Having a narrow upper jaw is a common orthodontic problem. At Goldreich Orthodontics, we help resolve jaw issues and make room for teeth with palate expander treatment.
What Is a Dental Palate Expander?
A dental palate expander — also known as an upper jaw expander or orthodontic expander — is an orthodontic device that creates more space in the mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw. While it's most commonly used to treat kids and teens, it can also work for adults.
How Do Orthodontic Expanders Work?
Upper jaw expanders are custom-made to fit over the top of your back molars. The device has two halves connected in the middle by a screw. You activate the expander by turning the screw with a special key on a specified schedule. Turning the screw puts pressure on both halves of the jawbone, causing it to separate.
Once the jaw reaches the desired expansion, the device remains in place until new bone forms and stabilizes. Most patients wear their dental expander for three to six months.
What Issues Can a Palatal Expander Fix?
A palate expander helps widen the upper jaw for proper teeth alignment. It's typically used to treat issues like:
- Crossbite: A crossbite is when some of the bottom teeth stick out farther than the upper teeth because the upper jaw is too narrow. Expanding the upper jaw can correct this issue.
- Overcrowding: Overcrowding is when there isn't enough space for permanent teeth to come in. A palate expander can create more space without the need for tooth extractions.
- Impacted teeth: An impacted tooth is a tooth that can't come in because it's blocked by other teeth. Widening the jaw can help impacted teeth erupt into their proper position.
Do Dental Expanders Hurt?
Wearing a dental expander shouldn't hurt, and adjusting it shouldn't cause pain, either. You may experience some pressure or soreness after turning the key, but it should only last for a few minutes.
It's normal for speaking and eating to feel different at first as the tongue adjusts to the device. Getting used to the palate expander usually takes a few days to a week.
Caring for Your Palatal Expander
Keeping your palate expander clean is crucial to preventing tooth decay, plaque buildup and inflamed gums. Proper palate expander care involves:
- Brushing your palate expander at least twice a day.
- Using a mouth rinse to clean hard-to-reach parts of the expander.
- Avoiding hard, sticky and chewy foods.
- Continuing to brush and floss regularly.
Why Choose Goldreich Orthodontics for Dental Expander Treatment?
Goldreich Orthodontics is a top orthodontics practice in Plano, Texas. We're highly trained and experienced in treating all types of teeth and jaw problems. We've helped hundreds of patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile with orthodontic expanders.
When you come to us for treatment, you can expect personalized service in a warm, welcoming environment. We use advanced equipment and techniques to give you the best results in the shortest amount of time possible.
Contact Us Today
If you're wondering whether palate expander treatment is right for you or your child, schedule a complimentary consultation today!