Sometimes, children’s jaws are too narrow to accommodate all of their teeth. One solution to this is extraction, but at Dr. Gregory Ross’s orthodontic offices, we believe in saving children’s teeth whenever possible. That’s why, as an alternative solution, we provide palate expanders.
Children’ skull bones have not fully fused together and may be manipulated with pressure. A palate expander is an orthodontic device which is made of two movable parts connected by a screw in the middle and which is worn over the upper molars and roof of the mouth. Once or twice a day, the patient or their caregiver uses a key to turn the screw, causing the movable parts of the expander to move in opposite directions. This gradually broadens the palate, allowing more room for the teeth to shift into position. It can also be used on children who have a cross-bite, which is when the lower teeth on one side close on the outside of the upper teeth. Palate expanders come in fixed and removable versions and the removable kind can be thought of similarly to retainers. However, adults are usually not able to undergo this treatment because their bones are no longer flexible enough.
To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit Smiles by Ross. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.