Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Growth

If Dr. Francis discovers your child’s jaw isn’t quite wide enough, he may suggest using a palatal expander.

This will help optimize your child’s airway, tongue posture, and permanent tooth spacing.

What IS a palatal expander?

To put it simply, a palatal expander is an oral device that Dr. Francis uses to assist the growth of the upper jaw. The most common time to use a palatal expander is in pre-adolescence, but they can be useful for teens and adults, too!

If your child has a crossbite or particularly narrow upper jaw, Dr. Francis may recommend a palatal expander to correct the issue.

How do palatal expanders work?

Here at Decatur Orthodontics, we make customized expanders are for each and every child. These work to gently widen (or expand) the developing upper jaw by applying slight pressure each time an adjustment is made.

Dr. Francis will prescribe and design a custom expansion appliance and treatment plan to ensure your child is comfortable and achieves the amazing results they deserve!

Once we achieve the desired expansion, your child will need to continue to wear their expander for a while to maintain the results we've achieved and to prevent regression.

Adjusting Palatal Expanders

Adjusting your child’s expander can take some getting used to in the early days. However, we don’t want you to worry, you will soon become a pro!

Here are a few simple steps to follow when making adjustments to your expander:

  • Step 1: Find a well-lit area and tip your child’s head back.
  • Step 2: Place the key (the tip of the tool used to make adjustments) into the small hole in the center of the expander. Make sure it’s really in there before moving on!
  • Step 3: Push the key toward the back of your child’s mouth. You’ll notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation will stop when the key meets the back of the expander.
  • Step 4: Press back and down toward your child’s tongue to remove the key. The next hole for the insertion of the key should now be visible and you’re all done!

Congratulations!  You did it!

If you have any questions about your child’s treatment or making adjustments, contact our Decatur office and we’ll be happy to help!

Let’s Get Started!

Children tend to do very well with palatal expanders here at Decatur Orthodontics! However, it can be stressful for the parents responsible for making adjustments.

Our team is here for you every step of the way. Schedule your free initial consultation today to learn if your child would benefit from palatal expanders!