Palate Expanders in Boston, MA

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What Are Palatal Expanders?

Palatal expanders are used to improve the position of the jaw, bite, and oral function of a child. Placed near the roof of the mouth, expanders are attached to molar teeth on the upper teeth and stretch the jawbone and cartilage until the ideal jaw position is achieved. If the upper arch of a child's mouth is too narrow, it could hinder the upper teeth from erupting or overlapping the lower teeth the way they should. At Downtown Dental Partners – Boston, MA, we use palatal expanders to carefully create the space needed to allow their adult teeth to properly come in. If you think your child may benefit from an expander, call our office today to schedule a visit.

Does My Child Need an Expander?

Kids who have a narrow palatal (upper) arch in their mouth could be ideal for an expander. Expanders can improve your child's ability to eat and speak, as well as enhance their oral function. Expanders can reduce and prevent a number of orthodontic concerns, like crossbite and crowded teeth, as well as minimize the risk of tooth decay and gum infection. Expanders are best used before the growth plates in the roof of your child's mouth fuse during the mid-teen years.

What to Expect From a Palatal Expander

Palatal expanders are typically attached to the upper arch of a child's mouth by bands that are bonded around the molars. Using wire, coil, and more that stretch across a hard palate from one side of the mouth to the other, the expander gradually causes the upper arch to widen. Some children will have a special key that fits into the center of the expander. Slight pressure in the upper jaw may be felt, especially right after the expander has been adjusted, as well as difficulty chewing and speaking until they get used to the device.

It is very important to brush and floss each day as it is very easy for food to collect around the expander. It may be beneficial if you help your child with their oral routine until they get the hang of properly cleaning with their expander in. Downtown Dental Partners – Boston, MA, can also recommend some tools to help keep up your child's oral health during this period.

Caring for Your Child's Expander

While your child has their expander, it is somewhat common for spaces to develop during their mouth — this is perfectly normal so do not be alarmed. Our team will schedule regular follow-up visits at Downtown Dental Partners – Boston, MA, so we can monitor your child's progress. We may adjust the expander during these visits and continue to help encourage your child's at-home dental routine. On average, most kids wear their expander for 6 – 9 months, but this could vary and we will let you know what to expect. It's also important to stay up to date with your child's routine dental visits.

Insurance Coverage for Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanders may be covered under your insurance if you have orthodontics coverage. We will contact your insurance provider and figure out what your benefits are and if you will have any out-of-pocket costs. We want to help make your treatment affordable so we do accept a variety of payment methods at Downtown Dental Partners – Boston, MA. Please let us know if you need help reviewing your financing options.

A Wide Smile

A palatal expander can be used to widen the upper arch of your child's mouth, creating a healthy and comfortable smile. This orthodontic treatment plan at Downtown Dental Partners – Boston, MA, is ideal for expanding the jaw of a child with a narrow jaw, giving their permanent teeth the proper space they need to grow in. Call our office today to schedule a consultation with our skilled orthodontist, Dr. Michael J. Cognata.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.