The Timely Use of a Palatal Expander Could Help Correct a Crossbite

The Timely Use of a Palatal Expander Could Help Correct a Crossbite
Posted on 09/24/2021

At Henseler & Kocian Orthodontics, in Woodbury and Stillwater, we practice early orthodontic treatment to catch orthodontic issues before they arise in a child’s mouth. This involves seeing a patient by the age of 7 to evaluate their teeth, mouth, bite, alignment, and jaw. During these early orthodontic appointments, Dr. Steve Henseler and Dr. Paul Kocian may decide that early intervention is necessary to alleviate future orthodontic problems. This is particularly true for patients who may develop a crossbite or have a minor crossbite already. In these cases, we use a palatal expander to help correct a crossbite.

What is a Palatal Expander?

HKA palatal expander is an orthodontic device that is used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. When the upper jaw is too narrow to fit comfortably against the lower jaw, it will create a bite that’s misaligned, also known as a crossbite. This is where a palatal expander can help. These appliances will apply light pressure on the sides of the upper jaw which will allow the palate tissues to move into their correct positioning, giving more width to the upper jaw. This can benefit a patient by lessening crowding, relieving uneven wear on teeth, making it less difficult to chew properly, and providing more space to alleviate a crossbite.

How a Palatal Expander Works

A palatal expander is a small metal framework that will fit in the top of a patient’s mouth. A small screw that is located in the center of the expander is gradually tightened throughout treatment. To turn this, it requires the help of a special key. You simply insert the key into the hole of the screw and then push toward the back of the mouth. When you see the next hole appear, you’ll know that the turn is complete.

By providing this extra space for a child’s teeth and jaw, they will be less likely to develop a severe crossbite which could take years of braces and other orthodontic interventions to fix. Thankfully, the timely use of a palatal expander can help correct several orthodontic issues, including crossbites, during early orthodontic treatment.

Schedule Your Orthodontic Appointment with Henseler Orthodontics Today!

To schedule your child’s first orthodontic appointment, contact Henseler & Kocian Orthodontics in Woodbury and Stillwater, MN. Dr. Steve Henseler, Dr. Paul Kocian, and our staff will be happy to welcome another young patient into our practice and answer any initial questions you may have.