Palatal Expander: Unlocking a Confident Smile

A close-up of a Palate Expander

Are you eager to discover how to achieve a confident smile and improve your oral health?

What if I told you that a simple device called a palatal expander could be the solution you’ve been looking for?

Whether you’re a concerned parent or an adult considering orthodontic treatment, this article will equip you with the knowledge to transform your smile.

Get ready to unlock the secrets of palatal expanders!

Palatal expander: A key to a beautiful smile

A palatal expander is a dental device used to widen the upper jaw, also known as the palate.

It consists of two halves connected in the middle by a screw or expansion mechanism.

By applying gentle and gradual pressure on the palate, a palatal expander stimulates the growth of new bone and widens the arch.

This treatment is often recommended for individuals with a narrow palate, crowded teeth, crossbite, or impacted teeth.

To discover more about palate expanders, call Dr. Griffin.

How does a palatal expander work?

The palatal expander is custom-made by an orthodontist to fit the patient’s mouth.

It is typically placed on the roof of the mouth and secured using bands or other attachments.

The expansion process is initiated by activating the screw or expansion mechanism.

As the screw is turned, the two halves of the expander move apart, applying outward pressure on the palate.

This pressure triggers the separation of the mid-palatal suture, a dense area of cartilage that connects the two halves of the palate.

As the suture opens up, new bone forms in the gap, expanding the width of the upper jaw.

The expansion process can take several weeks or months, depending on the individual’s needs and the treatment plan.

Benefits of palatal expansion

The palatal expansion offers many benefits beyond a confident smile.

Let’s explore some ways this orthodontic treatment improves oral health:

Improved dental alignment: A palatal expander widens the upper jaw, allowing crowded teeth to align properly.

Crossbite correction: Correcting a crossbite, where upper teeth bite inside lower teeth, is achieved through palatal expansion.

Enhanced breathing and speech: Palatal expansion opens nasal passages, promoting better airflow and improving speech patterns.

Prevention of impacted teeth: Palatal expanders create sufficient space, allowing proper tooth eruption and preventing impaction.

Common types of palatal expanders

Palatal expanders come in different forms, each designed to address specific orthodontic needs.

Let’s explore the most common types:

Rapid palatal expander (RPE): Widely used, this expander applies gradual pressure on the palate using a screw on an acrylic plate.

Haas expander: Featuring cemented bands on the upper molars and a wire framework, it provides comprehensive palate widening.

Quad helix expander: Custom-fitted with helical loops, this expander gently expands the palate and is suitable for dental crowding and crossbite.

Removable palatal expander: Convenient and easy to use, the patient can remove this acrylic plate with adjustable screws.

Discover which type suits your orthodontic needs by calling our team, who’ll happily answer any questions.

Palate expander for kids

Why do children sometimes need palate expanders?

These devices are commonly employed during their formative years when the palate is still malleable.

A palatal expander, attached to the upper molars, applies gentle outward pressure to widen the palate.

This encourages proper tooth alignment. Treatment duration varies depending on the child’s response and individual case.

Palate expander for adults

While it’s more challenging due to the completed growth of the adult palate, there are still situations where they can be beneficial.

Narrow or overcrowded upper jaws can benefit from adult palatal expanders, often combined with techniques like surgically-assisted expansion.

Orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners is usually combined for optimal results in adults seeking a transformed smile.


Palatal expanders are vital in orthodontic treatment, particularly for individuals with a narrow palate, crowded teeth, or crossbite.

These devices can transform smiles, improve dental alignment, and enhance oral health by gently widening the upper jaw.

Although temporary side effects may occur, the benefits of palatal expansion outweigh the potential discomfort.

If you or your child are considering orthodontic treatment, consult Dr. Griffin, an experienced orthodontist who can assess your needs and recommend the most suitable treatment plan.

Take the first step toward a beautiful smile. Explore the power of palatal expanders now!

Request an Appointment

We’re proud to serve the following locations: Vernon, Rockville, Ellington, Tolland, South Windsor, Manchester, Coventry, Bolton, East Windsor, Somers, Stafford, and Willington.