King Orthodontics Blog

Does my Child need an Expander?

Is Your Child in Need of an Expander?

As children lose their baby teeth, their larger adult teeth will try to move into position. Often, this movement results in severe overcrowding and a crooked appearance. Fortunately, help is on the way at King Orthodontics. With the use of a palatal expander, many children can avoid this overcrowding scenario before it occurs.

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How does an Expander work?

At King Orthodontics, we custom make a device called the palatal expander and attach it to your child’s upper jaw. It fits over several top teeth in the back of the mouth. The palatal expander is made up of two halves that are connected in the center with a screw. Each night we ask parents (or the child) to turn the screw one rotation using a special key we provide.

Over the course of several months, this technique widens your child’s palette to make room for the larger adult teeth to come in. It’s such a gradual process that your child will not feel any discomfort. Only a slight, temporary pressure will occur when the key is turned.

Often the best candidates for an expander are children who have small mouths with narrow palettes caused by hereditary factors or finger sucking. Other signs we look for in deciding on this form of treatment is the child’s bite. It’s important to achieve a proper bite and the sooner the better.

What are the benefits of early detection?

Early detection and correction is the key. By detecting the potential for overcrowding early on, and correcting it with an expander, the need for braces later is minimized.

For example, sometimes the existing teeth are blocking those that need to erupt. With the expander in place, we create room for those permanent teeth to move into their natural position.

Children are the perfect candidates for expanders because their upper jaw is still developing. Until puberty, the upper jaw is two separate halves that haven’t yet fused completely together. We separate and stabilize the two bones over the course of several months.

Call us today to schedule your child’s first appointment!

To ensure that your child enjoys the best possible dental health, get a jump start on their treatment plan today. Sometimes no treatment is needed, but in the case that they could benefit from expansion or bite correction, we’re here to help.

To reinterate, not only can an expander solve the problem of space in your child’s mouth, it can also correct misaligned teeth and bite problems that lead to other issues. Early prevention and treatment is important, especially while your child’s jaw is still growing.

If you have any questions about palatal expanders, please contact us at King Orthodontics. We’re always happy to answer your questions!

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Excellence In Service

I have 4 children who are patients of King Orthodontics and we always look forward to our visits. The atmosphere is relaxing and the staff is kind, & courteous. To top it off, we have never had to wait more than 10 minutes or so! Dr. King... and Dr. Bryan, are kind and knowledgeable and easily accessible too. I can’t say enough about this practice!

Elizabeth K, Monroeville PA

I just wanted to take a minute to write and let you know what a wonderful addition Dr. DeMiria is to your office. I was in twice this week and saw Dr. DeMiria on Monday for the first time. She is absolutely wonderful - just so nice and she really seems to be invested in her patients. The entire staff at Wexford office is wonderful and Dr. DeMiria is just icing on the cake.

Jen R, Pittsburgh PA

I absolutely love King Orthodontics!! The staff are so friendly and actually care about you and your teeth. Almost everyone who works there knows you by name which is very uncommon for a place with so many patients. It is so worth the hour drive it takes me to get there. I would highly recommend King Orthodontics to anyone!!!!!

Andrew G, Midland PA