When thinking about orthodontic treatment, some people have heard of a child getting an expander. So, where is the Best place for expanders in McKinney? First, of all, you may be asking yourself what is an expander? An expander is an appliance that is connected to a child’s upper back molars and it sits at the roof of their mouth. It has arms on either side of it that lay against the child’s teeth. There is a tiny hole in the expander near the roof of their mouth, and the parent is given a special key and they are given detailed instructions from the orthodontist on how often to turn the key in the expander and for how long. It’s very simple to do and the child will barely feel it.

You may be asking yourself where the best place for expanders in McKinney is and how do I know if my child needs an expander? Not all children need an expander; However, there are a couple of reasons a child may need an expander. One is if their upper teeth are really crowded. This is due to their upper jaw being narrow to where their teeth can’t all come in straight due to a lack of space for the teeth to drop down into. Another reason your child may need an expander is if there is an impacted tooth. Oftentimes the canine teeth are impacted because there is no room for the teeth to come down, so an upper expander would help greatly in this situation. Another reason a child may need an expander is that they may have a crossbite where their upper teeth don’t sit correctly into their lower teeth. This can be from their upper jaw being too narrow. Another reason a child may need an expander is to improve smile esthetics to widen the patient’s smile. So these are several reasons that your child may need an expander. 

Not every child needs an expander, but if you are looking for the best place for expanders in McKinney, Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics is a top option for expanders. Dr. Stephanie Crise and Dr. Jessica Downs have been utilizing expanders for many many years. They have had great success with them. The American Association of Orthodontics suggests that a child have an initial orthodontic consultation at the age of seven years old. The reason for this is because if a child needs any skeletal corrections done, this needs to be done early before they reach puberty. Girls mature quicker than boys do, so it’s important to have the initial orthodontic consultation done at a pretty early age (7-8 years), so if an expander is needed or any other orthodontic appliance such as a face mask or headgear. This can be done before puberty is reached. Using appliances early in patients can oftentimes alleviate the need for jaw surgery or tooth removals. 

An interesting fact to think about when trying to decide on the best place for expanders in McKinney, is that a young child’s upper palate is made up of two floating bones. The reason an expander can only work in younger children, before they reach puberty, is because these two floating bones can easily and painlessly be spread apart when a child is young to form a larger upper jaw. The reason it can easily be spread apart is because the two upper bones of the palate do not fuse together until puberty. Expansion with expanders is usually done over a 3-12 month period. Then, the arms on the expander are usually removed after the expansion is completed. The actual expander usually will remain in the child’s mouth and act as a holding arch for about another year or so, while the two upper bones fuse completely together into one. You don’t want to remove the expander too early because you want to be sure that the bones are fused together so the expansion does not relapse. So, the expander gently and gradually spreads the two upper bones apart and then the bones fuse together in the middle to form one bone when the child reaches puberty age. In boys, this age is usually around 12-14 years old and in girls it’s usually around 11-12 years old. Everyone wants a nice big smile, so an expander is very helpful in gaining a beautiful wide smile in patients who don’t have enough room for their teeth to come in.

At Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics, we are confident we are the BEST place for expanders in McKinney. Both of our orthodontists are members of the American Association of Orthodontists which means they have both earned their dental degree, and have also completed a three year orthodontic residency program after their dental degree to gain the title of orthodontic specialist. You want to be sure your child’s mouth is not over or under expanded, so it’s important to use an orthodontist who is very experienced with expanders. Both of our doctors are highly trained in palatal expanders!

Many people wonder what are the benefits of getting an expander? One really big benefit of getting an expander is it will shorten your time in Phase II, which is full braces, because when your mouth is already expanded, your teeth will be able to come in much straighter since more room will have been created. Also, when you widen your upper jaw, you reduce the need for having any permanent teeth removed, which is always nice. Another great thing about having an expander is it helps with brushing and flossing because teeth naturally come in straighter since the upper jaw has been widened. It also helps with chewing and eating!

As with anything, there are a few drawbacks to wearing an expander. However, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It takes about one week for your child to adjust to wearing the expander. It doesn’t hurt, but when they have something new on the roof of their mouths, they will have to get used to talking with it in. Have your child practice talking to you and/or have them read out loud to you, so they can get used to speaking around the expander. It also takes a little time to get used to eating in an expander. The good news is that it won’t take long for your child to get used to the expander in the roof of their mouth and soon they won’t even realize it is there. Children will also need to get used to brushing their teeth well and having good oral hygiene while wearing their expander. We highly recommend the use of a waterpik to help in cleaning around the expander.

So, if you are looking for the best place for expanders in McKinney, Smiles Hollywood Orthodontics checks all the boxes! Our highly trained and experienced orthodontists will make wearing an expander so easy for your child. If you are interested in finding out more about whether your child needs an expander, please call our office today at 972-529-9700 or visit our website at SmilesHollywood.com and schedule your complimentary orthodontic evaluation today. We look forward to seeing you soon and having you as one of our star patients!