Expanding the Jaw

Expanding the Jaw

If you have noticed something the matter with your child’s teeth, you may be worried that nothing can fix it. Expanding the jaw can be the solution to the issues. At our office, we can discuss with you and your child about how we can fix these issues with orthodontics.

When we diagnose a case, we measure x-rays, one of which is a view from the front. We measure the widths of the upper jaw and the lower jaw as they relate to each other and as they relate to the head size. We measure the width of the patient’s jaws relative to that individual’s head size. Then, if we see that they’re skeletally narrow, we know we need to widen the upper jaw skeletally. One of the ways we’ll recognize this by looking clinically is that the patient will have what’s called a posterior crossbite. If a patient’s upper jaw is biting on the inside of the lower, we’ll know by looking at them that they’re likely to need a skeletal expander.

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We always make sure to measure on the x-ray as well to clearly determine how narrow that patient is and how much expansion we need. If we notice that they’re not skeletally narrow, but densely – meaning that the teeth look as if they’re kind of tipped in toward the roof of the mouth or toward the tongue, we will use a dental expander to push the teeth into a better position.

If there’s crowding, we often try to create space by using an expander first, and then make those teeth straight with braces later.

If you are worried about your child’s smile, please contact our experienced Buffalo orthodontists for a free screening and see what can be done regarding expanding the jaw.

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