A palatal expander is one of the most popular orthodontic appliances that are used in young children. Unfortunately, many parents find this treatment option to be intimidating, but by better understanding what you can expect with expansion treatment, you can feel more at ease with the appliance.
Why Are Expanders Used?Arch expansion treatment is one of the best and most common ways that orthodontists can eliminate crossbites and crowding in growing patients. Since fusion of the growth plate in the roof of the mouth doesn't occur until 14-16 years of age, an expander can be used to make more room before this happens. An expander will create the space needed for your child’s adult teeth to fit together properly.
What Can We Expect after the Expander is Put into Place?The expander will be a new experience for your child, so it is perfectly common that he or she may feel some discomfort or pressure right away. You might even notice that your child’s speech has changed a little, but after your child adjusts to having the appliance within his or her mouth, these problems should resolve.
What Can We Expect with the Turns?Parents will be given a key that will fit into the center of the appliance. Each day, they will need to insert the key into a hole and push it backwards. It is crucial that you move the key back as far as it will go, otherwise it can be difficult to find the hole the next time you need to do a turn. You should feel some resistance.
How Long Will the Expander Stay In?Expanders are used temporarily, and in most cases, they will stay in the mouth for 3-4 months. It is important that the expander isn't removed too early, as this could lead to a loss of expansion, and a new expander could be required further down the road.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (206) 501-4566 today.