Schwarz Palatal Expander for Crowded Teeth, Mouth Breathing and Pediatric Sleep Apnea

Wondering what the Schwarz appliance is? It’s a removable orthodontic device designed to expand the jaw and align teeth. In this article, we’ll explore how it works, its benefits, and who should consider using it.


schwarz expander appliance

Upper Schwarz Appliance


The Schwarz appliance is a removable palatal expander. The appliance is sometimes inaccurately called the Schwartz appliance. The Schwarz can be designed in 100s of different ways depending on the size and shape of the existing jaw structure. The Schwarz looks like a retainer and can expand the expand the jaws in all three dimensions including forward growth. The Schwarz aligns the teeth as it expands the jaws and creates more space. Palatal expansion naturally creates more room for crowded teeth as the mouth gets larger.

The Schwarz is one of our favorite appliances for treating pediatric sleep apnea and mouth breathing. Our airway programs involve myofunctional therapy and evaluation for lip and tongue tie releases.


Our most popular expansion protocol for kids:


  1. Schwarz expander to be worn at night for 6-9 months
  2. Diagnosis of any tongue, lip and buccal ties
  3. Myofunctional therapy assessment
  4. Release of any tongue, lip and buccal ties
  5. Invisalign or braces if need be (not always necessary)


Schwarz expander can correct mouth breathing and sleep apnea


The Schwarz corrects mouth breathing in kids when combined with tongue and lip tie release and myofunctional therapy. More space in the mouth helps teeth fit better and be less crooked. The Schwarz stimulates the jaws and face to grow wider, taller and more forward. If properly designed and used, the Schwarz results in more space for a straight smile, balanced bite and proper nose breathing. More 3D space in the mouth and nasal passageways is what corrects breathing patterns and promotes nose breathing.

Poor posture is linked to mouth breathing and airway obstruction.


Schwarz Appliance Video by Dr Adams


YouTube video


Schwarz for cross bite, over bite and deep bites


The Schwarz is a very versatile device. It can be used to correct deep bite, open bite, cross bite, reverse jaw position and mouth breathing. The appliance can be designed in thousands of different ways. Schwarz treatment usually lasts 6-12 months.


What Does the Schwarz Device Look Like?


The Schwarz looks like a bit like a retainer, and an expander combined. It is very comfortable and it does not hurt unless expanded too often or not worn enough. The Schwarz needs to be worn during sleep for 8-10 hours per day. The patient will need to come in for dental appointments every 2 months.


Correct Mouth Breathing with Palate Expanders Video


YouTube video


Contact Dr. Adams for a Consultation and 3D Xray


Nose Breathing is improved by the Schwarz Expander


The palate bone (maxilla) forms the base of the nose. During palatal expansion, the diameter of the nasal passageways get larger. Nasal stuffiness and mouth beathing can be eliminated with the Schwarz in addition to other expanders. But the Schwarz is especially effective at improving nasal airway. If the nasal airway is improved, people no longer need to breathe through the mouth. Nose breathing compared to mouth breathing


How to Use a Schwarz Orthodontic Appliance


The Schwarz is only worn at night and is taken out during the day. It is not worn while eating. Oral hygiene is very easy since the appliance is removable. The treatment does not hurt because expansion pressure is very light compared to braces and conventional orthodontics. As long as the appliance is worn every night, designed properly and adjusted as advised, the treatment will go as planned. There are no required exercises or homework. If the appliance is worn, it usually expands the jaws.


Goals of Schwarz Appliance Treatment:


  • Improve facial growth and profile
  • correct any mouth breathing
  • Improve sleep
  • Create good smile esthetics
  • Optimize tongue function
  • Establish healthy breathing patterns
  • Create a good bite
  • Balance upper and lower jaw relationships
  • Establish healthy posture


Why Do Teeth Get Crooked?


Teeth become crooked because of poor tongue function, unhealthy mouth breathing patterns and a diet consisting of foods that are too soft. This is why kids mouths and faces do not grow large enough for all their teeth to fit and bite properly. If tongue and breathing problems are not corrected, your child will fall behind again in their development 1-2 years after appliance therapy. That is right, the teeth will get crowded and crooked all over again, if the root cause of developmental problems are not corrected. Kids continue to grow till at least the age of 19.


