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Guide to Palate Expanders and Braces

Posted by Omana Orthodontics Nov 16, 2023

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If you or your loved one is embarking on a journey towards a straighter, healthier smile, then this blog is for you. Palate expanders work by applying gentle pressure on the upper jaw bones, gradually widening them over time. They can effectively treat issues such as crowding, crossbites, and narrow arches. On the other hand, traditional metal braces use brackets and wires to move teeth into their proper positions.

What are Palate Expanders, and How Do They Work?

Palate expanders, also known as palatal expanders or rapid maxillary expanders, are dental devices used to widen the upper jaw. They are commonly used in orthodontic treatment to correct issues such as crossbite and crowding of teeth.

These devices consist of a metal framework with a screw that is placed in the roof of the mouth. The expansion process involves gradually widening the device by turning the screw using a special key provided by your orthodontist. This creates tension on the bones in the palate, which stimulates bone growth and allows for gradual expansion. The expansion occurs at what's called the mid-palatal suture, which is an area where two halves of the upper jawbone fuse together during development. By applying gentle pressure to this area, palate expanders can separate these bones and create more space for proper alignment of teeth.

What are Braces and How Do They Work?

Braces are a common orthodontic appliance used to straighten teeth and correct alignment issues. They consist of brackets, wires, and elastic bands that work together to apply gentle pressure on the teeth over time. The first step in getting braces is a consultation with an orthodontist, who will assess your dental needs and create a treatment plan customized for you. During the application process, the brackets are bonded to the front surface of each tooth using a special adhesive. The wires are then threaded through the brackets and adjusted accordingly.

As you wear braces, the wires exert pressure on your teeth, gradually shifting them into their desired positions. This process may cause mild discomfort or soreness initially but typically subsides within a few days as your mouth adjusts. Regular adjustments are an important part of brace treatment. At these appointments, your orthodontist will tighten or replace wires to continue guiding your teeth into proper alignment. While wearing braces requires some patience and maintenance (such as regular brushing and flossing), they can produce remarkable results when it comes to improving both aesthetics and oral health.

Benefits of Using Palate Expanders and Braces

Using palate expanders and braces can offer a number of benefits for individuals seeking orthodontic treatment.

  • One major benefit is improved alignment and spacing of the teeth. Palate expanders work by widening the upper arch, allowing more room for crowded or misaligned teeth to move into their proper positions. This not only improves the appearance of your smile but also enhances overall dental function.
  • Additionally, both palate expanders and braces can help correct bite issues. By aligning the upper and lower jaws properly, these orthodontic devices can alleviate problems such as overbite or underbite, which can cause discomfort while chewing and speaking.
  • Another advantage is enhanced oral hygiene. Straighter teeth are easier to clean as they are less likely to trap food particles or plaque buildup. This can reduce the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
  • Furthermore, using palate expanders and braces may improve speech difficulties caused by misalignment or crowding of the teeth. By correcting these issues, individuals may experience clearer speech patterns and improved self-confidence in their communication skills.

To learn more, visit Omana Orthodontics at 77 S 700 E Suite #250, SLC, UT 84102, or call (801) 359-4151.

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77 S 700 E Suite #250, SLC, UT 84102

Phone: (801) 359-4151


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10393 S. 1300 W, Ste 100, South Jordan, UT 84095

Phone: (801) 359-4151


  • MON - TUEClosed
  • WED - THU9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • SAT - SUNClosed
Contact Us