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What Does a Palatal Expander Do?

One of the biggest questions about a palatal expander is, “At what age should a child get a palatal expander?” The answer is simple. A child’s palate forms rapidly from seven to eight years old. The YouTube video “Getting a Palatal Expander” explains a palatal expander’s purpose. An orthodontist for kids usually puts the palatal expander in for the child. The palatal expander is only required for a month or two in children.


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This is because the jaw is still developing and growing. The process is much longer for an adult whose jaw has already solidified.

Do Palatal Expanders Work?

Yes, a palatal expander does work. The palatal expander works by widening a narrow upper jaw. In children that experience crowding of teeth, this is a lifesaver. It gives the orthodontist more room in the upper jaw to move crowded teeth into their intended place. Apart from overcrowding, the palatal expander also helps to correct overlapping teeth. As the child enters puberty, the upper jaw solidifies and remains in its widened position.

The primary cause of a narrowed palate is┬áskeletal issues. While braces may correct teeth, they cannot widen the jawline. That’s why a palatal expander is necessary.

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