Why is my child being treated with a palatal expander?
The upper jaw or palate is normally slightly wider than the lower jaw. This allows the upper teeth to guide the cheek away from the teeth and prevent cheek biting. It also allows for proper function of the teeth during chewing and speaking. When the top jaw is constricted or narrower than the lower jaw, then a crossbite occurs. Crossbites should be corrected to prevent abnormal wear of the back teeth as well as to keep the gum tissue healthy. Other benefits of palatal expansion include creating more space for permanent teeth to erupt as well as increasing nasal air volume to help with the airway and breathing.
How to activate the expander aka “Turn the key”:
In a well-lit area tip the patient’s head
Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place. There is a bend in the key to prevent you from inserting it too far. Don’t worry, you won’t “poke” the patient.
Pushing the key towards the back of the mouth, you will notice the wheel in the expander will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.
By pushing back and down towards the tongue, remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.
How does the expander work and what should we expect?
Do you still have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!