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Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanderIf your child has had an orthodontic consultation, you may have heard about a palatal expander. We know that many patients aren’t sure what this device is or even what it’s used for.

What is a palatal expander?

Palatal expanders are used to help direct and guide the growth of the upper jaw in young orthodontic patients. A palatal expander is placed on the roof of the child’s mouth, widening the upper jaw by applying gentle pressure on the top molars. This will allow the upper and lower teeth to fit together better and more naturally. Additionally, palatal expanders can create more room in the mouth for the teeth to grow in.

Why is a palatal expander needed?

Below are a few of the reasons why your child may need a palatal expander:

  • Not enough room for the adult teeth that are currently growing in
  • Not enough room for developing teeth that may need future extraction
  • A front crossbite accompanied by a narrow upper arch
  • A back crossbite accompanied by a narrow upper arch

Will a palatal expander hurt?

It’s normal to experience some initial discomfort as well as difficulty swallowing and speaking for the first few days after the expander has been placed. To make sure that your child has his or her expander removed on time, it’s important to adjust the palatal expander as directed by your child’s orthodontist.

How long are palatal expanders worn?

It takes around a few weeks to a month to reach the necessary amount of expansion. However, your child will probably need to wear the expander for an additional six months to ensure enough time for the bone to stabilize. Your child’s orthodontist will give you detailed instructions based on your child’s specific needs.

Here at Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry, we want to work closely with your child’s orthodontist to make sure that all of your child’s dental needs are taken care of. To make an appointment, please contact Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry here in Parker, Colorado.

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