Children grow and develop rapidly, and as their baby teeth fall out, their permanent teeth need room to grow in properly. When a mouth is too narrow, the teeth become crowded, which can be uncomfortable and can create issues with tooth alignment and functionality as the child ages. The professionals at Rollins & Petersen Orthodontics can widen a narrow jaw using your child’s natural growth processes and palatal expanders. This treatment helps ensure that there is enough space in your child’s mouth for their teeth as they grow older. Discover the benefits of this orthodontic treatment during a consultation with our professionals at one of our five Arizona locations!
What Are Palatal Expanders?
A palatal expander is an orthodontic appliance used to widen the upper jaw to help the upper and lower teeth fit together better. The palatal expander works by gradually pushing the two sides of the palate apart, stretching the soft cartilage to make room for the permanent teeth with no need for tooth extraction or surgery. One benefit to the palatal expanders is that they can be removable or permanent to meet the needs of each patient.
Who Can Receive Palatal Expanders?
This treatment is most commonly used in patients between the ages of 8 to 18 to take advantage of the skeletal changes that occur during these times. However, adults can also receive this treatment if it’s necessary. Because the adult body and mouth are no longer developing, the alignment process takes longer than it would for children and adolescents.
Consult with one of our orthodontists so they may analyze your teeth and your bite to determine the services that are most appropriate for your needs and goals. Many patients require minor adjustments to their bite to help their top teeth and their bottom teeth fit together in a way that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
If your upper jaw is too narrow, our orthodontists may recommend palatal expanders to widen the jaw and allow space for the teeth to align correctly.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
After the palatal expander is in place in the mouth, it may take a few days to become used to it. It will need to stay in place throughout the widening process, which can take between four and six months on average.
A small gap between the two front teeth may occur as the palate widens, and sometimes the teeth may slightly tip. Many patients who receive an expander also require braces to straighten and move the teeth into more anatomically correct positions for both cosmetic and health reasons. Our orthodontists can apply the braces while the palatal expander is in place or after they remove it.
Where Can I Get a Palatal Expander?
If you have questions about palatal expanders and want to know if they are right for you, consult with our professionals. The specialists at Rollins & Petersen Orthodontics are friendly, knowledgeable, and dedicated to helping you achieve your goals for a smile that is healthy, beautiful, and functional. Contact Rollins & Petersen Orthodontics and schedule your consultation today! Drs. Rollins and Petersen serve Arizona with locations in Chandler, Gilber, Globe, Mesa, and Queen Creek.