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What is the Purpose of a Palatal Expander?

The upper jaw widens during orthodontic treatment as teeth shift into a new position. However, some patients have such a narrow upper jaw that they must usepalatal expanders in Fort Myers, FL. Dr. John Richards will determine whether a palatal expander is necessary during your first orthodontic consultation.

Reasons for Using a Palatal Expander

Dr. Richards commonly recommends palatal expanders for patients with one or more of the concerns listed below.

  • Crooked teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Impacted teeth
  • Misaligned bite due to an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite
  • Overlapping teeth

Patients wear a palatal expander for a few weeks to one year, depending on their age and the severity of their orthodontic issues. This device typically works best for teens and preteens whose jaw has not completely developed yet, but it may also be appropriate for adults in certain situations.

How a Palatal Expander Works

The roof of your mouth contains two halves connected by a suture. When you wear a palatal expander, it applies gentle yet consistent force to the two halves of the roof of your mouth. As the two halves spread further apart, the suture moves and takes on a new shape. The pressure and movement of your upper jaw cause new bones to regenerate in the spaces left behind.

You may experience minor discomfort for a few days after installing a palatal expander. Minor discomfort for a few days is also possible after Dr. Richardson turns the key attached to the expander each month to adjust it. Taking over-the-counter pain medications is usually adequate to relieve any discomfort.

If you are considering orthodontic work for yourself or your child and wonder ifpalatal expanders in Cape Coral, FL, will be necessary, we encourage you to schedule an initial consultation to learn more.

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