Expanders – widen your arch and create space
Expanders are used in conjunction with other types of braces in order to widen the arch and create space. This will help to ensure the upper and lower teeth fit together properly. It also creates space for teeth to move which is why expanders often precede fixed braces in an orthodontic treatment plan. Expanders tend to be used in orthodontics for children when the teeth and jaw are still developing.
The expanders process
Patients who suffer from crossbite can be treated using two different types of expanders:
The ‘Quad Helix Expander’ is fitted to the back teeth of the upper jaw. Under compression, the expander will naturally push the upper jaw outwards. This causes the upper jaw to gently expand to match the width of the lower jaw.
The ‘Rapid Maxillary Expander’ is fitted to the back teeth of the upper jaw and widened by turning the screw in the middle. The upper jaw expands to match the width of the lower jaw. A gap will appear between the top front teeth which can be reduced using a brace.
The benefits of expanders
- Helps create space for teeth
- Aligns upper and lower jaw
- Ideal for children when teeth and jaw are still developing
- Prepares teeth for fixed brace treatment
- Doesn’t have any long-term impact on speech or eating