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FAQ:  Orthodontics - Children - Teens



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Question:
Reverse pull head gear vs palate expander: My 6 year old son needs some early orthodontia.

He has a crossbite, no room for adult lateral incisors, and his 6 year old molars are hung up on the baby teeth in front of them. His dentist recommended using a palate expander and a reverse pull headgear.

We got a second opinion from another orthodontist who said his problem is all tooth position related and non-friction braces can take care of it all and widen the palate, too.

He said that he has not used a palate expander in the last 5 years. What should be done? ...Visitor from OR

Answer:
Using a reverse pull headgear to correct a tooth related crossbite is unnecessary.

He is only positioning the lower jaw forward because the position of the upper incisors are reclined in relationship to the lower teeth. All you need to do is place some braces on the front teeth and two in the back and push the front teeth forward to alleviate the crossbite.

This can happen almost immediately once the braces are activated. If he is in a crossbite because the upper jaw is narrower than the lower jaw, I would then recommend expanding with a palatal expander.

However, I don't have the records, but from what you have written, I don't think he is in a posterior crossbite, because your second opinion would have recommended this procedure.

Editorial Staff

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