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Expansion Appliances

Expansion appliances can assist in the healthy development of the upper arch and jaw. These fixed or removable appliances are most commonly used by children whose teeth and jaws are still developing.

We may recommend expansion appliances as an early orthodontic treatment for your child or prior to fitting braces for teenagers.

What are expansion appliances?

Fixed and removable expansion appliances are used to correct upper jaws that are too narrow and may be causing problems such as teeth crowding and bite misalignment.

The expander works by applying pressure to the soft cartilage in the jaw, which gradually widens the palate. If your child does not have all of their permanent teeth yet, these expanders widen the upper arch to ensure that their teeth are allowed to grow unimpeded and will fit together properly.

Expansion appliances may be used before or in combination with braces and other appliances as part of a larger orthodontic treatment plan to correct the shape and alignment of your teeth and jaws.

What are the benefits of expansion appliances?

We may recommend expansion appliances to:

  • create space for new teeth to grow
  • prevent crowding
  • correct crossbite
  • improve the appearance of the upper jaw.

Who is suitable for expansion appliances?

Because expansion appliances are most effective when the jaw is still growing and before the permanent teeth have erupted, we normally recommend this treatment for younger patients.

What are the different types of expansion appliances?

Depending on your orthodontic problem or your child’s age, we will recommend different types of expansion appliances.

We may recommend a fixed appliance bonded to the teeth or a removable expansion appliance that clips on to the upper teeth.

What to expect

When you or your child are first fitted with your expansion appliance, you may find that your speech is affected and that you are producing more saliva than normal. Both of these issues usually correct themselves after a few days when your mouth adjusts.

You may experience some tenderness or discomfort at first, which only lasts for a few days after the expander is fitted. Eating soft food can help to ease these symptoms, and applying wax and rinsing your mouth with salt water will help sore spots to heal.

It’s essential that you follow good oral hygiene throughout your treatment, keeping both your teeth and your expansion appliance clean and free from plaque. Brush your teeth three times a day, floss daily and avoid sticky foods that can cause damage to the appliance. If you have a removable expander, this should be cleaned once a day.

Book an appointment for expansion appliances

Speak to our team about expansion appliances and other orthodontic services at Tindall Orthodontics. No referral is required for your initial consultation.  

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.