Palatal expanders

Palatal expanders in Fredericksburg, VA

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.

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.

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.

Schedule a consultation for dental expanders

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 since 2005 and assisted over 13,000 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!

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.