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If the teeth in your child’s upper jaw are becoming crowded or permanent teeth are erupting in the incorrect position, your child may have a narrow upper jaw. In this instance, a palatal expander can be used to:
- Widen the upper jaw
- Create space for erupting permanent teeth
- Reduce crowding
- Allow adult teeth to emerge in a more ideal position
Correcting the width of the dental arches and influencing the shape and growth of the jaws in a positive manner can also help your child’s facial development as they grow. These corrections can also greatly improve your child’s ability to breath and speak clearly.
A space maintainer is a dental appliance used to retain the width of the upper jaw following the use of a palatal expander, helping to guide adult teeth to emerge in an improved position. The space maintainer is fixed in place so your child does not have to worry about taking it in and out or losing it.
Space maintainers are also used to maintain the space between teeth when, for example, a baby tooth is lost early in a child’s development. Space maintainers prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing into the vacant area where the baby tooth once was. This allows for the adult tooth to descend into a better position when it naturally erupts from the gums.
Myofunctional Trainers are typically used in younger children ages 5 – 9 and worn during sleep to begin correcting harmful oral habits like thumb sucking, to widen dental arches, and to encourage the proper emergence and positioning of adult teeth.
Depending on your child’s stage of development and treatment requirements, braces may be used in conjunction with a dental appliance to achieve the desired results during an early phase treatment.