Early Identification of Future Oral Issues
One of the benefits of consistent dental care for kids is identifying potential problems and correcting them before they become problems. At We Make Kids Smile we are committed to providing the best possible dental care for your kids now and as they grow. When kids are still growing there is the potential for lots of things to go wrong with their teeth.
Orthodontic early invention can help prevent problems like overbite and misaligned teeth. Palate expansion can help with teeth straightening and creating room for your child’s permanent teeth to come in correctly giving them a great-looking and healthy smile. Call us today to make an appointment to see if your child could benefit from palate expansion.
What is palate expansion?
Palate expansion is the process of widening a child’s upper jaw as they grow to make more room in the mouth for their permanent teeth to come in correctly. A palatal expander, which is a ceramic plate that is hinged in the middle, is glued to the roof of the child’s mouth.
The expander can be widened in stages to expand the child’s upper jaw as the child grows. Use of a palatal expander can prevent future problems like crossbite, overbite, and misaligned teeth. In some cases, children can avoid having to have braces or aligners put on their permanent teeth by having palate expansion done before their permanent teeth come in.
Who needs palate expansion?
As your child grows the dentist will keep a close eye on the development and spacing of their upper jaw to see if the jaw is growing in a way that leaves room for their permanent teeth. If the dentist is concerned that there won’t be enough room for the incoming teeth, they may recommend palate expansion. Using a palatal expander can prevent:
Crossbite is what happens when your child’s upper jaw and lower jaw don’t meet because the upper jaw is not wide enough. If this happens, the child’s back teeth on the top will be on the inside of the lower teeth when the child bites down.
Having crowded or misaligned teeth is very common in children. Your child’s dentist will be able to tell what the position of their permanent teeth will be based on the positions of their temporary teeth. If the child’s temporary teeth are crowded it’s likely the permanent teeth will be as well. Fixing the spacing of the teeth by widening the upper jaw will eliminate the crowding and allow the child’s permanent teeth to come in straight.
When does palate expansion need to be done?
Palate expansion should be done before the child’s permanent teeth come in. In most cases, palate expansion is done anywhere between the ages of 7-14 while the child is still growing and the palatal expander can encourage widening of the jaw.
What are the benefits?
Many parents are not familiar with the process of palate expansion. It might seem like the palatal expander would be uncomfortable, but children get used to it very quickly. It’s a lot more comfortable for kids than braces or some kinds of aligners. The benefits of palate expansion could include the following.
It may mean no braces
Orthodontic early intervention using a palatal expander can correct any misalignment of your child’s teeth which could mean that your child won’t need braces in the future. Traditional braces can be invasive and expensive and they require years of orthodontic care to give your child straight teeth and a healthy smile. Palate expansion is much less invasive. Your child’s teeth will come in straight from the start rather than having to be fixed and straightened later on after the permanent teeth have already come in.
It uses the child’s own growth to correct their teeth spacing
The biggest benefit of palate expansion is that it uses your child’s own growth process to fix the problem of misaligned teeth. The palatal expander gently encourages widening of the upper jaw as your child grows, which makes space for the teeth rather than forcing the teeth to straighten after they come in like braces or aligners. It’s a gentler and more comfortable way to ensure that your child has a straight smile.
It prevents teeth impaction
Impacted teeth can be painful and difficult to straighten. A tooth becomes impacted when a permanent tooth breaks through the gum but there is another tooth in the way, crowding it. The crowded tooth is pushed out of the way and becomes crooked or misaligned because there is nowhere for it to go. Palate expansion widens the jaw so that no teeth will be crowding other teeth and preventing them from coming in straight.
It gives kids a great smile
A healthy, straight smile gives kids confidence and helps them feel better about themselves. If palate expansion can provide a boost in self-esteem during your child’s developmental years, that’s a great benefit.
Schedule an orthodontic evaluation.
If your child is getting close to the age when their permanent teeth will start coming in, call us today to make an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation.