Dental Palate Expanders

When there’s not enough room in a child’s mouth, issues ranging from overcrowding to impacted teeth can occur. An orthodontic expander can correct this problem before your child’s jaw stops growing.

Here at James River Orthodontics, we offer this orthodontic treatment to prevent these issues and help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

What Is a Dental Expander?

As it develops, a child’s upper jaw is divided into two halves that will eventually fuse together. A custom dental expander is designed to take advantage of this growth process and create more space in your mouth before your jaw fuses. 

Dental expanders are usually worn before orthodontic treatments such as braces and are secured to the child’s top teeth. As it’s worn and widened, the expander will increase the space in your mouth, helping your teeth come in straighter.

What Issues Can a Palate Expander Fix?

Palate expanders are usually only worn for a few months, but during this time, they can help your jaw expand enough to treat issues such as:

  • Crossbite: A crossbite occurs when the upper jaw is smaller than the lower jaw, which causes the top teeth to bite inside the lower teeth. A palate expander can help correct this alignment issue, preventing grinding and uneven teeth. 
  • Impacted teeth: When there’s not enough room for a tooth to grow in, it won’t be able to erupt properly and can become impacted. This issue is most common with eyeteeth or canines.
  • Overcrowding: Similarly, if a child’s mouth is too small, it can lead to overcrowding. Teeth can become overlapped and displaced, making it challenging to do daily tasks like eating.

Do Dental Expanders Hurt?

Wearing a dental expander is relatively painless because these devices are worn while the jaw is still growing. Children may experience some discomfort in their mouth, teeth, cheeks or nose whenever the expander is widened, but this sensation will quickly disappear. 

While they are getting used to the upper jaw expander, some children may also find it a little harder to speak and eat. 

Caring for Your Expander

To ensure good oral hygiene, you should care for your expander daily. After eating, rinse out your mouth with some water to remove stray food particles. You should also gently brush your expander to keep it clean and free from bacteria. 

Why You Should Choose James River Orthodontics

James River Orthodontics has been meeting the needs of patients throughout Henrico County and Richmond for years. We are dedicated to offering premier care and holding ourselves to the highest standards. 

No matter what a child’s orthodontic needs are, we take the time to explain every step of the dental expander process so that you always know what to expect. 

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At James River Orthodontics, we are committed to helping every patient achieve a beautiful new smile. During your initial consultation, we’ll explain our orthodontic options and flexible payment options

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