A Non-Update Update

Hey friends! Quite a few of you have been asking for updates on my palate expansion journey, so I figured I’d post one even though I don’t really have anything new to share.

Current Status

Treatment is still paused, due to a CBCT scan showing that we appeared to be pushing the roots of my teeth outside of the palate bone. (Not good for long-term tooth stability.)

I have continued wearing my Meridian appliance/expander at night, for two reasons. 1) To make sure it will continue to fit, so that I can use it with my Crane (once I decide to start using that again; more on this below). 2) I grind my teeth a lot at night, and the occlusal plates of the appliance provide some protection.

Once I stopped wearing the appliance during the day, my teeth immediately started moving back (un-expanding?), to where the appliance would barely fit at night. So each night before I put it on, I would do one or two reverse quarter-turns until it didn’t feel so tight anymore. I lost quite a bit of expansion progress that way, but clearly it wasn’t true/healthy expansion, so I thought it would be best to just undo some of it.

I’ve also been trying to maintain better tongue posture during the day (à la Mike Mew), but geez – it’s HARD! My tongue doesn’t fit well in my mouth to begin with (hence the need for all this palate expansion nonsense), but between eating and talking and breathing…man, tongue posture is NOT an easy thing to re-train. So that’s a work in progress.


The Crane

I still have the Crane, which is the horrifying-looking neck brace that I attach to my appliance with rubber bands to get a pulling force on the maxilla. I haven’t been wearing it because it disrupts my sleep, and I’ve had too much else going on in my life recently that was already disrupting my sleep, so I didn’t want to add to it.

HOWEVER, things are finally beginning to calm down, so I’ll probably start experimenting with it again in the next few months. Because the Crane puts forward force on the entire upper arch, I’m hoping that it will prompt some forward movement/growth of the maxilla without shifting the roots of my teeth too much (which I want to avoid for now, due to the aforementioned CBCT scan-related reasons).

There’s also a segment of the adult palate-expansion community (that’s a thing, right?) that advocates for using stronger “face-pulling” forces, but for shorter periods of time. This info used to be on, but it appears that domain has been recently overhauled, and I don’t see it there anymore. I don’t remember the exact guidelines, but I’m thinking it was something like 10-20 min of constant pressure, usually by wearing some kind of appliance (or braces) and just pulling on a string or rubber band that you’ve attached to it.

Do any of you remember seeing that info? The short-duration approach would be much easier to incorporate than wearing the Crane all night every night, so I might experiment with that over the next few weeks. Can’t hurt, right?


Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Stay tuned. I’ve loved hearing from all of you who are experimenting with this stuff, so please feel free to plug your own blog below (if you have one), or just post your own updates in the comments so others can follow along with you too!


For reference, here are all the other posts I’ve shared so far on the subject of orthodontics/orthotropics:

9 Thoughts on “A Non-Update Update

  1. Hi Alyssa. I enjoyed this update, because I’m on the same road. I got facepulling headgear at my dental appointment last week. Wanted to use it for a week or so before I start my blog. Same issues here with oral posture. Working on it. There’s much more to dental than I ever knew. It’s been an educational process as much as physical.

    • Hey Ry! How’s the face-pulling mask working out for you so far? Mine made my jaw joint sore, which is why I stopped wearing it and am experimenting with the Crane instead. Really glad to see you have a blog to share your experience – it’s so helpful to see everyone’s progress.

  2. Thanks. Still experimenting with how to sleep with the mask. Lip seal/drool is an issue since I’m a side-sleeper. I’ve been forced to back-sleep, which I don’t like, so I’ve been tired lately. I’ve been using a chin strap for months to help get lip seal with the appliance, so that might be why I don’t have any jaw problems using the mask.

    • Ugh I feel you on that. I’ve never been able to sleep on my back, but it’s really uncomfortable to wear the Crane and sleep on my side, so I don’t usually sleep well when I wear it. Interesting about the chin strap – maybe that does help! Is there a specific product you use, or did you just fashion one?

      • I found it at a discount store called Grocery Outlet. I think it was called something like ‘Anti-snoring chin strap.’ I’m still experimenting. Every solution I come up with conflicts with something else. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

  3. What aboit the bow from forwardontics?

    • Oh wow, I hadn’t heard of that product! Just looked it up, and am definitely considering giving it a shot (if I can stomach shelling out another $250, when I’ve already spent $450 on the Crane…). Thanks so much Renee!

  4. Steph on June 21, 2019 at 8:15 pm said:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Did you ever hear from Brad? I’ve been using him too and extremely unimpressed by his confident talk but total unwillingness to communicate about details.


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