What Is A Palatal Expander?

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Have you ever been told that you have an overbite? Have you ever had your mouth examined to discover that your jaw joints have moved forward, causing your top teeth to overlap with your bottom teeth? If so, you may need to get a palate expander for adults. A palate expander is used to move the jaw joints back so that they are positioned in the correct spot. This can help reduce bite problems caused by overbites and overcrowding of teeth inside the mouth. Here’s what to know about palate expanders and how they work…

 

What Is An Appropriate Palate Expander For Adults?

Adults who have never worn a mouth expander before will usually have to start with a very small device that can be increased in size gradually over time. The opposite is true for adults who wore a palate expander as children; in these cases, even adults should choose an expansion device that fits their current size and that can be increased over time to match their bone growth. In short, your medical provider will determine whether you need a palatal expander, what size you need and how long you should wear it.

 

How Does A Palatal Expander Work?

A palatal expander is a tool used by dentists to gradually stretch open a patient’s mouth, effectively widening their jaw over time. A palate expander fits on top of a molar tooth and is twisted into place by hand. Over time, with daily adjustments from your dentist, your mouth will slowly widen as it expands with regular use of your expander. Most dentists recommend using a palette expander for about 20 minutes each day; in most cases, treatment can last anywhere from three to six months.

 

Why Does My Child Need A Palate Expander?

When your child’s jaw is still developing, they can develop something called an underbite. This is where their lower jaw extends beyond their upper jaw, and as a result, their mouth doesn’t close correctly. This is a problem because it prevents them from chewing food properly. That could lead to poor nutrition and numerous other health problems down the road. The best way to correct an underbite is with a palate expander.

 

What Is The Best Age To Get A Palate Expander?

Children with a cleft palate often require a palate expander, a device that doctors place inside their mouth and use to expand it by applying steady pressure over time. Many parents want to know what is an appropriate age for their child to receive one. What’s best for your child depends on his specific needs, but here are some guidelines based on expert opinions and research: Young children: Generally, doctors recommend palatal expanders for children who have just had surgery to repair a cleft palate. These devices can help with swallowing and make speech more understandable by preventing scar tissue from forming between tissues in your child’s mouth.

 

How Long Does A Palatal Expander Stay In?

To help you figure out how long it takes to expand your mouth, let’s talk about what a palatal expander is. It is a small device that your dentist or orthodontist places in your mouth to widen your palate (hence palatal). Your jaw bones are separated by space called alveolar ridges. By using a palatal expander, you can stretch out those ridges until they create more room for all of your teeth to fit. As with many other types of treatment, no two people progress at exactly the same rate; but, in general, most dentists and orthodontists will remove their patients’ expanders anywhere from four weeks to six months after they are placed.

 

Does A Palatal Expander Hurt?

After all, something that moves your teeth has to hurt, right? That’s true for a retainer; but in a palatal expander, there are no metal wires digging into soft gums or scraping against sensitive teeth. The rubber band is fastened around one tooth and then attached to two screws placed in your jaw bone. When you tighten them, they tug slightly on your tooth without causing any pain whatsoever. If you have any sensitivity while wearing a dental retainer (like some metal wires touching your gums), switching to a palatal expander may be an excellent option for you! It won’t hurt at all!

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