If your child’s permanent teeth are coming in crowded, he or she might need an expander. Dr. Anishka Frankenberry, of Stone Ridge Orthodontics, serves patients in the northern Virginia region and surrounding suburban areas, such as Stone Ridge, Herndon, and Reston. She can examine your child’s dental progress and recommend a treatment plan or appliance that help his permanent teeth come in normally.
A palatal expander is an appliance that makes it easier for your teeth to come in appropriately. The expander fits across the roof of the mouth and is affixed to the child’s molars where it applies gentle pressure for the course of treatment. Over several months, the expander gently expands the upper jaw, which allows permanent teeth to come in without being crowded or misaligned.
The alternative to ensuring that your child’s teeth aren’t crowded is to extract a tooth, but an expander can provide the same results without removing any teeth. When the correct expansion has been attained, the expander remains in place for several more months before Dr. Frankenberry removes it.
There might be some jaw discomfort with the installation of the expander, but that will subside once the patient gets accustomed to the appliance. Expanders are usually recommended for teenagers.
A patient may need a few diet modifications as they get used to the appliance. Soft foods, such as soup, pudding or mashed potatoes may be easier to chew when the expander is new. Avoid gummy or sticky foods that may stick to the appliance or make it shift while chewing.
Do I need to get any special toothbrush or cleaner for an expander?
To fight tooth decay, your child can brush twice daily using a regular toothbrush. It’s a good idea to floss too, to help prevent gum problems like gingivitis. Dr. Frankenberry may recommend a water jet or a manual syringe to rinse food particles from under the expander.
Here are four simple steps to adjust the device to the desired expansion:
"Dr. Frankenberry does an excellent job. They always have welcoming staff at the front desk. I highly recommend Stone Ridge Orthodontics!"
"Dr. Frankenberry and her staff are FANTASTIC!!! They work so hard to accommodate anything that may come up. I cannot say enough good things about this office!!"
"Dr. Frankenberry and the staff are wonderful, kind, and professional. She truly cares about her patients and does an amazing job. I highly recommend Dr. Frankenberry."
"Without a doubt she is the orthodontist of choice to treat my children and I would highly recommend you place your little one's smile in her hands."
"Dr. Frankenberry and staff are so wonderful! My daughter's teeth are perfect now. The office does so many sweet things for their patients."
"I am very pleased with my smile and received many compliments. I would definitely recommend family and friends to see Dr. Frankenberry!"