What is a palatal expander?
Palatal expanders are often used during early orthodontic treatment to help widen the upper jaw of a growing child. During early jaw growth, your child’s upper jaw is two halves that will eventually fuse. Palatal expanders are custom-designed to use this growth process to their advantage and make more space in the mouth before the two halves fuse. The expander is secured to the child’s top teeth and can be adjusted to fit your child’s needs. Jeff Thompson Orthodontics offers palatal expanders in Leawood, Kansas, to help your child achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
When is a palate expander needed?
If there is not proper space in your child’s mouth, they can experience a range of orthodontic issues, including overcrowding, impacted teeth, and various bite issues. Orthodontists will often prescribe a palatal expander for a child who needs space made in the mouth before undergoing orthodontic treatments such as braces. They are typically only worn for a few months, but during this time, they can help your jaw expand enough to treat many common orthodontic issues. As it’s worn and widened, the expander will increase the space in your child’s mouth, helping the teeth come in straighter.
What issues can a palate expander fix?
Do palate expanders hurt?
Since children wear a palatal expander during the growth process of their jaw, they’re generally painless. You can expect a little discomfort when turning the key to widen the expander more, but it should disappear quickly. As your child gets used to their new upper jaw expander, they may also find it a little harder to speak and eat, but this should improve as they adjust to the sensation.