At Becher & Gil Orthodontics, we offer a range of high-quality orthodontic services in Austin to provide every patient with the best care possible at any age. While many people associate orthodontics with braces and straighter teeth, this field also addresses jaw issues. We commonly use dental palate expanders to help create healthier smiles for our younger patients.
Learn more about upper jaw development and how to care for your palate expander below.
What is a dental expander?
A dental expander is a piece of orthodontic equipment that creates more space in the upper mouth. Before puberty, children’s jaws are still developing and soft enough to shape with a palatal expander. The expander is a metal frame placed on the roof of the mouth and connected to the back molars, using gentle pressure to widen a child’s upper jaw.
This treatment aligns the upper and lower jaws to correct or prevent bite issues and other concerns. The two most common types of dental expanders are fixed and removable.
What does a dental palate expander help with?
At an initial consultation, your orthodontist will examine how the upper and lower jaws align to determine if your child needs a palatal expander. A dental expander may offer a solution if the upper jaw is too narrow — often resulting in a crossbite or another bite issue. When we widen the upper jaw, we realign the top and bottom teeth for a stronger bite. Proper alignment can help support digestion while improving oral health and overall appearance.
Palatal expanders can also address teeth crowding and impacted tooth troubles. When the dental palate expander widens your child’s upper jaw, their teeth will have more room to come in. This space helps to avoid crowding and ensures a straighter smile.
Will dental expanders hurt?
Before puberty, children have a soft spot on the roof of their mouth that makes it easy to gently expand their upper jaw. Dental expanders are typically pain-free as long as the orthodontist applies them at the right age.
Kids might feel pressure when their orthodontist adjusts the expander, and it may take a short amount of time for them to get used to talking and eating with the expander place.
The basics of palate expander care
Taking care of a dental palate expander is relatively simple. It’s essential for your child to gently brush their expander and rinse their mouth with water at least twice a day or after eating, just as they normally brush their teeth. A removable expander is often even easier to clean, as children can take it out to do so.
Get dental palate expanders in Austin
At Becher and Gil Orthodontics, we’re ready to help your child improve their smile and jaw health with a dental expander. Our team offers best-in-class orthodontic care for patients of all ages throughout the Austin area, ensuring you get the support and customized treatment plan you deserve.
Contact us to learn more about your options or request an appointment online today!