What Causes Small Jaws and Faces?


Poor tongue movement is the root cause of underdevelopment of the face. Tongue pressure naturally expands the mouth and lower part of the face. Tongue ties cause diminished range of motion of the tongue. The tongue does not move out far enough and cannot reach the palate easily. Tied tongues often get pointy and curl down when extended out of the mouth. There is a sequential cause and effect relationship in the following order:


  1. Tongue Tie
  2. Poor Tongue Function
  3. Under Development of the Palate and Nasal Passageways
  4. Poor Nasal Breathing
  5. Mouth Breathing


How to Correct Tongue Ties


Tongues can be untied with a soft tissue laser.  It is very quick, mostly painless and there is not bleeding. The dentist needs to verify the tongue is functioning correctly at the time of the procedure. Untying the tongue alone is not enough. The procedure is called a “functional tongue untie.” What causes tongue tie?


What is Myofunctional Therapy


Myofunctional therapy is basically tongue physical therapy. Tongue exercises to achieve healthy movements. If tongue therapy and exercises are done with a functional untie procedure, tongue reattachment is less than 20%. Without myofunctional therapy, tongue reattachment is closer to 80%.


How to Correct Mouth Breathing Patterns


  1. Remove all Tongue Ties
  2. Myofunctional Therapy
  3. Orthodontic Expanders to correct jaw and facial under growth
  4. Breathing Exercises to restore proper nasal breathing patterns
  5. Posture Therapy with a chiropractor or qualified PT


The Lower Schwarz Device


lower schwarz appliance

Lower Schwarz Device


The lower Schwarz device stimulates the lower jaw to grow wider.  The mandible can also grow forward or anteriorly. Mandibular anterior growth is also called mandibular repositioning. Mandibular repositioning is done by adjusting the bite area on the upper appliance to a more forward position. This is also how the jaws grow naturally when things are growing normally.


Schwarz is our Favorite Kids Expander


The Schwarz is our most popular expansion appliance for children. Dr. Adams likes the Schwarz because it is very versatile and effective in a wide variety of different orthodontic cases. The Schwartz is very easy to tolerate because it only needs to be worn at night and it is removable. Unlike braces and other fixed expanders, the appliance does not get in the way of daily activities and is not worn during meal time. The appliance does not hurt when being adjusted.


Expanders We use for Children


  1. ALF appliance
  2. Myobrace
  3. Twin Block
  4. Crozat
  5. Healthy Start


What is An Expander Anyway?


We prefer the use of the term “growth appliances.”  They are small retainer-like devices that promote growth of the jaws. The goal is to grow the jaws into a more optimal size and shape. Growth appliances work by applying a light force in the direction the jaws need to grow. They are not mechanical devices and do not cause pain. The appliance mimics tongue pressure and encourages proper tongue position. Appliance therapy is synergistic with swallowing and tongue movement.


How Long is Schwarz Appliance Therapy?


Most kids only need to wear the appliances at night for 6-9 months during treatment. The appliances are usually not worn during the day or while eating. The patient is usually seen in the office every 5-7 weeks. During the office visits we will evaluate the growth, adjust the appliances and verify patient compliance. Treatment is usually performed between the ages of 5 and14 years of age.


Understanding the Schwarz Appliance


Embarking on the path to a better smile often begins with understanding the tools of the trade. The Schwarz appliance, a stalwart among orthodontic devices, serves as a catalyst for change in the dental landscape. It’s not just a piece of hardware; it’s a transformative agent that reshapes mouths and, by extension, lives.

As we peel back the layers of this ingenious device, we’ll explore how it works, the intricate components it comprises, and the remarkable dental conditions it addresses, setting the stage for an in-depth exploration of its capabilities.


How Does the Schwarz Appliance Work?


The mechanics of the Schwarz appliance are as fascinating as its results. By implementing a slow and steady expansion, the appliance nudges the jawbone into growth, paving the way for teeth to find their rightful place. This gradual movement is orchestrated by the turning of a small screw, a weekly ritual that promises incremental progress.

