Palatal Expander

As your child grows their baby teeth will soon be replaced by adult teeth. Unfortunately, not every jaw is big enough to accommodate permanent teeth, which can lead to crowding and a crooked smile.

One way to correct this is through tooth extraction. But a palatal expander from St. Johns Orthodontics can make the space — without removing any teeth.

palatal expanders

What is a Palatal Expander?

A palatal expander may look intimidating, but it can correct bad bites and improve the way the top and bottom teeth meet. It is essentially a state-of-the-art device that puts pressure on the upper jaw by turning a midline screw.

The pressure from the expander splits the mid palatal suture, which is the vertical line on the palate, thus making the upper jaw and palate wider.

The key to the effectiveness of this appliance is timing.

Unlike orthodontic treatment that works at any age, the palatal expander relies on the development of the individual. It works well for children and teenagers, as the palate has a growth plate that develops as the child grows.

When is a Palatal Expander Necessary?

Often, a palatal expander can correct posterior crossbites. To determine whether your child needs one or not, an orthodontist will evaluate the degree of overlap of the molars and premolars. The upper teeth must overlap the lower teeth by one millimeter.

If the lower teeth are more forward in the back area of the mouth, the child may need the help of a palatal expander.

A palatal expander is also necessary when the jaw is too small for the teeth.

For more information about the palatal expander and its benefits to the teeth, talk to St. Johns Orthodontics today.