An Orthodontic Expander or a Palate Expander is a metallic device that is used to enlarge or expand the upper jaw. It is used by people who have an imbalance in the growths of their upper jaw and lower jaw. Expanding a bone may sound a bit terrifying, but this process is done gradually so that it becomes tolerable. The unbalanced jaw growth can also be spotted at an early age by experienced professionals. However, this process becomes more difficult and painful if not treated soon enough.
When is an Expander needed?
An abnormal upper jaw growth means that its growth isn’t aligned with the growth of the lower jaw. If this condition is not treated at the right time, a person can suffer from crossbite later in their age. Crossbite is a type of malocclusion (dental misalignment) in which a tooth doesn’t have its corresponding tooth in the other jaw, properly aligned with it. So during a bite and chewing, teeth collide with each other thus and gradually deal a lot of damage.
To avoid such a situation, people get Palate Expanders fixed in their mouths by an Orthodontist. An upper jaw Palate Expander very slowly and gradually stretches out the Palate’s Cartilage and Bone to create more space in the mouth. A lower jaw expander doesn’t affect the position and growth of bone. Instead, it repositions the teeth.
The ideal age for getting an Expander installed
Expanders are usually placed at an early age. During the age of 7-14, a child’s mouth is undergoing structural development. The bone and cartilage is soft and being shaped. It is possible to harness their growth during that time. If an expander is placed correctly and at the right time, it can control the growth and development of jaw bones if there is any abnormality to them. For boys, the ideal age of getting an expander is around 13-14 years, and for girls, it is 12-13 years. Also, they can be used for ages greater than that, but they aren’t as effective as they are in their recommended age. If a person has a chance of getting a crossbite or any other malocclusion, and if it goes unnoticed, it can lead to major dental issues in the longer run. Expanders can be a bit uncomfortable and painful, and there are a few side effects attached to them. However, the pain and pressure fade away with time. Side effects can include headaches, difficulty in speaking, production of extra saliva, and a few more. However, with time, a person gets used to it, and all these troubles are worth it. With the fixation of jaw positions, a person becomes able to eat properly without any hassle and gets rid of the worries of having oral conditions.