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5 Steps In The Process Of Installation Of A Jaw Expander

Children suffering from problems related to upper jaw alignment are fitted with a palate expander in order to extend the jaw to the right position. A narrow jaw creates problems like teeth crowding, crossbite, impacted teeth and breathing problem in children. These problems have to be treated at an early age because the development of jaw stops when children hit the puberty age and after that the jaw expansion treatments are less effective.

Jaw expansion treatments are done using appliances known as jaw expanders or palate expanders. These expanders are fitted inside the mouth. They move the jaw and create spaces that allow new bone formation in the jaw area.

If your child is recommended a palate expander, here is the procedure of the insertion process.

Initial appointment

Initial appointment or the first appointment with the orthodontist is generally offered free of cost, by most of the orthodontists. The appointment includes an x-ray of the mouth and smile, to ascertain any deformities in the jaw, impacted or crowded teeth or missing teeth. The doctor suggests the future course of action and explains about the mode of treatment, duration of treatment and costs involved.

Appointment 2

The next appointment is generally scheduled a week after the initial appointment. Spacers are inserted in the child’s mouth. Spacers are rubber bands that are wedged between the back molars in order to create space for the bands that will hold the jaw expanders in place. The child is asked to refrain from eating sticky or chewy foods.

Appointment 3

Spacers are removed and metal bands are fitted between the back molars. The orthodontist also takes an impression of the child’s mouth. The metal bands are removed at the end of the session.

Appointment 4

The spacers are inserted again. The child is asked to stay away from sticky and chewy food that can pull out the bands.

Appointment 5

This is the major session, where the original expander is fixed inside the mouth. The jaw expanders are custom made according to the mouth impression of the child. The expander is adjusted so that it fits perfectly inside the child’s mouth. The expander is glued inside the mouth. Parents are advised about how to turn the expander’s key and the intervals in which it should be done. The doctor also advises about some safe foods for the child and some foods to avoid while the expander is in place.

This is the general schedule followed when a child has to get jaw expanders fixed. However, the interval between appointments may change depending on the orthodontist, you are visiting. The child may experience some pain or discomfort during the initial days. Ask your doctor for a pain relief medicine and keep it handy.

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