Palate Expander

Palate Expander Appliance

A palate expander appliance is basically a device that causes upper jaw expansion. It can expand your palate to fix various issues such as overcrowding, crossbite, impacted teeth, and many others. A jaw expander or palate expander — along with most orthodontic treatments — is generally done during one’s childhood because that’s when it’s easiest to prevent malocclusion by using the body’s natural growth process. The idea of palatal expansion may be scary to some people, which is why we’ll give you an overview of all the information you need. Please continue reading for a discussion of palate expander appliances and palatal expansion.

What is a Palate Expander Appliance?

The palate is a technical terminology for the root of your mouth or your upper jaw. So it stands to reason that a palate expander appliance is a device that leads to palatal expansion, i.e., it can expand your upper mouth. This is mostly done in order to prevent malocclusion or bad bite. This procedure creates more space in the jaws so the young child’s teeth can grow out properly without overcrowding or other issues. The upper jaw grows out as separate halves that only join after puberty. As such, these separate halves can be separated and thus “expanded” before puberty to create more space in a child’s mouth.

Why do you Need Teeth Arch Expansion?

There are three primary situations that necessitate teeth arch expansion or palatal expansion.

  • Crossbite: This is a condition in which the upper jaw is too narrow to accommodate the lower jaw. In this case, the back of the top teeth bite end up biting the inside of the lower teeth, which can lead to several issues. Palatal expansion can remedy this issue.
  • Crowding: Sometimes, a child’s mouth may not have enough space to accommodate all of the permanent teeth that are about to come out. The dentist can generally determine this even before all the permanent teeth have erupted. By widening the upper jaw, the dentist can create space for all your teeth without overcrowding.
  • Impacted Teeth: Sometimes the child’s permanent teeth can’t come out properly because they’re blocked by other teeth. Palatal expansion can make space for the teeth so they come out properly without damage.
  • Cosmetic Purposes: Widening the upper jaw can also be aesthetically pleasing and ensures that the child will carry an even and perfectly aligned smile into their adulthood.

Why do you Need Teeth Arch Expansion?

There are three primary situations that necessitate teeth arch expansion or palatal expansion.

  • Crossbite: This is a condition in which the upper jaw is too narrow to accommodate the lower jaw. In this case, the back of the top teeth bite end up biting the inside of the lower teeth, which can lead to several issues. Palatal expansion can remedy this issue.
  • Crowding: Sometimes, a child’s mouth may not have enough space to accommodate all of the permanent teeth that are about to come out. The dentist can generally determine this even before all the permanent teeth have erupted. By widening the upper jaw, the dentist can create space for all your teeth without overcrowding.
  • Impacted Teeth: Sometimes the child’s permanent teeth can’t come out properly because they’re blocked by other teeth. Palatal expansion can make space for the teeth so they come out properly without damage.
  • Cosmetic Purposes: Widening the upper jaw can also be aesthetically pleasing and ensures that the child will carry an even and perfectly aligned smile into their adulthood.

What is the Best Age to Get a Palatal Expander?

As mentioned previously, the upper jaws develop as separate bones until puberty, when they fuse together and become one. As such, orthodontists have a narrow window of time within which to carry out the palatal expansion procedure. That’s why palatal expander appliances are generally used in prepubescent children — the age limit for palatal expanders in girls is 12 to 13 and the age limit for palatal expanders in boys is 13 to 14 years.

Does Palatal Expansion Work in Adults? Will a Palate Expander Work at Age 23?

Yes, palatal expansion does work in adults as well. In fact, the mean age for adult non-surgical palatal expansion is 23 years old, so it’s perfectly possible. However, the results of palatal expansion are a lot more unpredictable in adults. This is especially difficult because of the presence of structures like pterygoid plates that prevent expansion. That’s why it’s important to discuss possible palatal expander alternatives with your orthodontist. In general, however, it’s customary for adult palatal expansion to be slower than that in prepubescent children.

Side Effects of Mouth Expander

Going through with palatal expansion can lead to discomfort and some pain. However, in addition to that, you may also experience side effects like headaches, excess salivation, gap in your front teeth, and difficulty of speech. This is completely normal and you should discuss it with your orthodontist — most of these are temporary side effects.

What’s the Duration of a Palatal Expansion Procedure?

In most cases, patients only have to wear the mouth expander retainer for about 1 to 3 weeks. However, depending on the severity of the individual case, it may even have to be worn for 6 months. This allows the bone in the mouth to develop better and assimilate.

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Palate Expander Cost

The average palate expander cost is hard to summarize because it depends on various factors like where you live and the orthodontist you choose. However, a typical palatal expansion procedure may cost between $2,000 and $3,000. Since this is considered to be a necessary procedure, you can get insurance coverage for most of the treatment.

 

How to Turn a Palate Expander Appliance?

The orthodontist will place the palate expander appliance in the child’s mouth but it’s up to the patient themselves or their parents to turn it regularly. Turning the palate expander is necessary because it widens the upper jaw. The dentist will give you a key that fits into the palate expander retainer. You have to turn the key to operate the device and turn it around, following the dentist’s specific instructions.

What Can or Can’t You Eat with a Dental Expander?

There aren’t a lot of dietary restrictions when you’re wearing a palate expander. However, you or your child should generally avoid things that are hard or sticky such as ice, corn, candies, popcorn, etc.

 

Get your Palate Expander Appliance Today

At Ivanov Expert Orthodontics, we have one of the country’s finest orthodontists who can examine your or your child’s teeth to determine if you’re suitable for palatal expansion. Based on that, we can give you access to affordable orthodontic treatments along with insurance coverage. For more information, please schedule your palate expander appointment today.

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