What is palatal expansion?
Palatal expansion is widening the palate (roof of the mouth). An expander is a customized dental appliance that gradually widens your child’s jaw and palate, allowing for optimal orofacial development. A wider palate enables sufficient spacing for adult teeth to grow into, an expanded airway that promotes nasal breathing, and potentially less orthodontic treatment in the future.
who is a good candidate for palatal expansion?
what is the process of palatal expansion?
- Consultation: Dr. Nora performs a comprehensive examination of your child, which includes examining your child’s oral health, nasal health, and inquiring about their breathing habits. This comprehensive consultation is important for Dr. Nora to get to know your child to decide which mode of palatal expansion would be optimal.
- Records: Proper records are required in order to engineer a customized expander that will fit your child perfectly. In addition, these records will help us visualize your child’s current state, which will allow for visualizing the progress as expansion begins. The records appointment includes a CBCT scan, iTero scan, intraoral photographs, and extraoral photographs.
- Delivery: Once we receive the expander from the laboratory, Dr. Nora will guide the parent and child through the instructions of how to wear and maintain the expander for optimal results. Regardless of whether your child has received fixed or removable expanders, this appointment will consist of ensuring the expander fits comfortably in your child’s mouth. Dr. Nora will also instruct on how to use the turning key, which is used to turn the screw at the center of the expander. Each turn will encourage the palatal bones to move apart, which will widen the palate and jaws.
- Follow-Up: Dr. Nora recommends monthly follow-up appointments to track the progress of your child’s palatal expansion and apply any necessary adjustments.
Taking care of your expanders
Avoid the following:
- Chewing hard, sticky foods
- Tampering/playing with the expander
- Incorrectly turning the activation key could dislodge the expander
- Accidentally hitting the mouth area could dislodge the expander