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Palate Expanders – Plano, TX

Creating Space for Shifting Teeth


At Willow Bend Orthodontics, Dr. Jones and our team see patients with all kinds of smiles. Children who are still waiting for permanent teeth to erupt as well as those who are living with crooked, misaligned teeth may not realize that a narrow hard palate may be to blame. When examining a child’s mouth, Dr. Jones may recommend palate expanders in Plano to fix this problem. By installing a metal bar that stretches across the roof of the mouth, it can create essential space so that teeth can erupt or shift into alignment with greater ease. Call us today if you think your child could benefit from a consultation with our team.

What is a Palate Expander?

A palate expander in Plano

A palate expander is a unique device that is commonly used in patients who are preparing for orthodontic treatment. It can also be used on young children who have impacted teeth that have yet to erupt. When the hard palate is too narrow, it can make tooth eruption much more difficult.

By installing a palate expander, the device can help to create space so that impacted teeth will have room to erupt, reduce overcrowding, make it easier for a child to breathe, and treat a crossbite.

How Does a Palate Expander Work?

A palate expander in Plano

Custom-made to fit each patient’s upper part of the mouth, its metal bar extends across the palate and attaches to teeth on either side. Designed to place just enough pressure on the jaw to increase space in the upper part of the mouth, it is expanded during regular follow-up appointments using what is known as a “key.” Some patients will be instructed on how to do this at home, but over time, it will work to shift the jaw.

Depending on how long a patient must wear the expander, it can cause gaps to form between existing teeth, which will then be treated using dental braces.

What is the Appropriate Way to Clean a Palate Expander?

Female teenager cleaning her mouth in Plano

Palate expanders will accumulate saliva, bacteria, and food particles throughout the day, so patients must make sure to keep theirs clean during treatment. This requires brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste each time an individual takes care of their teeth and gums. Also, a water irrigator can help push out any remaining plaque and debris. Finally, an antimicrobial mouthwash can help to flush out anything left behind that brushing or flossing didn’t catch.

Will a Palate Expander Hurt?

Patient wearing palate expander in Plano

It’s no secret that wearing a palate expander can cause discomfort. Because this device is placed over teeth and designed to place pressure on the jaw, it will create an uncomfortable experience. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help with this, but patients might find that avoiding hard, sticky, or crunchy foods helps to keep additional pressure from being placed on teeth. This discomfort should dissipate over time, but it can be helpful if the patient sticks to softer foods while wearing one.