Jaw expansion is useful for the treatment of various crowding issues of the teeth and other conditions that may benefit from jaw expansion. It works by using an orthodontic expander to widen the overall circumference of your child’s jaw. The increase of the parameter of a child’s dental arch creates more space for teeth to grow. The staff at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, VA uses the treatment when we feel it will increase a child’s orthodontic health and aesthetics. This guide will help you understand the circumstances where an orthodontic expander may be necessary.
Uses for an Orthodontic Expander
Palatal or maxillary expanders are particularly useful in treating children who require:
Correction of a Crossbite
Healthy tooth orientation is demonstrated by upper teeth that close around the outside of your child’s lower teeth. When a child’s palate is narrow, the lower teeth may close around the upper teeth. Unnatural tooth orientation of that sort can cause the lower jaw to grow asymmetrically. Asymmetry in the jaw can lead to facial asymmetry.
The narrower and deeper a child’s upper jaw, the more difficult it is for them to breath through their nose. Difficulty breathing through their nose pushes the child to mouth breath continuously. Since the nose has hairs and mucus that filter bacteria and debris, mouth breathing can increase exposure to these elements. In addition, it can dry your child’s mouth, and it raises the likelihood of halitosis.
Reduction or Elimination of Overcrowding
Overcrowding of the teeth makes it difficult for your child’s upper teeth to erupt in the correct position. All the above conditions benefit from the expansion of your child’s palate, allowing healthy tooth development and ultimately supporting their overall oral health.
Palatal Orthodontic Expander Options
The ideal age for fitting a child with a unit is when they are under the age of sixteen years old. That said, we advise initiating treatment as young as possible. The method of expansion used is dependent on the age your child begins treatment, the reason the expansion is needed, and the amount of expansion necessary, among other factors.
To find out if your child would benefit from an orthodontic expander and what method may be best, please schedule an appointment at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, VA. Contact us today for a consultation.