Ismile Orthodonics

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Rapid Maxillary Expansion in Children

At iSmile Orthodontics, we recommend that children visit their orthodontist around the age of seven. This is the prime age to ensure baby teeth and jaw alignment are in the correct place before the adult teeth grow in. It can also curb the need for extensive orthodontic treatment on adult teeth, which can be costly and time-consuming.

A first visit will involve a simple check and consultation, with some photographs to observe the alignment of your child’s teeth. In some cases, Phase 1 treatment will begin, which aids the growth of teeth into adulthood. This can either be as preparation for Phase 2 – braces – or as a preventative measure for any further treatment.

Rapid maxillary expansion is a common treatment, especially for children, and it’s not as scary as it sounds. Also called palatal expansion, this treatment is carried out when the upper jaw is too narrow for proper growth, which often results in crowded teeth on the upper level. In some children, this can look like a ‘V’ shape with the front teeth crossing or pointing inwards.

The appliance is attached to two molars, one on each side, with an expanding mechanism in the middle at the roof of the mouth. The expansion part in the middle is operated by a ‘key’ which is turned to exert pressure on the teeth to expand the jaw. Your child may experience some discomfort or pressure around the middle of their face after turning the appliance, but this will soon go away.

Each maxillary expansion appliance is made to fit each patient specifically, and we will talk both you and your child through the process along the way. You will begin to see results within a week, which may form through gaps in the front teeth. This is the teeth beginning to shift and make room for proper growth.

iSmile Orthodontics treats each patient separately and make them comfortable in every procedure. As you will be assisting your child with turning the appliance in the beginning, we like to make sure you are both fully aware and happy with what you’ll need to do. Children may be resistant to the idea of orthodontic treatment, but the great thing about a maxillary expansion appliance is that it is almost invisible from view, so they can continue their school life with little to no difference. You will both see progress very quickly and this appliance may even prevent future orthodontic treatment.

Take a look at our results page to see some of our success stories in early orthodontic treatment of children, including rapid maxillary expansion that have either acted as a precursor to Phase 2 treatment, or reduce future treatment. This simple and effective treatment means that baby teeth can finish growing fully to make way for adult teeth to begin growing in the correct and more comfortable place.

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