What Parents Should Know About Palatal Expanders
If your child has recently attended an orthodontic consultation, you may have heard about palatal expanders. We know that this isn’t something that’s commonly known, so we want to make sure that parents know what palatal expanders are and why they’re used during orthodontic treatment.
What is a Palatal Expander?
Palatal expanders are used to help gently guide and direct the growth of the upper jaw in the younger orthodontic patients. The expander is placed on the roof of the mouth and widens the upper jaw by applying gentle pressure against the top molars. This will allow more space for future teeth to grow into and will help better align the upper and lower teeth.
Why are Palatal Expanders Needed?
Below are a few reasons why your child may benefit from a palatal expander:
- He or she does not have enough room for future teeth that may need to be extracted
- He or she does not have enough room for adult teeth that are currently erupting
- The upper arch is narrowed and a front crossbite is occurring
- The upper arch is narrowed and a back crossbite is occurring
Do Palatal Expanders Hurt?
For the first few days after receiving the palatal expander, your child may experience some discomfort and difficulty speaking and eating. However, the expander should not cause pain. It’s important to adjust your child’s expander as directed by his or her orthodontist in order to make sure the device can be removed on time.
For more information about how to care for your child’s teeth during his or her orthodontic treatment, please make an appointment here at Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry. Our child’s dentist is located in Dover, New Hampshire.