There are many advantages to starting orthodontic care early in childhood. A big one is that of harnessing your child’s natural growth as part of treatment. One such example of this is using a palatal expander to prevent or treat a bad bite, also called a malocclusion.

Orthodontic services, like a palatal expander, in childhood help your child’s orthodontist improve their smile and bite more easily than options available after they stop growing. These services include orthodontic spacers for braces in Johns Creek, GA.

What is a Palatal Expander?palatal expander sits on reflective table

An orthodontist uses a palatal expander in Johns Creek, GA to create more space in your child’s mouth. It achieves this goal by slowly expanding the upper jaw. Before puberty, two halves of the upper jaw are not fully fused together. So they are still easily separated and stabilized while your child is young.

Using a palate expander in Johns Creek, GA involves several months of treatment. It is a slow and gentle process. This does not hurt your child and instead helps them achieve the broad, confident smile they proudly display throughout their lifetime.

Conditions Treated Using Palatal Expanders

Reasons for using a palatal expander in Johns Creek, GA include crossbite, crowding, and impacted teeth. In the past, dentists and orthodontists extracted teeth to make room for movement using orthodontic spacers for braces in Johns Creek, GA, as well as braces themselves. Today, a palatal expander does this work, making later teeth straightening easier.

Using a palate expander in Johns Creek, GA for crossbite involves expanding the upper jaw to correctly fit with the lower jaw. This aligns top molars properly, instead of leaving them as they are, biting inside the lower back teeth.

Through X-rays, your dentist or orthodontist can tell whether your child’s permanent teeth will properly erupt. When there is not enough room to fit these teeth, using a palate expander makes the jaw wider to provide the space these teeth need. This makes tooth extractions for the same reason unnecessary.

Some teeth become blocked by other teeth and cannot grow into place. Canine teeth often experience these problems. Using a palate expander, your orthodontist helps your child’s canine teeth erupt as they should.

Using palate expanders also helps broaden your child’s smile, limits the number of extractions required for all teeth to grow in properly and improves breathing. When your child gets braces to straighten their teeth, they appreciate that having had a palate expander means they wear their braces for a shorter period of time.

How Does a Palatal Expander Work?

An expander for the palate fits over multiple top molars. It has two halves that connect in the center of your child’s mouth with a screw. Each day, you simply turn the screw slightly each day with a special key, according to your orthodontist’s instructions.

Turning the screw once daily increases the tension on your child’s palate bones. This nudges them gently apart until they reach a desired point of expansion. This usually takes between three and six months. Using expanders causes less discomfort than tightening braces.

Orthodontic Care for Your Child in Johns Creek, GA

Help your child wear their smile proudly through early orthodontic care in Johns Creek, GA. Key services your orthodontist provides include:

Your child and other members of your family deserve smiles that make them feel confident. In Johns Creek, GA, trust the orthodontic care of Ricci Orthodontics for all of your family’s smile and bite correction needs, including palatal expanders. Schedule your consultation today by calling 678.932.0308.