Note: APE stands for “Adult Palate Expansion.” (duh)
I HAVE A GAP! (See pics below.) I’m so excited that this is actually working. Also relieved.
I’ve had the expander in for about ten weeks now, and have widened the expander quite a lot. There have been a few times where I’ve delayed turning the key by a day or two because it still felt tight, but mostly, I’ve been turning it every Monday and Friday.
At my follow-up, my ortho said she was happy with my progress. She also told me that there’s a gum fiber that kind of pulls your two front teeth closer together, so I’ve likely achieved more bone growth than just what you can see as my midline gap. I suppose that’s reflected in the much bigger gaps between my front and lateral incisors.
She also said I’ve only gotten minimal tooth-tipping so far (we don’t want tooth-tipping, we want palate bone growth), and that the slight tipping I do have can be easily corrected with invisalign at the end of the whole process. Yay!
So far, the only issues I’ve had with my expander are a little bit of a sore spot on part of my upper palate, and some significant sensitivity at the root of my upper right first molar. That tooth is almost always sensitive, because it’s basically the only tooth I can chew effectively with and also takes most of the force of my nighttime clenching and grinding. (Sorry, tooth.) For those reasons, I already had a little bit of gum recession on that tooth, and that’s right where the plastic of the palate expander hits, so that’s a little painful. Oh well.
I’m also not a huge fan of the extremely gappy aesthetic I’ve got going on right now, but hopefully it’ll be worth it in the long run!