It’s a symphony of pressure and expansion, guiding the jaws to blossom in three dimensions and fostering the perfect environment for healthy occlusal function. The result? A jaw that not only looks better but works better, setting the stage for a lifetime of confident smiles.


Who Can Benefit from the Schwarz Appliance?


Illustration of the benefits of the Schwarz appliance for different age groups


The beauty of the Schwarz appliance lies in its broad appeal. It doesn’t discriminate by age or dental complexity; it welcomes all who seek improvement. From the exuberant smiles of children to the measured grins of adults, this removable appliance has something to offer everyone. Its ability to correct a spectrum of dental conditions makes it a versatile ally in the pursuit of oral health.

Let’s delve deeper into who stands to gain the most from this orthodontic marvel, painting a picture of a diverse clientele united by a common goal: a better bite and a brighter smile.


Children and Adolescents


In the tender years of childhood and adolescence, the Schwarz appliance shines as a beacon of preventive care. Its effectiveness is unparalleled when it comes to guiding the growth of young jaws, addressing issues such as crossbites and crowding before they burgeon into more significant concerns. The appliance works best before the curtain of puberty falls, making it an essential player in early orthodontic strategies.

For many children, this device is a preventive measure, a way to avoid future complications, and a means to ensure that their smiles grow as beautifully as they do.


Dental Conditions Treated


From the crowded corridors of a narrow jaw to the misaligned paths of an improper bite, the Schwarz appliance navigates a variety of dental landscapes with ease. The Schwarz is a very important part of our mouth breathing and pediatric sleep apnea programs. It is particularly adept at addressing overcrowded teeth and overlapping teeth, guiding them into spacious new arrangements and preventing future entanglements. Crossbites too fall under its realm of expertise, as the appliance expertly expands the narrow arch to correct discrepancies.

Even the challenges posed by impacted teeth and mouth breathing difficulties are not beyond its capabilities. In the hands of a dental maestro, this appliance orchestrates a symphony of changes that lead to harmonious dental health.


Types of Schwarz Appliances



As we delve deeper into the world of Schwarz appliances, it becomes clear that one size does not fit all. These devices come in various iterations, each with its unique set of features designed to target specific dental dilemmas. Whether it’s a matter of mobility or a need for steady pressure, there’s an appliance out there tailored to the nuances of your orthodontic needs.

Engage with us as we explore the different types of Schwarz appliances, understanding how each variant plays its part in the grand design of dental correction.


Removable Schwarz Appliance


The removable Schwarz appliance is the epitome of convenience in orthodontic care. Designed to be worn around the clock, it gracefully bows out during meals and dental hygiene routines, affording a flexibility that is highly valued by patients. This non-invasive device is an attractive option for those seeking a treatment that harmonizes with their lifestyle, allowing for personalized adjustments without the need for surgical interventions.

Its role in treating a variety of dental conditions is as commendable as its ability to blend into the rhythms of daily life.


Fixed Schwarz Appliance


In contrast, the fixed Schwarz appliance is the stronghold of consistency in orthodontic treatment. Anchored to the teeth, it functions around the clock, applying a constant, gentle force that tirelessly works towards the desired dental transformation.  We rarely use a fixed Schwarz appliance. This steadfast approach ensures that progress is not hindered by lapses in patient adherence, making it ideal for scenarios where continuous pressure is a must.

The fixed Schwarz appliance is a silent guardian, a watchful protector of dental alignment, ensuring that each day brings you closer to the smile you aspire to have.


Benefits of Using the Schwarz Appliance


Imagine a world where dental corrections are gentle, non-invasive, and tailored to your individual needs. This is the reality that the Schwarz appliance offers. Its benefits extend far beyond the realms of jaw expansion and tooth alignment. It ushers in an era of orthodontic care that is as considerate as it is effective, providing a beacon of hope for those who may have shied away from traditional methods.

Now, let’s navigate the specific advantages that make the Schwarz appliance a standout choice for patients and practitioners alike.


Improved Upper Jaw Expansion


The Schwarz appliance is not just about making space; it’s about creating the right kind of space where the upper arch can coexist in harmony with the upper teeth. It addresses the narrow confines of the upper jaw, gently persuading it to widen and make room for a future of healthier, more aligned teeth. This widening is a gradual process, a journey that leads to improved function and aesthetic appeal.

