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FAQ:  Orthodontist Palate Expanders

Jaw Expansion Appliance
Expander Alternative: Extraction Orthodontics
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Palate Expander in 4 year old: My daughter is 4 1/2.

Her dentist wants to insert a palate expander to correct a crossbite. He said her bones are growing crooked and need to be corrected now before her permanent teeth come in.

Everyone is telling me this is wrong, that it's too early and painful and won't do any good on baby teeth. I don't know what is right. Should I let the dentist do this? ... Visitor from LA

You have a good dentist who knows exactly what he is talking about.

A crossbite needs to be corrected as soon as it is diagnosed and at four years old is not too early.

A crossbite can cause a functional shift in the lower jaw posture, which can lead to asymmetrical growth of the lower jaw. This will further complicate orthodontic problems in the future.

The palate at four years of age is not fused yet and is very easy to expand in order to correct the crossbite.

Will it hurt? There will be some discomfort for about a day that can be managed with children's liquid Tylenol if needed. Please listen to your dentist and not the others.

Editorial Staff

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