Reasons You May Need a Palate Expander Before Braces
Posted on 10/30/2019 by Harry L. Dougherty DDS, MS
One of the best things about treating a child who has orthodontic issues is that we are able to catch things early and take advantage of the child's natural growth patterns and correct the issues. Orthodontic issues that are left untreated as a child can be treated after the child is an adult, but often times, they require more time and even surgery. This is one of the many reasons why we encourage regular, early visits to our office. When your child is young, many things can be corrected with less effort.
So Your Child Needs Braces
Before you assume that your child's crooked or crowded teeth will require extensive orthodontics, let us take a look! If the upper teeth are crowded, it could mean that your child simply needs a palate extender. This is a device that is placed along the roof of the mouth and is turned one to two times a week either at home by a parent or by someone in our office. This device gently spreads the teeth outward and creates more space in the mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw.
Now, before you panic and think that this sounds like some sort of medieval torture device, know that it is really a gentle procedure and it's easy to do as well as tolerate. Your child's upper jaw is still developing as two separate halves that will not become completely fused together until sometime in their late teens. What this means is that we have an opportunity to gradually widen the jawbone, which can make extra room for teeth.
This also can be done before braces to help make enough space in the mouth for the teeth to become realigned properly with the use of braces. If you have any questions about your child's oral health and concerns about crooked teeth, please give us a call today.