All You Need To Know About Rapid Palatial Expansion

Many people that need braces also need some type of other mouth adjustment to correct characteristics such as overbites and under bites. One other common correction that braces patients frequently undergo is the expansion of the arch of their mouth. People with arches that are too narrow often experience overcrowding in their mouth, with teeth fighting for space and knocking each other out of alignment. Arch expansion is important because even if your teeth are straightened with braces or other aligners, if your mouth is too narrow to accommodate your teeth then you may face a crooked smile sooner than you would think. However, these appliances are designed to expand your mouth before the plates at the roof of your mouth fuse, which typically occurs around 16 years of age.

One way that orthodontists tackle this problem of a narrow arch is with palatal expanders. These expanders go on the inside of your teeth and push your palate wider. Each day, the expander is engaged to push the plates wider. This is best done by a parent or other family member, as it is difficult to turn the screw in the appliance on your own. Having your teeth pushed wider each day may sound like a painful process, but in actuality all you will feel is a slight pressure on the inside of your teeth where the expander is; you may see a slight gap between your front teeth as more room is created, but the process is relatively painless and will make your mouth a better receptacle for braces or other alignment treatment.

If you have questions about rapid palatal expansion or concerned about tooth overcrowding, contact 360Orthodontics today. We are experienced with all types of oral alignment appliances and can help you understand what a palatal expander is as well as the benefits of your child having one if their mouth is too narrow. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with manually turning the expander, and we can help you feel more comfortable with the appliance.