The palate is made of two bones that fuse at the center of the jaw. The two bones fuse after you hit puberty. Some children may suffer from misshapen jaw, crooked teeth, cross bite and other problems caused due to a small jaw. Such cases are treated with palatal expanders.
Most parents panic when they hear the word palate expanders. Let us know what are palate expanders, how do they work and other details to help you take an informed decision.
What are Palate Expanders?
Palate expanders as the name suggest are used to expand the upper jaw or the palate. It creates a gap between both the bones in the palate so that the bones can grow and occupy the extra space. This helps to shape the jaw properly and treat other orthodontic problems such as crooked teeth, cross bite, open bite, missing teeth etc.
How Many Types of Palate Expanders are there?
There are many types of palate expanders. They can be majorly classified as fixed expanders and removable expanders. Fixed expanders are fixed inside the mouth and have to be adjusted daily as instructed by the orthodontist. Removable expanders can be removed while eating, brushing and playing sport. These devices are customized to fit inside the mouth of the patient.
What Problems are Treated Using Palate Expanders?
A small or misshapen jaw can cause a lot of problems, all these issues are treated using palatal or jaw expanders. Some of them are
- Cross bite
- Crowded teeth
- Impacted teeth
- Cleft palate
- Breathing problems due to narrow palate
Some people may require palate expansion before proceeding to other orthodontic treatments like braces, smile designing etc.
Are Palate Expanders painful?
Palate expanders cause discomfort but they are not as painful as you think. The common problems with palate expanders are excessive drooling, problem with chewing and eating food, speaking problems and sore jaw. But all these issues disappear as you start adjusting to the device inside your mouth. However, you may feel some pressure when you turn the key of the device. Consult your orthodontist if the pain is unbearable.
These are some of the frequently asked questions about Palate expanders. Now that you know what are palate expanders, their types and how they work, go ahead and consult a reputed orthodontist to get the treatment.