Some children suffer from facial disfiguration due to narrow upper jaw and palate. The region that consists of the upper jaw and palate is known as maxilla region. Problems in the maxilla region should be treated at a young age. Orthodontists use devices known as a palatal expanders or maxillary expanders to correct narrow upper jaw.
The timing of using the palate expanders is very important to increase their effectiveness. Palate expansion treatments are suitable for children who are under the age of puberty. Some problems that can be treated with maxillary expanders are as follows.
Normally, the upper teeth close around the outside area of the lower teeth. In children suffering with crossbite, the upper teeth tend to close inside of the lower teeth. This causes problems in the formation of the jaw and can lead to asymmetrical formation of the face. The problem can be treated through jaw expansion using a palate expander. However, the treatment is effective when it is performed before 16 years.
- Crowding of Teeth
A narrow jaw means a narrow dental bridge. There is less space for the teeth to erupt, which causes overcrowding of teeth in a narrow region. Teeth crowding causes tooth decay as the teeth erupt in irregular spaces, over one another. Jaw expanders can be used to correct this problem. Using palate expanders in young children will help to widen the palate and the dental bridge, which provides room for the permanent or adult teeth to align in a better way. This increases the aesthetics of the face and also improves oral hygiene.
- Impacted Teeth
Teeth overcrowding due to narrow palate can block the teeth from erupting. Jaw expansion treatments widen the upper jaw and provide enough space for all the teeth to erupt.
- Breathing problems
A narrow jaw blocks the air passages and causes breathing problems. Children with a high palate cannot breathe freely through their nose and often resort to Mouth-breathing. Mouth-breathing causes a number of problems such as dry mouth, infections due to unfiltered entry of many bacteria and virus and halitosis. All these problems can be avoided by widening the jaw using expanders.
Apart from treating the above problems, palate expanders are also known to broaden the smile and make it pleasing. However, the treatment using maxillary expanders should be performed by a reputed and experienced orthodontist.