What is a Palatal Expander?
By Joseph Kizior, DDS
March 06, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how a palatal expander could improve the alignment of your child’s teeth.palatal expander

One of the benefits to getting braces early on in life is that braces work with your child’s growing smile to provide great results and to improve bad bites, also referred to as malocclusions by our Western Springs, IL, orthodontist, Dr. Joseph Kizior. Find out what a palatal expander is and how it could help your child achieve a straighter and healthier smile.

Children between the ages of six to 13 years old will lose their baby teeth and get their permanent teeth. At that time, our Western Springs orthodontic specialist will be able to see whether or not your child’s growing jaws are large enough to handle all of their teeth. If not, your child will most likely be dealing with crowding or other alignment issues.

While some dentists may choose to remove one or more permanent teeth prior to orthodontic treatment to free up space within your child’s mouth, an alternative solution is to use a palatal expander to stretch the palate (the roof of the mouth) to improve issues such as crowding, crossbites and impacted teeth (teeth that can’t fully emerge through the gums, often because there isn’t enough space).

There are some benefits to getting a palatal expander. One of the most obvious benefits is that it can prevent the need to pull one or more permanent teeth to create space for teeth to shift during orthodontic treatment. It also has the ability to reduce the length of time your child wears braces. Furthermore, this orthodontic treatment can also improve the overall shape, alignment, and attractiveness of your child’s smile.

How will it work?

As you might imagine, each expander is custom-made to fit your child’s mouth. It will be placed on several back teeth to support the device. We will give you a special key that will be used to turn the expander, which will work by gradually moving the two bones in the roof of the mouth apart. An expander is typically worn anywhere from three to six months.

Is your child dealing with crooked teeth? Want to find out if your child could benefit from braces? Then call our Western Springs, IL, orthodontic office to schedule a consultation with us.