Palate Expander is a device used on people with narrow palate issues to expand the mouth so the upper and the bottom teeth suits better on the correct default level.
This appliance widens your maxilla when you detect a width problem on it and apply gentle pressure to improve the form of your arch to prevent cases such as cross bites.
Insert and turn the key into the opening to make the palate expander expands/ widens a small amount and puts pressure on your upper jaw each day until you achieve the desired shape.
It’s important while you treat your upper jaw to care for your orthodontic expander and follow the dental instructions given to you.
ANATOMY OF THE JAW :
We understand that the idea of widening the upper jaw for children may sound a little scary, however it is painless and easy and shows quite better results for your chid mouth.
The upper jaw is fabricated of 2 different halves which can’t be merged together until the child become a mid-teen.
Here comes the value of palate expander to help create space/room between the bones which applies some pressure to the narrow palate of your child, and adjust the teeth and molars so it fits better after a specific period of time.
1)- PALATE EXPANDERS SIGNS :
1. The palate expander is needed with common situations such as crossbite, crowded teeth, and many malocclusions.
2. The palatal expander device widens the upper jaw for a child’s permanent teeth to release through the gums into the correct position.
2)- PALATE EXPANDER TYPES :
The patient gets his unique palate expander based on several factors such as : time of treatment, the needed adjustment …
This type of jaw expander is used mostly with young children in the range of 8 to 13 years old, and may also be used with older patients depending on the condition.
These orthodontic expanders can reach an amount of 0.5 mm to 1 mm each day (that’s the reason why it’s callerd rapid), and after specific period of time, the palatal bonnes move apart, and the jaw widens.
This works by making the palate expander expands/widens in the back of the mouth, it will create pressure that widens/expands the upper jaw moving the teeth within.
SLOW PALATAL EXPANDERS (SPE) :
In this case, the expander device widens slowly, and the maximum widening amount is 0.5 mm/week, comparing to the Rapid Expanders, it takes about 6 to 12 months of time, but although the time it lasts inside the mouth/jaw, people still prefer it over the Rapid P.E because it’s less painful.
IMPLANT-SUPPORTED ORTHODONTIC EXPANSION :
This palate expander is known in matures because the jaw is fully expanded and it require heavier forces that widens/expands the mouth, this treatment is based on 4 mini-implants that directly force the jaw itself, and the amount of widening is up to 3 mm per week.
REMOVABLE EXPANDERS :
It helps in specific situations where the dentist widens/expands the minor jaw and the best thing about the removable orthodontic expander is that it allows you to remove it any time you feel uncomfortable.
This palatal expander is often used with the slow orthodontic expander because it shows a high possibility for adults with a fully developed jaw to widen the upper jaw without a surgery.
Saba orthodontics explained how it should function :
SURGICALLY ASSISTED RAPID EXPANDER :
How palatal expanders are used depends on the jaw condition, some people are fully developed in the typical age, some are not, even for adult people, therefore it won’t work.
People with such orthodontic situations used to go through surgery to insert the palate expander into the mid-palatal suture which makes the results for this method guaranteed and you won’t waste your money or time.
Many people think that the palatal expander can’t succeed at this age because the jaws are fully developed and expanding the top/upper jaw cannot be done.
Someone was asking about this orthodontic topic on Realself, and Dr.Kent.Lauson answered that having the slow palatal expander used with removable palatal expanders can work very well AT ANY TIME, and using Invisalign or any kind of braces to help can perfectly widen the upper jaw.
3)- SIDE EFFECTS :
Palate expander can cause side effects later such as pronunciation (especially with the letters S,T and R), people also used to have headache and sore on the tongue because the metal bars may have contact with your tongue while the pressure happens.
Poor Oral Hygiene : food particles can accumulate between the palatal expander device and your molars, therefore, a water flosser can be used to shoot a stream of water that keeps away the food particles and bacteria from your mouth.
Palatal expander may cause small gaps later as a result of your tooth moving to adjust the new space/room because of the pressure applied by the device.
4)- COST :
The costs for palate expanders are different depending on where you live, but generally, it’s around 2000$ to 3000$, but if you want the exact costs, we already talked about this in details before.
Shauna Lee shows in this video how she used to deal with it.
Quad Helix is an alternative that is similar to the usual palate expander, but it doesn’t require a key to activate it, it’s connected to the upper jaw molars and has four active elastic helix springs.
This video from ICE Health Systems describes how this palatal expander widens your upper jawl.
What is the best age to get a palate expander ?
Most orthodontists says that it’s highly suggested to start the treatment procedure at 6-13 years old.
How painful is it ?
Having a palate expander inside your mouth could create a really strange feeling for some people, but the pain disappears after few weeks, and you can apply an ice pack on your cheeks after the process to relieve the inflammation.
How they are constructed ?
Orthodontic expanders has two parts placed and attached to both sides of the jaw (upper jaw and minor jaw ) and connected by a screw placed high up in the middle of the mouth.
An image of the jaw sides ( upper jaw and lower jaw ) is sent to the laboratory so they can design your custom palatal expander appliance that can fit perfectly.
Is it possible to keep food bites from sticking inside the mouth and the upper side of the appliance ?
Use a water flosser to wash your appliance from the remaining bits of food.
Are palatal expanders able to fix child’s bite?
A jaw expander matches jaw size and tooth size so yes, it is an effective treatment for child’s bite.
Does it cause any side effects?
The palate expander creates a space between the two upper front teeth after the treatment, but nothing to worry about, it’s normal and expected, the gaps used to disappear on its own over time.