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Teeth in the upper jaw can become crowded if there is not enough space in the jaw to fit all of the teeth as they come in. Expanding the palate (the roof of the mouth) is an effective way to address this problem. With the help of Dr. Stormberg, young patients can avoid many problems that result from a narrow jaw.
Why Is a Palatal Expander Important?
This treatment is used when the upper jaw is too narrow to fit comfortably against the lower jaw; this results in a misaligned bite. Bite misalignments can cause several problems, especially for young children, including:
- Uneven wear on teeth
- Difficulty biting and chewing
- Difficulty pronouncing words and speaking clearly
- Crowded teeth are more difficult to clean and may develop cavities
How Does a Rapid Palatal Expander Work?
A rapid palatal expander is a small, delicate metal framework that fits into the top of the patient’s mouth. The two legs of the expander are attached to the inside of teeth with dental cement. This cement keeps the expander in place while it does its work.
A small screw located in the center of the expander is gradually tightened over the course of treatment. It is turned with the help of a special key. A gentle pressure on the left and right sides of the upper jaw allows the palate tissues to move into the correct position. The connective tissue in the mouths of young patients is quite responsive to this treatment; bone growth will increase where the two halves meet and fix the new width in place.
Once the palate has expanded to the correct position, the expander is removed. Various types of follow up treatment might be required once the expander has been removed and our team at Stormberg Orthodontics will work with you and your child to help you understand any next steps.
How To Turn The Palatal Expander
To turn you or your child's palatal expander, insert the key into the hole of screw and push towards the back of the mouth. Once you see the next hole appear, you'll know the turn is complete.
Visit Dr. Stormberg
Dr. Stormberg suggests you bring your child in for their first visit by age 7. At this young age, he will be able to determine if a palatal expander or any other treatment is necessary for a healthy smile. Our office is located in La Mesa, but we serve patients from all over San Diego including Santee, El Cajon and more. Our team is here to help your child enjoy a lifetime of great oral health. Make an appointment with us today by calling (619) 462-4462.