Orthodontist Chester Springs PA

What Do Palatal Expanders Do?

Palatal expanders are made to correct jaw and bite issues by widening the upper jaw.An expander is placed on the roof of your mouth and helps to make the upper jaw better match with the lower jaw. Expanders are specifically made to treat one kind of bite issue, called crossbite.

Crossbite occurs when the top back teeth rest inside the lower teeth, instead of outside of them like they should.

Since expanders move the jaw, we are able to create more room for newly erupting teeth in children. Even if there is not an obvious crossbite, palatal expanders can be a great treatment to use to create more room in the mouth for the permanent teeth

If a palatal expander is needed, it’s important to have this treatment early, while a child is still growing. Dr. Funk and the American Association of Orthodontists recommend children first visit the orthodontist at age 7 to screen for these issues. Early treatment with an expander can prevent potential future orthodontic problems that maybe more difficult to correct later in growth.

So how do expanders work? Read down below to find out!

How Do Expanders Work?

Palatal expanders expand the upper jaw so that it better matches with the lower jaw.

Expanders are custom-made for each patient and put in with a special tooth glue. The expander has a tiny hole for a special key that allows you to turn it every night. These turns gradually widen the upper jaw until it matches with the lower jaw.

The typical treatment process takes a few weeks, so the gradual movement of your jaw makes the treatment barely noticeable. Once the turns are complete, the expander will stay in the mouth for a few months to ensure that the expansion is stable.

When children are young, the upper jaw develops as two separate bones that gradually fuse together over the course of puberty.

For this reason, expanders are recommended for children. With two separate jaw bones, the palatal expander treatment is able to gently separate and stabilize each bone, before they fuse to become one.

As well as correcting bite issues, palatal expanders can be a great preventative treatment, allowing more space in the mouth and potentially avoiding difficult future orthodontic issues.

Orthodontist Chester Springs PA
Orthodontist Chester Springs PA

Are Palatal Expanders Right For You? Contact Us Today!

Wondering if an expander could be right for your child? Come in for a free consultation with Dr. Funk to get your questions answered.

Contact us today to get started!