Make Some Room!

Orthodontic expanders are a preventive orthodontic treatment that widens a child’s jaw or palate to make more room for permanent teeth and avoid crowding. Expanders can be used on the upper jaw or the lower jaw.

Upper jaw expanders are anchored to the upper back molars. Since the upper jaw has two halves during development, the expander can widen the jaw by gently pushing the two halves apart. The orthodontist will use a special key to widen the expander by about a quarter of a millimeter when your child comes in for an adjustment. 

Lower jaw expanders work slightly differently since there is no gap between the lower jawbones during development. Lower jaw expanders will push teeth leaning inwards to a more upright position to create more space. At Capogna Orthodontics in North Massapequa and Garden City, NY, we always strive to provide the most comfortable and efficient care. 

Upper jaw expanders

What Do Expanders Feel Like

Expanders may cause slight discomfort when they are first put in and every time an adjustment is made. Additionally, they make speaking difficult at first and it may cause a temporary lisp. Some children may drool at first also. These symptoms tend to go away within a few weeks of getting the device. 

How to Care for Expanders 

Expanders should be brushed several times a day to maintain a healthy mouth. When possible, your child should brush their teeth and expander after every meal. It is also a good idea to get a Waterpik or syringe to remove any leftover food particles. Children should also avoid eating sticky foods, ice, nuts, and candy to prevent loosening or breaking the expanders. 

At  Capogna Orthodontics, we can help determine if expanders will help your child avoid complicated orthodontic treatments in the future.

Capgona Expanders Consultation