There are a number of ways that orthodontist expander specialists achieve palatal expansion in their patients. Your orthodontist will be happy to review this type of training plan with you.
Orthodontic expander – Orthodontic mouth expander
When people are looking for orthodontic work, particularly for children, very often their search will take them to looking for an orthodontic expander from their local North Miami dentist for braces. This in turn will often lead people to a variety of questions such as when it comes to the roof of the mouth will a palatal expansion get blocked by other teeth like the permanent teeth? How does an expander work to fix bad bites? Is expanding the upper jaw part of the desired expansion when it comes to it orthodontic appliances? Will front teeth have any effect on the functional appliances? How can using a palatal expander fix impacted teeth and improve breathing? Is early orthodontic work for top teeth the best orthodontic treatment for young children? Should widening the upper jaw be early treatment? And if I do get an expander, what can I do about food debris?
These are all excellent questions and ones that are very often asked by people who are facing getting a palatal expander for the first time. Before we answer these questions and more, though, let’s check in with a few of the experts of orthodontic medicine and see what they have to say on the topic.
Orthodontists may employ rapid maxillary expansion (RME) or slow maxillary expansion ( SME) techniques when treating their patients (Zhou Y et al.,2014).
There are differences in the effectiveness of both techniques (Zhou Y et al., 2014) and it is important to candidly discuss with your orthodontist near me which technique is best for you.
SME techniques are effective in expanding the maxillary (upper jaw) arch, and RME techniques are effective in expanding both maxillary and mandibular arches (Zhou Y et al.,2014).
Do I need braces if I have a palate expander? Orthodontic mouth expander
Braces and palatal expanders are not mutually exclusive. The fact of the matter is that palatal expanders often work in conjunction with braces. While you may not need braces depending on your particular orthodontic needs, it is very likely that you will be utilizing braces and a palatal expander as part of your orthodontic treatment.
While only your orthodontist will be able to tell you for certain, these two appliances work very well in tandem as the palatal expander opens up space for your teeth and the braces help move those teeth into the correct positions.
Does palatal expansion work in adults? Orthodontic expander pros and cons
Absolutely! There is a misnomer when it comes to orthodontic medicine that anything that you did not have done as a child is something that cannot be done as an adult. This, however, is totally false. The truth of the matter is that there are many orthodontic treatments that can be done as adults. What is true however is that it is almost always easier to have orthodontic work done, including palatal expanders, while you are a child as at that stage the natural growth of your palate can be augmented with the palatal expander.
As an adult your palate is set in place and the expander will have to do 100% of the work instead of having the benefit of your natural growth to help aid it. And, it usually involves angling the teeth outward versus actually making the jawbone bigger. This is why palatal expansion is best done in children but can absolutely make a big difference in adults as well.
What is the best age to get a palatal expander? Expander orthodontic
The best age to get a palatal expander is between the ages of 8 and 10. This is because at this age, the palate is growing at an extremely fast rate as the child rushes towards puberty. With this in mind then, it’s a natural time to utilize a palatal expander as the device is able to use the natural growth of a child to help assist it in forming the correct shape for the future adult palate. This means that instead of trying to fix a palate as an adult, it can simply have its growth guided by the use of a palatal expander.
Do braces/palate expanders change your voice? Orthodontic palatal expander
There is a strange myth out there that the use of a palatal expander will somehow change your voice and this is absolutely not the case. However, like most online myths and rumors, there is a small core nugget of truth. The truth is palatal expanders can help significantly to improve your speech.
Many words in the English language require the tongue to touch the top of the palate. Because of this, individuals who have misshapen or small palates oftentimes have speech difficulties for any words that require this particular articulation. However, once a palatal expander has successfully finished its work and gotten your palate to the right shape and size as determined by your orthodontic office, you will notice that your speech and clarity of speech has improved significantly. While your voice will still be your own, it is likely that you will notice a big improvement in how well you can articulate words.
How long does it take to get braces put on? Orthodontic expander
This ultimately will come down to the quality of your orthodontic office. High quality expert orthodontic offices will certainly be able to do it faster than individuals who have just come out of dental school. However, generally the process is quite short, taking around an hour. Although it may have to be done in a couple of sessions as first the metal brackets or ceramic brackets will have to be affixed to the teeth and those will have to harden enough to safely attach the metal wire to. After all, before you can put any tension on those brackets, those brackets have to be securely and firmly in place.
The process will take a bit longer for lingual braces as lingual braces attach to the back of the teeth which naturally means that it is more difficult and slower, usually taking about twice as long to install as traditional braces. However if aesthetics are the big concern, then this is still totally worth it.
Why are braces put on upper teeth first? Orthodontic expander
There’s quite a simple reason for this particular treatment arrangement and that is because the top teeth take longer to move. Obviously the teeth that take the longest to move are the ones that need to be started on first. By starting with the top braces and top teeth, your orthodontic office is going to ensure that your treatment time takes as little time as possible. As there are few to no individuals who love wearing their braces so much that they would like to wear them longer, this treatment arrangement obviously makes sense as starting the most difficult part of the treatment first helps to ensure that it will get done expeditiously.
Zhou, Y., Long, H., Ye, N., Xue, J., Yang, X., Liao, L., & Lai, W. (2014). The effectiveness of non-surgical maxillary expansion: a meta-analysis. European journal of orthodontics, 36(2), 233–242. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejo/cjt044
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