that you push the key to the back until the next hole appears. Turn the appliance according to the schedule given at your latest appointment. (Do not turn from back to front as this will move the teeth in the opposite direction.)

  4. Your next appointment should be made in one week unless otherwise instructed. At your next appointment, we will let you know if you should continue turning the appliance or if enough expansion has been achieved.

    E   Important:  If for some reason you do not return to our office for your scheduled appointment, stop turning the appliance until you see the doctor again.

  5. Check your appliance daily for loose bands or broken attachments. If you find any, stop turning the appliance and please call our office immediately.

Things you may notice:

  • Eating will be difficult at first. Be patient and eat soft foods and in a few days you will be able to eat more foods. You may notice that you tend to salivate more than usual, but this is temporary.

  • There may be a metallic taste, sometimes noticed with a new appliance. This disappears in a day or two.

  • Your speech may be affected temporarily, but is usually back to normal in two or three days. Reading aloud to yourself can help you become more quickly accustomed to it.

  • A gap will open between your two top front teeth; this is normal and expected.  The teeth that the appliance is attached to may also be sore for the first three or four days. Some soreness may also be experienced in the roof of your mouth and into the nasal region.

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Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.

Office Location

  • Maple Ridge
  • 11950 223rd Street
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia
  • V2X 5Y5
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: 604-467-2229