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Orthodontic expanders, also known as palatal expanders, are devices used to widen the upper jaw to correct a narrow palate or create more space in the mouth for teeth to grow properly. The expander is attached to the upper molars and gradually widened over a period of weeks or months using a special key. This gentle pressure widens the upper jaw and creates more space for the teeth to align properly.
Orthodontic expanders are typically used in growing children or teenagers whose palates are still developing, but can also be used in adults to correct certain dental issues.
Orthodontic expanders are needed for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is to correct a narrow palate, which can cause overcrowding of teeth, impacted teeth, or a misaligned bite. By widening the upper jaw with an expander, the orthodontist can create more space for the teeth to align properly and improve the overall appearance and function of the mouth. Expanders can also be used to correct crossbites, where the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly. Additionally, orthodontic expanders can be used to treat certain breathing problems by opening up the airway and improving breathing function.
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