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Rendon Orthodontics

Palate Expanders - How Do They Work?

Posted on 8/22/2022 by Rendon Orthodontics
Palate Expanders - How Do They Work?It may come as a surprise when you are told that your kid or teenager needs to get a palate expander. However, this is a common orthodontic appliance, and you shouldn't worry about your child wearing it. A palate expander may involve phase 1 of your orthodontic treatment, or it could be part of comprehensive treatment.

What is a Palate Expander?

A palatal expander is an oral appliance that helps widen the upper jaw. An orthodontist utilizes this orthodontic appliance to enlarge the bone in order to fit the required permanent teeth and fix discrepancies found between the lower and upper jaw. Widening the upper jaw can help the bottom and top teeth to come together properly. In addition to helping with functional issues, a palatal expander helps create a broader, good-looking smile.

How Does a Palate Expander Work?

Different designs of palate expander exist, but they all work the same way. For growing patients, our orthodontist uses a rapid palate expander. This is a custom-made stainless steel expander that the orthodontist fits around several of the patient's back, upper teeth.

Often, the appliance has two halves joined together with a center screw. You activate the expander by turning the screw with a key. The appliance then works to create tension that gently pushes the upper molars as well as the junction of the intermaxillary suture of the two palatal bones. This way, the bones are able to move apart, allowing the jaw to widen. After achieving the desired expansion, the palatal expander remains in place for some time allowing the bone tissue to form, hence stabilizing the expansion. 

Your kid may need a palatal expander if they have a crossbite, severe crowding, or impacted teeth. Contact our orthodontic team for an orthodontic evaluation to determine if an oral appliance like a palate expander may be required.
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Rendon Orthodontics, 12398 FM 423, Suite 100, Frisco, TX 75033 \ (972) 377-8844 \ \ 12/7/2023 \ Related Terms: orthodontist Frisco \