For many children, palatal expanders are a crucial part of Phase One orthodontic treatment that can shorten their time with braces or clear aligners in the future. Orthodontist Patricia Tran, DDS, MSD, PA, and the team at Discover Orthodontics in Katy, Texas, can examine your child’s mouth no later than their seventh birthday to decide if they need expanders to widen the upper jaw. Schedule your child’s initial Phase One consultation by phone or online today.
Expanders, or palatal expanders, are often a necessary part of Phase One orthodontic treatment. They work alongside the natural growth and development of your child’s jaw to widen their upper arch, which creates more space for your child’s adult teeth to come in.
It’s crucial to use the expanders while your child’s jaw is still growing because their palate, which is the roof of their mouth, develops as two separate pieces that eventually grow and fuse together.
During a treatment consultation for kids’ orthodontics, the team at Discover Orthodontics measures the width of your child’s palate. If the palate is too narrow, expanders can help widen it.
The team at Discover Orthodontics creates your child’s expanders using impressions of your child’s mouth. There are a couple of different types, including removable expanders and fixed appliances:
Removable expanders can come out of your child’s mouth before eating and for brushing. These expanders are best for minor adjustments.
Your child might need a fixed expander if they need a major adjustment. There are a few different types, but most of them are attached to molars toward the back of the mouth.
Expanders offer a way to set your child up for successful orthodontic treatment in the future. They give your child’s jaw plenty of space to accommodate all adult teeth without crowding. The Discover Orthodontics team discusses your child’s options and develops a personalized care plan for Phase Two of treatment, which can involve:
Metal or ceramic braces gradually move your child’s teeth with pressure. They involve brackets bonded to your child’s teeth as well as adjustable bands and wires to create the necessary points of pressure.
Clear aligners can give you the same results as braces but use a different method. Your child gets a sequence of custom plastic aligners that fit over their teeth, each of which increases pressure on your child’s teeth to shift them over time.
To see if your child can benefit from expanders or any other phase one orthodontic treatment, call Discover Orthodontics or schedule an appointment online today.