Your child should start losing their baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 13, allowing their permanent teeth to start growing. However, their jaw may not catch up in time, and, as a result, their teeth may outgrow their jaw. Your dentist can correct the problem with an upper and lower jaw expander.
An orthodontic palatal expander in Waukegan, IL can make room for the adult teeth. An expander will prevent the need for any tooth extraction and save you more problems down the road. What is the upper and lower jaw expander, and how does the procedure work? Let’s explore this further below.
How an Expander Can Help Your Child
A mouth expander stretches the jawbone and surrounding cartilage in the mouth. The expansion prevents the teeth from crowding and prevents crossbite. The best time for a dentist to perform the procedure is before your child’s growth plate and suture come together.
It corrects the jawbone and puts it on track to grow alongside the growth of the teeth. That way, everything fuses as it should. This corrective procedure will give your child’s teeth and jawbone a healthy start and carry over into adulthood. Without the expander, the teeth and jawbone will have more problems down the road. These problems are more expensive and can lead to major reconstructive surgery.
The Upper and Lower Jaw Expander Procedure
The mouth expander is typically attached to your child’s molars using metal rings. Some expanders are detachable, depending on your child’s dental condition. The expander contains self-adjusting screws. As your child’s mouth develops, the screws slowly separate and stretch the soft cartilage. The entire process can last for several months.
What can you expect after the dentist inserts the upper and lower jaw expander?
- A gap may form between your child’s teeth (usually the two front teeth)
- The mouth expander will feel bulky and uncomfortable
- Your child will feel pressure around the teeth, gums, nose, and eyes
- You child will salivate more than usual
- There may be a slight alteration in speech
Don’t be alarmed by any of these side effects. They are all part of the natural process of the child’s mouth adjusting to the upper and lower jaw expander.
What to Eat and What to Avoid
Your child will need to adjust their diet for a few days after the procedure is complete. For instance, they need to avoid tough foods that require a lot of chewing. However, they can enjoy other foods such as:
- Ice cream
- Mashed potatoes
Make sure they stay away from any sticky food like hard candy, peanut butter, or syrup. They also need to avoid acidic drink or food, but this is a temporary adjustment. Eventually, they will be able to return to their regular diet once the upper and lower jaw expander does its work.
Schedule a Mouth Expander Procedure Today
The first step to getting an upper and lower jaw expander is to schedule a dental exam. Greenwood Dental Care offers complete mouth expander procedures at our dental practice in Waukegan, IL. To get started with your child’s treatment, call us at 855.528.3961. We are here to help you with all your dental needs.