Depending on your orthodontic needs, we specialize in dentofacial appliances, such as Palatal Expanders, active retainers/spring aligners, space maintainers, et cetera.
This appliance improves the way the upper and lower jaws fit together. It widens the jaw so there is sufficient room for permanent teeth to come in. Expansion can make the final smile broader and more attractive. Left untreated, a narrow palate can lead to excessive wearing of the teeth or the need for extensive dental work as an adult.
These appliances, unlike conventional braces, are used to retain teeth in their corrected positions. In some cases, they can be designed to influence the growth of the jaws or tooth position and are called active retainers or spring aligners.
Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontic Appliances
What is a palate expander?
A palate expander is a small appliance that makes the upper jaw wider and helps reduce crowding in narrow arches. A palate expander is used when a patient is still growing.
Palate expansion occurs when the growth plate in the middle of the palate is stretched and the two halves are pushed apart. As the two halves are spread, new bone is added.
This may sound scary, but it is done through a gradual process that does not cause pain. In younger patients, expansion may reduce the need for extractions or prevent impacted teeth. Cases not corrected during childhood may require surgery for correction in adulthood.
What to expect with a palate expander?
It may take up to one week to adjust to an expander. Your child may feel some pressure on the roof of the mouth and on the back molar teeth.
Your child may also report that it feels funny to swallow or talk since the tongue must adjust to the appliance.
Temporary spacing will usually occur between the front teeth as the upper jaw widens. Since hard and sticky foods can dislodge or loosen the expander, we recommend avoiding all sticky candies as well as very hard foods. The expander will stay in the mouth for approximately 6 months.
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