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 Boston Dental, 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 Boston, MA office today to schedule a visit.
"This office is simply the best. They are completely professional and respectful of their patients’ time (appointments are always punctual). I also really appreciate the nonjudgmental and conservative approach to dentistry - I have never felt upsold on any additional product or service. I feel very taken care of and have recommended multiple friends to this office. Thanks y’all! Keep it up!"- H.E. / Google / Jul 15, 2021
"I have had many fillings and cleanings here. The service is always very good. The staff are on top of insurance checks/issues. They are great at confirming/rescheduling. Dr. Canesi and his techs are very gentle and patient. The fillings are done well - no issues over the past 10 years. I would highly recommend this office for people who fear going to the dentist or have special requests. Update: I’ve now been coming here for about 15 years, and I still think this is the best dental practice I have ever been to. Every provider is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and talented. They are sensitive and caring. This includes the excellent administrative staff."- K.J. / Google / Jul 07, 2021
"Highly professional team with a heart. The patients are treated with kindness and consideration throughout every treatment in pristine offices with high tech equipment, and some gentle humor. The best of old fashioned doctoring and modern techniques."- M.C. / Google / Apr 06, 2021
"I,ve been going to John Canesi for years and I cannot say enough about John,Ryan and the entire staff. they are the best. Pat Franzosa"- P.F. / Yelp / Mar 11, 2021
"I’ve been going for about four years and I cannot recommend this dentist enough! Everyone is professional and helpful. Super straightforward. I recommend all of my friends/coworkers go here!"- T.C. / Yelp / Mar 09, 2021
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 Boston Dental 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 Boston Dental 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 Boston Dental. 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 Boston Dental 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 Boston, MA office today to schedule a consultation with our skilled orthodontist, Dr. Michael J. Cognata.