Create More Space in the Mouth
The roof of your mouth that is part of your upper jaw is called the palate. When the palate is too narrow, issues with your bite, the alignment of your teeth, or your breathing can result. Palatal expansion is a safe and effective orthodontic treatment that widens the palate, producing enough room for all of the teeth.
During your orthodontic consultation at Braces Omaha, Dr. Stevens will examine your palate to see if you or your child will require a palatal expander. To schedule an appointment, contact our office in Omaha, NE, for a complimentary consultation.
What Is a Palatal Expander?
A palatal expander is an orthodontic appliance that is attached to the upper molars and sits along the roof of the mouth. It gently applies pressure to the upper palate. When the palate is slowly moved apart, new bone can grow in the new space, resulting in a wider jaw.
There are numerous benefits to expanding the upper jaw. It can produce aesthetically pleasing results, limit the number of teeth that need to be extracted, improve breathing, and shorten orthodontic treatment time.
When Is a Palatal Expander Needed?
The ideal age for a palatal expander is between childhood and adolescence. At a young age, the mouth and jaws are still developing and are more responsive to treatment. Palatal expanders can be recommended for children as young as 7 or as old as 16. By scheduling an orthodontic exam for your child early, we can start treatment for a narrow palate sooner. This allows for an easier orthodontic experience overall.
Palatal expansion may be recommended to treat issues such as a crossbite between the two arches or if there is not enough space for permanent teeth. An expander can be the first part of treatment before braces or the only treatment your child needs.
How a Palatal Expander Works
When you visit Braces Omaha, we will take 3D images of your mouth and use these images to create custom-fitted oral appliances. When you receive your palatal expander, we will cement it into place by attaching the appliance to your upper back molars. The two sides of the expander meet in the middle with a screw, which is tightened using a special key.
After the expander is in place, we will provide you with a key and explain how and when to use it. Dr. Stevens may instruct you to turn it once or twice a day, depending on the goals for your treatment. This process is gentle and generally does not cause pain, although minimal discomfort is normal.
During treatment, a gap may develop between the two front teeth as the palate expands. This gap almost always closes on its own, but braces may be required after use of the palatal expander to correct the spacing of the teeth. The entire process of palatal expansion generally lasts about two to three weeks. However, to make sure the new expansion does not regress, the appliance will need to be worn for several additional weeks.
For an assessment of your or your child’s palate, we invite you to contact Braces Omaha for a complimentary consultation. We look forward to getting you or your child started on the path to a beautiful and healthy smile!
Palatal Expander in Omaha, NE
Contact our office today for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Stevens if your child is in need of a palatal expander. We will walk you through each step of the process so that you and your child know what to expect and can feel confident throughout your orthodontic journey. We look forward to meeting you!
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We’re a family-friendly practice that provides optimal orthodontic care in a comfortable, approachable setting. To learn more about your treatment options for yourself or your child, we encourage you to contact Braces Omaha to schedule a complimentary consultation.