It’s a journey that spares patients from the prospect of tooth extraction and invasive procedures, ushering in an age of orthodontics that respects the natural growth patterns of the human body.


More Tongue space, Better Airway and Sleep


More room in the mouth means more space for the tongue and better breathing and sleep. The Schwarz device is one of the most important parts of our pediatric sleep apnea and mouth breathing programs. Myofunctional therapy and diagnosis of lip and tongue ties is also very important.


Enhanced Dental Alignment


Beyond the expansion of the jaw, the Schwarz appliance plays a pivotal role in orchestrating the symphony of teeth alignment. Its design allows for a controlled expansion that, in turn, creates the necessary space for teeth to find their optimal positions. This process of alignment is not just about aesthetics; it’s about establishing a foundation for normal occlusal function, ensuring that each tooth plays its part in the harmony of the mouth.

It’s a testament to the appliance’s ability to address overcrowding with finesse, paving the way for a future of smiles that are as functional as they are beautiful.


Non-Surgical Option


One of the most compelling aspects of the Schwarz appliance is its non-surgical nature. It offers patients a gentle alternative to the more invasive procedures that once dominated orthodontic care. This approach aligns with the growing trend towards treatments that minimize discomfort and downtime, allowing patients to continue with their daily lives unhindered.

It’s a testament to the evolving landscape of dental care, where patient comfort and convenience are held in the highest regard.


Adjusting and Caring for the Schwarz Appliance


The journey with a Schwarz appliance is one of partnership and commitment. It requires a certain level of engagement from the patient, involving regular adjustments and diligent care. Yet, this journey is far from arduous. With the right guidance and a few simple routines, managing your appliance becomes second nature.

Let’s explore the practical aspects of living with a Schwarz appliance, offering insights into how to adjust it, care for it, and troubleshoot common issues, ensuring that your orthodontic journey is as smooth and effective as possible.


How to Adjust the Schwarz Appliance


The key to success with the Schwarz appliance is in the adjustments. These small, regular turns of the screw catalyze the movement that leads to big changes. It’s a ritual that, when performed as directed by your orthodontist, ensures that your treatment progresses at the right pace.

The appliance’s design allows for adjustments to be made with ease, often by the patient themselves, fostering a sense of empowerment and involvement in the treatment process. This hands-on approach not only accelerates progress but also deepens the connection between patient and appliance, making each milestone all the more rewarding.


Daily Care and Maintenance


Caring for your Schwarz appliance is akin to tending to a garden; it thrives with regular attention and gentle handling. Here are some tips for caring for your appliance:

  • Daily cleaning with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste maintains its integrity and ensures that your oral health remains in peak condition.
  • It’s important to navigate around the appliance’s nuances, avoiding hot water that could alter its shape.
  • Steer clear of habits that might compromise its structure.

Embrace the swish and swallow technique during meals to keep it free from food debris, and you’ll find that maintaining your appliance is no more complex than your usual dental hygiene routine, even when it comes to removing chewing gum.


Common Issues and Troubleshooting


Even the most well-maintained gardens face the occasional pest. Similarly, Schwarz appliance users may encounter issues from time to time. But fear not, for every common problem has a simple solution. Steering clear of sticky and hard foods will help you avoid damage, and resisting the urge to use your appliance as a toy for your tongue will prevent unnecessary wear.

Should you feel too much pressure or experience discomfort, a slight adjustment might be all that’s needed. And if a clasp breaks, your orthodontist is but a call away, ready to restore comfort and functionality to your trusted device.


Potential Side Effects and How to Manage Them


Embarking on any orthodontic treatment comes with its share of concerns, and the Schwarz appliance is no different. While the side effects are typically mild and temporary, it’s important to acknowledge them and understand how to manage them effectively. This transparency not only prepares patients for what lies ahead but also equips them with the knowledge to navigate any discomfort with confidence.

Let’s examine the potential side effects of using the Schwarz appliance and explore the strategies to mitigate them, ensuring a comfortable and successful orthodontic journey.


