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What Is An Orthodontic Expander & When Is It Necessary?

I’ve never heard of an orthodontic expander before. What is it? How does it work? And when do you use it? It sounds like something out of the future, but the idea of using an orthodontic expander can be traced back hundreds of years! Here’s everything you need to know about orthodontic expander braces and how they can help make your smile even better than it already is.


What Are Expander Braces, And What Do They Do?


The purpose of a basic orthodontic expander is to gradually move your teeth into their ideal position. They come in three different types: continuous, modified and intermittent. For any type of expander, you’ll wear them two to four hours each day, removing them only for meals and brushing and flossing (and just remember to be careful when you do). During that time, they force your teeth apart in small increments—generally less than one millimeter per month—which is usually painless because most expanders are made from soft plastic. If you’re not sure if you need braces or an expander—or if these devices will even work for your mouth—don’t hesitate to ask!


Who Are The Best Candidates For Expander Braces?


The best candidates for braces expander are teens and adults with crowded teeth, underbites or other orthodontic problems. But not everyone needs an expander brace. In some cases, your orthodontist can simply move teeth into their proper place using traditional braces. If you have a severe case of overcrowding, jaw misalignment or other issues beyond mild crowding, you may need an expander to ensure that all of your teeth end up in perfect alignment.


What Are The Benefits Of Expander Braces?


Essentially, expander braces are braces that stretch out your teeth in preparation for regular braces. Although many adults undergo orthodontic treatment, those with older or worn-down teeth have more difficulty and are more likely to experience pain and discomfort. Because of that, an expander brace is often necessary to help avoid problems down the road. There are also other cases where an expander is necessary — you might need one if your jaw is smaller than normal or if your mouth structure makes it hard for you to chew certain foods without discomfort. If any of these issues sound familiar, it’s best to talk with a qualified dental professional who can help you decide if an expander brace is right for you!


How Do Expander Braces Work?


While there are a variety of options to straighten teeth, such as Invisalign or clear ceramic braces, many patients end up opting for traditional metal braces. However, it’s important to understand that one type of brace doesn’t fit all. The right option depends on a number of factors, including your budget and how quickly you want results. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve broken down some common orthodontic techniques to let you know what to expect from each one. By getting familiar with some treatment options now, you’ll have a better idea of which option is best for your situation when it comes time to schedule an appointment with your dentist.


What Are The Costs Of Expander Braces?


There are a few costs associated with expander treatment. If you have to have an expander made by your orthodontist, expect to pay around $300 or more. You will also have to pay for some of your treatment, which ranges from $3,000-$8,000 depending on how much treatment you need and whether you go through private insurance or out-of-pocket. The costs are usually split between your orthodontist and dentist. However, if you don’t go through any dental work while wearing braces (which isn’t uncommon), then it won’t cost anything extra.


What Are The Results Of Expander Braces?



Once your orthodontist has seen and assessed your bite, they’ll typically look at how you smile—specifically whether it’s even or asymmetrical. This can give them a good idea of what issues might be present in other parts of your mouth, because all parts of our mouth are interconnected. But there are also other factors that affect how your orthodontist will determine if braces with expanders will work for you, such as: Their age – If you’re still growing, braces with expanders won’t usually be suitable because they could change position too much while your teeth are still moving. Other possible treatments – Some treatments, like orthognathic surgery, can alter a patient’s bite directly.


Do Orthodontic Expanders Hurt?


While expander treatment is considered a minor procedure, some patients do experience pain. Your teeth will be tender for a few days after treatment, which can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications. In addition to these basic discomfort symptoms, some patients may find that they bruise easily while they’re wearing their expander. That’s why it’s important to take good care of your teeth during treatment by brushing and flossing regularly to keep bacteria at bay and reduce gum inflammation.

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