If you have experience with orthodontic work - either first-hand experience or perhaps through one of your children - it is likely that you are familiar with the term "palatal expander". These small devices can be extremely useful to children who need a little bit of help to create their best smiles.
What Are Palatal Expanders?
Palatal expanders are small, custom-built orthodontic devices that contain two small metal brackets connected by a tensioning system: they are positioned near the roof of the mouth, and can be adjusted by a small key. They are often used to help expand the upper jaw in order to relieve issues associated with crowding, such as impacted teeth. They work by applying subtle pressure to the jaw and taking advantage of the pliability of children's mouth structures in order to shift the upper jaw further apart and gain additional space. Not every child receiving orthodontic treatment needs one, but they are invaluable to those that do.
Why Should I Invest in a Palatal Expander?
In addition to the reasons cited above, palatal expanders might eliminate the need for tooth extraction by expanding the upper jaw in a much less invasive and complex way. Using a palatal expander instead of relying on tooth extraction often yields better, less traumatic results too. These types of orthodontic appliances also tend to shorten overall orthodontic treatment time quite a bit, and have the added benefit of being invisible - your child will not feel self-conscious wearing it, and it has the potential to greatly aid in their orthodontic development.