An expander, sometimes called a spacer or Phase I, is an appliance that is needed when there is not enough space for adult teeth. Another reason that an expander is needed is when your child’s upper jaw is too small – they might have what is called a crossbite. This means that the top and bottom teeth do not touch properly and the bite is incorrect.
The best time to have an expander is between the ages of 7-9. At this age in children, there is soft spot on the roof of the mouth that is flexible. The expander works very easily, without pain, and allows the jaw to expand and makes more space for adult teeth coming in. After age 9+, this soft spot begins to harden and it can be more challenging to expand things. If an expander is not done at the right age, it can lead to long-term issues and damage to adult teeth.
At VCO Orthodontics, the process for an expander is very easy. Watch our video on how quickly an expander is placed in under 1 min!