Is Expander another word for retainer

If your child is in any stage of orthodontic treatment, this is a place to connect with other parents in your situation. Please note: this is a forum for adults only -- kids may not post here!

Moderator: bbsadmin

Post Reply
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:56 am

Is Expander another word for retainer

#1 Post by sonyg75 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:22 pm

That's a silly question, anyways, my son is 9 and had braces for over 6 months. About 2 weeks ago they put in retainers top and bottom and he's having a very difficult time. He can't talk, eat, excessive saliva... I just want to cry seeing him going through all that, I mean I do understand it's very important but this is almost getting impossible. Has anyone experienced this much difficulty with their kids? Please respond and let me know!!!!!!! THANK YOU!

Posts: 315
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:34 pm
Location: Utah, USA

#2 Post by gunter8888 » Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:28 am

I have an expander that looks a lot like a retainer. They are a real pain for the first few weeks. Eventually, the mouth settles down and stops creating so much saliva and you learn to speak with them in. The pain/discomfort lessens a lot after the first 2-3 weeks, as well.

Was your son told to eat with the expanders in? My ortho said some other orthos recommend it, but he doesn't feel its realistic. I tried it a few times and it was virtually impossible. Unless your son's ortho objects, I say take them out to eat.

Best of luck!
Expander in 8/9/06
Lowers on 11/30/06
Uppers on / Expander gone on 1/31/2007
Class III elastics added 3/14/2007
Expander #2 - 6/27/2007
20-24 months w/ fixed metal braces

User avatar
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:40 pm

#3 Post by ngbraces » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:51 pm

I hope your son's eating is back to normal already. This thread is old but I have the same question too.

My 10-year old nephew has a fixed retainer that looks like an expander. I googled it, yes it is called a retainer but I saw the same picture posted in the Metal Mouth Forum by some members, they called it expander. May be it was named based on what the orthos try to acheive using it? :?: ... itemId=228

Since it is fixed inside the mouth by 2 molar bands, my nephew has to live with it. Of course it was very discomfort and painful for him during few first days. We needed to check make sure that there were no cleats, no rough surface on the retainer. We fed him with soft food in a week, later he got used with it and now his eating is back to 100% normal.
Full Metal Mouth

Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:55 pm
Location: The world!

Re: Is Expander another word for retainer

#4 Post by Orwellian » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:12 am

No it isn't. A retainer retains the position of teeth, and an expander expands the palate.
Sentence:18 months
Full metal braces
Consultation: January 15, 2014
Bonding: March 4, 2014
1st adjustment: ?
My Story: ... =9&t=46420

Post Reply