Health and Fitness

How to Prepare Your Child for Expander Braces

As your child’s orthodontist, one of the most frequently asked questions I get from parents is about their child’s expander braces and what to expect during treatment. An expander consists of several small brackets that go over your child’s teeth, but don’t come into contact with them. They are attached to a spring that gradually expands the brackets over time in order to gradually make space between your child’s teeth to help straighten his or her smile as well as improve his or her bite and jaw position.


The Prosthetic Appliance

When a child needs orthodontic treatment, braces are often used to correct their bite and align their teeth. When braces alone aren’t enough, an orthodontist will usually use another appliance known as an expander. It serves two purposes: it pulls on a tooth’s roots (which helps move them into proper alignment) and it forces them outward (which makes room for other teeth that need space). An expander is made of metal and plastic—generally stainless steel or titanium with acrylic covering. There are two types of expanders: temporary, which you’ll wear at home, and fixed (permanent), which remain in your mouth once they’re removed from your jaw. In both cases, though, expansion happens gradually through controlled pressure.


Teach Your Child How to Brush Their Teeth Properly

Not only is it important that you make sure your child brushes their teeth every day, but it’s also vital that they learn how to do so correctly. Teaching your child how to brush their teeth properly gives them a good foundation of oral hygiene. If your child knows what they’re doing, they’ll be much more likely to take care of their pearly whites as adults. In addition, if you pay attention and guide them as they brush initially, you can ensure that they are doing a thorough job before you let them go at it on their own. There are several ways in which a parent can teach children how to brush properly: A.


The Stages of Removable Appliances

It’s normal to worry about your child when they first get expander braces. After all, there are a lot of new pressures and challenges. However, remember that removable braces are much less difficult and take a lot less time than traditional metal brackets. The stages of removable appliances include: Initial impressions: In order to have a complete orthodontic examination, Dr. Cervantes will start by taking an impression of your child’s teeth and mouth using alginate molding material (the same stuff dentists use to make impressions for dentures). This is typically done on one visit but may require two appointments if there is significant decay or damage in tooth structure in addition to orthodontic issues.


Types of Removable Appliances

There are a variety of types of removable appliances, from mouth guards to headgear. Depending on your needs and preferences, any of these devices can be used as part of an orthodontic treatment plan. The main thing is to wear your appliance every day; ask your dentist if you should remove it during eating or brushing, or if you can leave it in place while showering or swimming. As long as you follow these simple guidelines, wearing an appliance should not be uncomfortable. If you have any questions about your specific situation and whether a particular type will work best for you, don’t hesitate to call your dentist’s office.


Basic Care Tips

Keep it clean. Before and after brushing, gently remove any food particles with a soft toothbrush. Kids should have their expander braces checked by a dentist or orthodontist every three months; in between visits, brush daily and look for signs of discomfort or pain. If your child experiences unusual swelling, foul-smelling discharge, tenderness, bleeding or loose teeth—or if they’re experiencing headaches—call your doctor. These can be signs of more serious issues. For kids who wear an expander brace with removable attachments: At night, check that all parts are present before placing them back in their cases (which should be stored separately from clothes). Check your child’s mouth every morning and take out any parts that have come loose during sleep.


Why Kids Love Dentist Appointments

If you’ve been thinking about bringing your child to their first orthodontic appointment, here are some things you should know. The dentist will first make an impression of your child’s teeth with a cold material that hardens like plastic. If necessary, they’ll send it off and have new molds made. The next time you come in, But don’t worry; even if they say your child is a candidate for fixed braces, there are plenty of other options available and no two children will experience treatment in exactly the same way.

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