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Palatal Expanders

Pre-Orthodontics is more than just aligning teeth

As dentists with advanced training in growth and development, Dr Hany along with the KIDS team can choose from a variety of techniques and appliances to correct bite problems. One of these is the palatal expander, which is used to create more room for an adolescent's permanent teeth.


Palatal expansion is a form of pre-orthodontic treatment that is often useful in the early intervention of orthodontic problems in children. It works by gradually widening the bones of the palate (roof of the mouth), before they have permanently fused. By creating a wider dental arch, there is more space for the teeth to align without the need for extractions. Expansion appliances are custom-made and can be affixed to the inside or the outside of the teeth. 

Palatal expansion is a particularly useful treatment for children with the following dental concerns:

Impacted Teeth 
Crowded Teeth 

These conditions can be corrected by widening the palate to make room for all of your kid's teeth and improve their bite.

Palatal Expanders: beyond correcting crooked teeth

Palatal expanders are an effective tool for treating issues beyond straight teeth for your kid. The use of palatal expanders has several other benefits, including opening up the nasal passages for better breathing and sleep.

Even when no dental crowding is evident, a narrow palate makes it difficult for the tongue to rest as it should in the roof of the mouth. In young children, lowered tongue posture is associated with poor palate and facial development, sleep disordered breathing, and even speech problems.
It has been well established that narrow palates put kid at risk of developing obstructive sleep apnoea. This is because poor palate development narrows air passages and can cause a kid to mouth breathing and snoring. Obstructive sleep apnoea is a serious breathing problem associated with increased risk of neurocognitive and behavioural problems in children, and many health risks into adulthood. 

Palatal Expansion appliance (removable)

Benefits of early palatal expansion

Good resting tongue posture and nasal breathing are essential for good palatal development.  Expanding the palate allows more room for the tongue to rest and function properly in the roof of the mouth.  When this is done earlier in life when there is most growth potential remaining, there is greater potential to improve a kid's facial and airway development.

Using a palatal expander early in the dental process can greatly improve the function of the jaw and mouth in just 3-6 months. Even very small increases in the width of the palate can lead to dramatic improvements in nasal airflow.

Contemporary research tells us that children that had undergone palatal expansion experienced a marked reduction in obstructive sleep apnoea, and, interestingly, significant improvements in bedwetting.


Palatal expansion may be the only intervention required or may be the first step in addressing your kid’s pre-orthodontic needs. The only way to know for certain is to come and see us.

 To find out whether a palatal expander is right for your kid, contact us at our Mackay dental office and schedule a consultation

Palatal Expansion appliance (removable)

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Oral Health and Beyond

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p:(07) 4942 5111


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