At Aswini Super Speciality Dental Clinic we think it is best to CATCH THEM YOUNG AND WATCH THEM GROW.
There is a popular misconception that a child needs to have all their permanent teeth in place to get orthodontic treatment done. There are a great many things occurring in your child’s mouth at a young age, and many of those things are hidden by the gums. There might be signs such as difficulty with chewing, or problems with speech, and even breathing through the mouth. If these conditions are not treated early on, they can be much more difficult to manage later as the child gets older.
As one gets older, one can develop a bite disorder in which the lower and upper jaw doesn’t align properly. This is called malocclusion, and symptoms include headaches, clicking jaw joints, and grinding teeth.
A major benefit of receiving orthodontic treatment in childhood is that it's possible to take full advantage of a youngster's own natural growth process to treat or even prevent malocclusions (“bad bites”). A palatal expander is a device designed to help us do that.
Most of the time, orthodontic treatment involves moving the teeth into better positions with braces or clear aligners. While these are the most familiar appliances used in orthodontic treatment, we may also recommend devices called “functional appliances” to help correct more serious bite problems. Functional appliances are designed to harness natural forces (such as those produced by muscular activity and jaw growth) to bring the bite into better alignment. Examples of functional appliances include Twin Block ,Activator, Bionator, Herbst appliances and Myobrace.
Some of these devices are fixed in the mouth (like braces), and can't be taken out at home; others are more like retainers and can be removed as recommended. But in general, all functional appliances have a few things in common. Instead of acting primarily on the teeth, they work by re-positioning the mandible (lower jaw) in a way that helps the bite develop in a better orientation; depending on what type of correction is needed, a particular type of appliance may be recommended. Also, these appliances are most effective when used while the jaw is still developing — in other words, around the time of puberty in children, before growth is complete. However, some can be used in adults as well.
The use of functional appliances is a key feature of interceptive orthodontics. In this treatment method, we take advantage of the body's natural growth patterns to guide the development of the jaws in a more favorable way. Early orthodontic treatment may reduce the time you need to wear braces — and it can also help you get a smile that looks great, and a bite that works the way it should. Other appliances used in interceptive orthodontics include palatal expanders and headgear. In some instances, functional appliances can be used as an alternative to headgear; some functional appliances may also incorporate a palatal expander.
Palatal expanders create more space in a child's mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw. Although this may sound scary, it's really quite easy — both to do and to tolerate. That's because the upper jaw actually develops as two separate halves that don't completely fuse together until sometime after puberty. Before that happens, the two bones can gently be separated and stabilized over a period of several months.
An expander is custom-made for each individual and fits over several top teeth in the back of the mouth. The appliance has two halves that are connected in the middle with a screw. To activate the device, you simply turn the screw a very small amount each day with a special key. This induces tension at the junction of the two palatal bones, causing them to gradually move apart. Once the desired expansion is achieved, we will leave the appliance in for a few more months to allow new bone to form in the gap and stabilize the expansion. Generally, expanders are worn for 3-6 months altogether.