Palatal Expansion & Phase 1 Treatment in Albany, CA

Make room for straighter, healthier teeth with a treatment that broadens the upper jaw.

What Does Palate Expansion Do?

Expansion helps broaden the jaw at a young age for the most stable treatment outcomes.

Doctor Lai explains the result shown on the 3D image

Palatal expansion is used to correct upper and lower jaw width problems and crossbites. It can also help to reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches by broadening the upper jaw.

Since the expansion focuses on the jaw bone and allows new bone to grow, the best timing for expansion is at a younger age when a child is still growing.

  • Palatal expansion is often used in Phase 1 treatment for young kids who present an anterior and posterior crossbite (underbite).
  • A crossbite may be an early sign of deficient upper jaw growth and/or prominent lower jaw growth in the future, so an expander may help.
  • A facemask (reverse headgear) can be used simultaneously for the advancement of the upper jaw to aid in underbite correction.

Schedule a consultation with your Albany orthodontist to learn more, or refer a patient today.

It All Starts with Phase 1 Treatment

Using early start orthodontics to make a big impact on your child’s long-term growth and development.

High five for the little patient from assistant.

Phase 1 treatment addresses orthodontic issues that young children, typically between the ages of six and ten may experience before they have their permanent teeth. The American Association of OrthodonticsOpen a link to learn more about The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children see an orthodontist by the age of seven.

At this age, many children may have some adult front teeth and their first molar. Their jaw bones will also begin to grow significantly through post-adolescence. A disharmony of tooth eruption and jaw growth may create more challenging orthodontic issues at a later age. Phase 1 treatment seeks to correct these problems as soon as possible.

We will evaluate the position of erupting teeth and the jaw growth pattern of your child and advise you if Phase 1 Treatment is needed. We offer Invisalign® and traditional braces to our young children patients.

High five for the little patient from assistant.
Dr Lai explain to the little patient how palatal expansion works.
If your child is experiencing any of the following conditions, contact us for a free consultation.
  • Crowding: Front teeth don’t have enough space to fully grow in.
  • Asymmetric Eruption: Adult teeth are not growing at the same time.
  • Ectopic Eruption: Teeth erupting in an abnormal position.
  • Deep Bite: Lower front teeth are barely visible when biting down.
  • Excess Overjet: Upper front teeth are obviously sticking out.
  • Anterior Crossbite: Upper front teeth are blocked inside of lower front teeth when biting down.
  • Open Bite: When biting down, upper and lower front teeth can’t bite together.
  • Tongue Thrusting: Involuntarily tongue movement toward front teeth or out of mouth.
  • Thumb Sucking and/or Mouth Breathing.
  • Posterior Crossbite: Upper posterior teeth are close to the tongue than lower posterior teeth when biting down.

How Palate Expansion Works

Lai Orthodontics explains what to expect.

A palate expander is easy to use, and your orthodontist will explain the steps for what to do at home. Patients may feel some pressure against teeth and behind the nose, but this is normal as the jaw slowly widens.

  1. Dr. LaiOpen a link to learn more about Dr. Lai places the expander on the upper teeth, and you’ll receive a small key to turn the expander.
  2. Turn the key as prescribed. Each turn widens the expander very slightly, putting gentle pressure on the upper molars.
  3. Over time, the expander gradually stretches the growing bone plate in the roof of the mouth.

*Extra note: Be sure to perform the turns as prescribed and brush the expander when brushing your teeth. Swish or use a small brush to remove food from above the expander.

FAQ about Palatal Expansion & Phase 1 Treatment