Skip to Main Content

Telephone: (604) 533-6696

19978 - 72nd Ave. 201 Langley BC V2Y 1L4 CA

Orthodontic Expander in Langley

Orthodontic Expander in Langley

An orthodontic expander (or palate expander) is an oral device that is used to widen the upper jaw if it is too narrow. But when is it necessary? In this article, our Langley orthodontists discuss orthodontic palate expanders, including what they are and how they can treat orthodontic issues.

Palate Expanders

A palate expander (also called an orthodontic expander) is used to widen a narrow upper jaw. It will fit in the roof of the patient's mouth and gradually separate the two halves of the jawbone.

Palate expanders are typically used for children, however, teens and adults can also benefit from them.

When is an orthodontic expander necessary?

A palate expander widens the jaw, making more space for teeth to come in, or improving the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. Expanding the palate can also benefit those who have obstructive sleep apnea.

That being said, palate expanders are more often used for children who require upper jaw expansion, including those with:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Impacted teeth
  • A misaligned bite
  • Difficulty chewing
  • A narrow smile

How do palate expanders work?

The roof of your mouth (your palate) has two halves that are joined in the middle (where the left and right sides of your palate fuse together). A palate expander sits on the roof of your mouth and applies gentle, consistent force to each side of your palate.

This slowly pushes the two halves apart to widen your upper jaw. As your palate is separated, new bone regenerates and fills in the space left behind.

How long does an orthodontic expander stay in for?

A palatal expander will be placed in the mouth and stay there for at least six months, but may be required for up to a year. Removing the expander early can cause the expansion to relapse rather quickly.

Your orthodontist may even leave the palatal expander in for a few weeks or months after the expansion of the palate is complete. This is because it can take up to a full year for your body to fill in the missing bone after the palate has been expanded.

Is a palate expander necessary?

If your orthodontic professional has recommended a palatal expander, it will be because it is really necessary to correct the misaligned bite.

For a posterior crossbite in a child, a palatal expander is the gold standard for fixing the skeletal correction. Palatal expanders are more than necessary to fix skeletal jaw problems. When the upper jaw is more narrow than the lower, children will experience issues with their bite.

Starting your child’s orthodontic treatment early can be very beneficial. The benefit of utilizing a palatal expander at a younger age is that there is an age limit when it comes to expanding the palate without requiring surgery.

Around the age of 14 - 16, the maxillary suture (what holds the left and right halves of the palate together) of young boys and girls will fuse. At this time, the success rate of non-surgical palatal expansion significantly decreases. Because of this, utilizing a palate expander at the appropriate time is of the utmost importance.

Are you wondering if a palate expander could be the solution for your child's orthodontic issue? Contact our Langley orthodontists to book a consultation today.

Book your first smile consultation with our Langley Orthodontists today.

(604) 533-6696 Contact