One of the benefits of early orthodontic treatment is that our orthodontist, Dr. Wermerson can easily mold and shape growing smiles into the proper alignment when little mouths are still developing and are more adaptable to change. While braces are often used to treat crowding and other malocclusions, a palatal expander can be used to actually prevent a bad bite or malocclusion from developing.
A palatal expander works by widening the upper jaw or palate to create more space for your child’s teeth to erupt and grow. Our orthodontist will examine your child’s smile and based on the problems they are dealing with he may either recommend traditional orthodontic treatment or a palatal expander.
A palatal expander is most often used to treat:
Crowding : This problem occurs when there isn’t enough room for your child’s permanent teeth to grow in so they end up crowding or overlapping each other. This expander can help to widen the palate to make more room for your child’s teeth. This is often recommended over a tooth extraction.
Crossbite : A crossbite is a common malocclusion that occurs when the upper jaws are so narrow that they don’t fit properly with your child’s lower jaws when they bite down. When your child bites down some upper teeth may actually lie behind the lower teeth. An expander can correct this bite problem.
Impacted Teeth : Just like with crowding, if there isn’t enough room for your child’s permanent teeth to come in they may not fully erupt through the gums. This is known as impacted teeth. Since impacted teeth can lead to a host of problems including infection and abscessed teeth it’s important that we place an expander to widen the palate so the impacted teeth can fully emerge through the gums.
Getting a palatal expander is often a precursor to orthodontic treatment; however, getting this treatment could mean that your child will have to spend less time wearing braces, which we know is a major plus.
If you have questions about palatal expander or other orthodontic treatments that we offer in Sioux Falls, SD, call Wermerson Orthodontics at (605) 274-0555 to learn more.