Temporary Discomfort


The initial days of wearing the Schwarz appliance may bring a wave of new sensations as your mouth acclimates to its presence. It’s normal to feel some discomfort or tightness, but this is merely a sign that the appliance is beginning its work. To manage this, you might consider adjusting the turning frequency as recommended by your orthodontist, or relying on over-the-counter pain relievers to ease any soreness.

Embrace soft foods during this slow expansion and adjustment period, and soon enough, you’ll find that any initial discomfort fades as quickly as it arrived, leaving you to focus on the progress you’re making each day.


Speech and Eating Adjustments


As you become acquainted with your Schwarz appliance, you may notice a temporary impact on your speech and eating habits. While these changes can be jarring at first, they’re a common part of the adjustment process and typically resolve within a few days. To expedite your adaptation, try reading aloud, a simple exercise that can significantly improve speech clarity.

When it comes to eating, patience and a gradual return to your normal diet will help you navigate this temporary phase with grace, allowing you to emerge with newfound confidence in both conversation and cuisine.


Success Stories and Case Studies


There’s no better testament to the efficacy of the Schwarz appliance than the stories of those who have experienced its transformative power firsthand. From children whose dental landscapes have been reshaped for a lifetime of health to adults who have discovered the joys of a corrected bite, these narratives inspire and reassure.

Let’s turn the pages of a few such success stories, drawing inspiration from the real-life journeys that highlight the Schwarz appliance’s role in crafting smiles that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally sound.


Children’s Success Stories


For children, the Schwarz appliance often marks the start of an orthodontic adventure that leads to a lifetime of healthy smiles and better sleep. Consider the story of a young patient whose narrow upper jaw once hinted at future crowding and complications. After a year of dedicated appliance usage, not only was the jaw expanded, but the child’s dental alignment improved significantly, highlighting the appliance’s power to preemptively address orthodontic issues.

Such successes underscore the potential of the Schwarz appliance to make a lasting impact during the formative years of dental development.


Schwarz Appliance vs. Fixed Palatal Expanders


When it comes to palatal expansion, the Schwarz appliance offers a unique approach that distinguishes it from traditional palatal expanders. While both aim to widen the upper jaw, the Schwarz appliance can also be used for lower jaw expansion, providing a comprehensive solution for patients with broader expansion needs.

Unlike palatal expanders, which focus solely on the upper jaw and often require fixed installation, the removable palate expander, also known as the Schwarz appliance, allows for a degree of flexibility and ease in orthodontic care. This versatility makes it an attractive option for those seeking a more adaptable and less intrusive method of jaw expansion, such as a palatal expander.




As we conclude our exploration of the Schwarz appliance, it’s clear that this remarkable device offers a pathway to improved dental health that is as gentle as it is effective. Its ability to treat a wide range oalf dental conditions, cater to both children and adults, and provide non-invasive treatment options makes it a valuable asset in the world of orthodontics. Whether through the lens of personal success stories or in comparison with other orthodontic devices, the Schwarz appliance stands out as a versatile and patient-friendly tool. It’s a beacon of hope for those seeking a comfortable and convenient way to achieve the smile they’ve always desired.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Schwarz appliance be used for both upper and lower jaw expansion?


Yes, the Schwarz appliance can be used for both upper and lower jaw expansion, providing a versatile solution for different dental expansion requirements.


Is the Schwarz appliance suitable for adults, or is it just for children?


No, the Schwarz appliance is not suitable for adults, we have adult palatal expander options:


  1. Homeoblock Device
  2. DNA Appliance
  4. ALF Appliance


How often do I need to adjust my Schwarz appliance?


The frequency of adjustments for the Schwarz appliance typically involves turning a small screw in the appliance once per week to facilitate gradual expansion. It’s important to follow Dr. Adams’ specific instructions for the best results.


Are there any side effects associated with using the Schwarz appliance?


Yes, there may be some temporary side effects such as mild discomfort and adjustments in speech and eating habits, but these usually resolve quickly and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and soft foods.


How does the Schwarz appliance compare to traditional braces?


The Schwarz appliance is a removable device, offering convenience and ease of maintenance, while traditional braces are fixed to the teeth and used for more severe alignment issues. Therefore, the Schwarz appliance allows for gradual, controlled expansion and is often used for jaw expansion and less severe tooth alignment.


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