Palatal Expander

Children’s mouths change as they begin to lose baby teeth and go through puberty. The upper jaw’s spacing determines how much room teeth have to erupt. Sometimes, the jaw’s natural growth doesn’t leave enough space for healthy teeth — that’s when orthodontists use an expander.

We recommend upper palate expanders for kids ages 8-14 with narrow jaw development. These appliances are standard solutions that prevent teeth crowding or an improper bite. At Fredericksburg Orthodontics, we’ll help your child feel comfortable and confident in their smile with appropriate dental care.

What Is a Dental Expander?

A dental expander takes advantage of the period when your child’s upper palate is still soft. In adulthood, this space fuses. Upper jaw expanders attach to the back molars and have a small screw in the middle that gently widens the palate. Though every case differs, we typically recommend your child wears their expander for a few months.

What Issues Can a Palate Expander Fix?

Orthodontic expanders are primarily a preventive treatment. We offer children’s orthodontic services like expanders to mitigate the risk of future dental issues. Since the jaw is a vital part of your child’s oral health, an expander can be a simple fix to avoid any concerns, including:

  • Crossbite: Crossbite happens when the upper jaw is narrower than the lower jaw. This misalignment can impact how your child talks, chews and smiles.
  • Impacted teeth: Impacted teeth result from inadequate space on the upper or lower jaw. If existing teeth block new eruptions, the impacted teeth will grow twisted, crooked or protruding.
  • Teeth crowding: Teeth crowding can be an uncomfortable condition. Expanders widen the space for teeth to grow so your child avoids an uneven smile.


Do Dental Expanders Hurt?

Upper palate expanders apply gradual pressure to guide the jaw’s growth, and they are essentially painless. Some patients report slight discomfort from turning the screw or the initial adjustment period. Overall, expanders are a kid-approved treatment option!

Caring for Your Expander

All orthodontic appliances have unique needs to keep them clean and functional. When you visit Dr. Almy or Dr. Arroyo-Pratt, they’ll help you maintain the proper care routine. The most important aspect of your expander is turning the screw regularly — every patient will have a different schedule. To support a clean and healthy mouth, we recommend:

  • Brushing your appliance twice a day.
  • Rinsing with water or antibacterial mouthwash after each meal.

Why Fredericksburg Orthodontics?

Patients at our Fredericksburg practice enjoy world-class treatment right in their neighborhood. Our orthodontists, Dr. Almy and Dr. Arroyo-Pratt, have served the area for over 16 years and assisted over 12,000 smiles. Dr. Almy is even an American Board of Orthodontics-certified provider with Invisalign® Diamond+ status. If your child needs outstanding orthodontic care, choose our family-friendly team!

Schedule a Consultation for Dental Expanders

When it comes to pediatric orthodontic care, it’s best to act fast. We’ll identify your child’s unique dental needs with a quick and painless consultation. For a happier, healthier smile, choose Fredericksburg Orthodontics! We make a difference through personalized, compassionate care.

To schedule an appointment, book online or call us at 540-227-6998!

diamond plus invisalign provider

Experience Matters

Based on her skill and expertise with the Invisalign® teeth straightening system, Dr. Diana Almy is an Invisalign® Diamond+ Provider. That means, Dr. Almy has completed over 10K cases and ranks in the top 1% of all providers in the nation!

Ready To Transform Your Smile?

Ready To Transform Your Smile?


Kind Words

“The staff at Fredericksburg Orthodontics is always prompt, friendly, and professional. There is never any stress for my daughter when she comes in for her appointments. She is also getting a great smile, too!”

-P. Harrell

“It was such a pleasure to have my daughter’s orthodontic needs taken care of in such a warm and professional establishment. We always felt welcomed and our concerns were always addressed in the best possible way. Thanks!”

-L. Lovell

“I have been truly pleased with all orthodontic services provided by Dr. Almy. She has the best staff that is 100% professional. She provides a warm and friendly atmosphere that confirms this is the place to be for your orthodontic needs. I highly recommend her; she is the BEST!”

-K. Bratton

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hours of operation fredericksburg orthodontics


Monday – Thursday | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday | 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.