In addition to affecting the alignment of the teeth and bite, a narrow maxilla can also limit airflow in the nasal cavity and affect tongue posture and speech.
By placing an appliance known as a palatal expander, we can improve the transverse relationship between the upper and lower jaw, improve oral function and widen the maxilla to develop more space.
Custom designed to the unique requirements of each smile, a palatal expander typically extends from the premolars to the molars on each side of the maxilla and across the roof of the mouth. As the appliance gets activated daily, it gently stretches the tissues between the two halves of the maxilla to incrementally expand the upper jaw. Once the desired expansion is achieved, the appliance is left in place for a few months to allow new bone to form and stabilize the expansion.
Palatal expanders work best in growing children before the left and right halves of the maxilla have fused.