Understanding When a Palate Expander May Be Necessary
Posted on 2/20/2020 by First Impressions Orthodontics
When we recommend that your child gets a palate expander, it's only natural that you have questions and concerns about what it is.
Questions you might have can include whether the device is necessary, if it's painful, what it does and whether there are alternatives that could be used. So, to help ease your wonder, we want to take the time to share a little information with you.
What Is An Expander?
This is a device that's used by orthodontists to expand the upper jaw of the mouth. They are often recommended when there isn't enough space for permanent teeth to pop out or when there is a crossbite between the arches. As such, this device is most effective when treating preteens and children since their bone sutures found in the upper palate have not fused. Because of that, there is some flexibility, which can allow the structure to be changed with some pressure applied.
When Do You Need This Expander?
Basically, there are three instances where your child might need this expander. The very first one is when they have a crossbite. A crossbite is basically when the child's upper jaw is narrower than their lower one. In this situation, the top premolars end up being inside the lower back teeth when biting which is not ideal or comfortable.
Another reason to get an expander is when there is crowding. Usually when the dentist performs an oral exam, they can tell whether there will be enough space or not. In case the answer is negative, the palate expander will help provide the necessary space so that there is enough space for the teeth to come in.
The last situation is often where there are impacted teeth. Impacted teeth appear when a tooth that's trying to grow is blocked by an already existing one. The expander is instrumental in providing the necessary space so that every tooth can have as much space as it needs to grow well.
It's important to note that there is no pain here. However, there might be a little discomfort because of the weight. However, this tool is quite effective and will provide the results needed.