Palate expanders are orthodontic appliances used to widen your upper jaw so that your teeth will fit better. Typically, children can be fitted with palate expanders for orthodontic treatment. However, adults can also benefit from using a palate expander.
A palate expander is fitted in your mouth and is gradually widened over time. The gradual widening of the appliance helps prepare your mouth for braces or other orthodontic treatments. Due to this, the palate expander is often used prior to getting braces or aligners to fix overcrowding.
How is a palate expander used?
Palate expanders are used to widen the jaw’s arch, which then makes it easier to accommodate braces or other orthodontia. The process also moves the teeth into the correct position. When you receive your expander, your dentist will orient it correctly and show you how to use and care for it at home. Your dentist may also recommend that you wear your expander overnight a few nights a week for the first few weeks of treatment. Once your orthodontist has determined that your teeth have moved into the proper position, you will then stop wearing your expander.
Need for a palate expander
Your teeth are suspended inside your jawbone by soft tissue that keeps them in place. When you lose a tooth, your gums and jawbone start to recede. When you wear an expander, it pushes on this tissue, which stimulates the bone to grow at a faster rate, closing the gap from the missing tooth. The gap will be filled in with new bone material. As the new bone forms, your teeth will have a larger surface area, making them easier to clean with brushing and flossing. You’ll also have an easier time eating foods now that your bite is aligned and properly functioning.
What are the risks associated with palate expanders?
Palate expanders can cause mild pain, discomfort, and irritation to the palate and teeth. They can also affect speech and the chewing ability for the duration you are using them. Ultimately, these issues can lead to problems with eating and speaking. Children who are forced to endure this orthodontic device may experience worry and anxiety as a result of these side effects, as well as embarrassment about their looks.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (801)- 269-0303 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 155 E 13800 S Ste F4, Draper, UT, Draper 84020.