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A palatal expander is most often for children before they begin orthodontic treatment. An expander is used when the upper arch is not wide enough, therefore preventing a proper bite. By expanding the upper arch, teeth along both the upper and lower arches are better positioned to fit together. Some children do feel pressure with an expander and they may need some time to adjust to eating and drinking while wearing one. When the expander is removed, patients may have the sensation that their mouths are more spacious. And sometimes the two front top teeth may have a gap between them after wearing an expander. This will remedy itself naturally or be corrected with braces.

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Like palatal expanders, space maintainers are most frequently used on children. If your child loses a primary tooth early, then a space maintainer may be prescribed to hold the space for when the permanent is ready to erupt. Made of smooth plastic, space maintainers prevent the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth gap from shifting into the empty space. This way, the proper jaw position is maintained, thereby avoiding overcrowded or crooked teeth that could result when permanent teeth erupt.

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After completing orthodontic treatment, retainers help preserve the beautiful results of wearing braces. A retainer for the top arch is usually a removable plastic insert, while the bottom arch can be accommodated with either a removable retainer or a lingual wire that is bonded along the interior side of teeth. Patients usually need to wear their retainers day and night immediately after orthodontic treatment. This requirement may decrease with time.

For orthodontic treatment that is professional and compassionate, call Summit Family Orthodontics in Littleton, CO. One of our qualified orthodontic specialists would be happy to meet with you to discuss how we can create a more beautiful smile with our orthodontic services.

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