Health and Fitness

The Palate Expander – The Most Important Orthodontic Appliance

Perhaps one of the most important orthodontic appliances is the palate expander, and it has very little to do with braces themselves. In fact, if you’re not happy with your final result, it may have everything to do with your palate expander! With a good expander, you can avoid problems such as facial asymmetry (one side of your face looks different than the other), an overbite that’s too small, and teeth that are crowded in front but too far apart in back.

Common Misconceptions About the Palate Expander

While most people have heard of palatal expanders and are aware of their use in orthodontics, they aren’t often aware of some of their more common misconceptions. It is important to know these so that your expectations are properly set. This will allow you to make an informed decision about whether or not a palate expander is right for you, as well as ensure you have a better experience during your treatment period if you do choose one. Here are three common myths about palate expanders

What is an Overbite?

An overbite is when your top front teeth sit in front of your bottom front teeth. Overbites can vary from very mild to severe and can cause a number of problems with chewing, swallowing, talking and overall comfort. To determine if you have an overbite, you’ll need to ask yourself three questions: Is there extra space between my top front teeth and bottom front teeth? Do I appear to be grinding my teeth or do they seem to touch perfectly? Do I suffer from headaches or jaw pain after eating? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could likely benefit from a palate expander – an orthodontic appliance used to correct an overbite.

Why Is a Palatal Expander So Important?

You may have heard of a palate expander, and if you’re like most people, you probably aren’t too familiar with how they work or why they’re so important. If you want to know more about them, it is possible to find out what they are and how they work through online research. To start, a palate expander is essentially an orthodontic appliance that allows patients suffering from crossbite or any other type of malocclusion to reposition their jaw and bite in order to align their teeth. Although both practices may look similar at first glance, there are some key differences between orthodontics and dentistry.

How Do I Know If I Need One?

When most people think of orthodontics, they think of metal braces that are used to straighten out crooked teeth. However, these are only a small part of what an orthodontist can offer you. One other common type of treatment is called a palate expander. During your consultation, your dentist or orthodontist will ask if you have ever been fitted for one before. If not, then you probably don’t need one right now; but if yes, then keep reading! A palate expander is a custom-made mouthpiece that fits into your mouth like a splint and allows your jaw to gradually expand over time in order to make room for your permanent teeth.

And why should I get a proper set of palatal expanders?

When you think of your orthodontic appliance, you probably think of your braces. But your orthodontist or dentist has likely recommended that you get a set of palatal expanders (or expander plates) as well. So why should I get a proper set of palatal expanders? And what do they do? They’re important in keeping your teeth healthy and moving correctly during treatment, and Dr. Weis can discuss with you how they work to achieve these goals. Keep reading to learn more about how expander plates work as part of a complete orthodontic treatment plan.

And when is the best time to use it?

It is important to note that palatal expanders should not be used during treatment for a cleft palate. All surgical procedures and healing will alter your patients’ palates in different ways, so it is best to follow your surgeons’ instructions regarding how much of a gap they want closed and their thoughts on whether you should use an expander at all. If there is already a large gap in your patient’s palate, a palatal expander may be needed after surgery. Regardless of whether or not you use one as part of treatment, it should definitely be used post-surgery as part of orthodontic retention.

How To Use A Mouthguard

When it comes to sports, a mouthguard should be considered one of your best defenses against dental trauma. According to a study in Pediatric Dentistry, 34 percent of all children playing organized football experienced tooth damage during their career. Protecting your teeth and mouth while competing not only protects you from potential pain, but helps you avoid expensive future treatment such as cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics. Following are instructions on how to put in a mouth guard. Keep in mind that results may vary depending on your sport and style of mouth guard used; consult with an orthodontist for specific instructions for athletic guards.

How do I know if my expander device is working properly?

Here are some frequently asked questions by patients about palatal expanders. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us anytime! What’s an expander? An expander is a metal device which fits into your mouth and stretches your upper jaw. It can be used as part of orthodontic treatment to help straighten out your teeth, but can also be done as a stand-alone treatment in order to reduce crowding or increase jaw width. How do they work? Exposers (sometimes referred to as tongue-holders) need to be worn full time, every day, even while sleeping or eating. They fit over your two front teeth and are held in place by a rubber strap that goes around your head.

Frequently Asked Questions

Patients often ask us how to get by without wearing their palate expander. While we wish that it were possible to eat, speak, and live your life pain-free as you move through treatment, in many cases wearing a palate expander is required for successful orthodontic treatment. Here’s what you need to know about palatal expanders and why they can play an important role in healthy orthodontic care

Make sure they have happy patients

Your orthodontist has to be able to tell you what sets them apart from other orthodontists. Can they do invisalign or other clear braces? Do they offer early morning and evening appointments for busy working families? Does your orthodontist do multiple visits in one day, or are they more cautious about your teeth? Are they up-to-date on continuing education courses so that they stay current with advances in dental technology? These are all good things to consider when selecting an orthodontist. And remember, it’s always a good idea to check references and ask questions before making any kind of decision. A great place to start is by talking with friends and family members who might have had similar treatment options available.

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