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Does anyone have any experience with Rapid Palatal Expanders?

An Orthodontist told me my 7 1/2 yr old would need a Rapid Palatal Expander ASAP to make room for teeth to come in (he has a very small jaw). Has anyone had a child with one before? Do they hurt? Effect speech & eating? I have never herd of them before.

Any info or stories would be appreciated.

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Asked by Vinobaby at 8:24 AM on Jun. 30, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • I had one as a child. Unless things have changed, it is kind of "glued" to the top molars on each side of the mouth holding the expander toward the roof of the mouth, and you use a little "key" to rotate a small ball in the center of the expander each day to open it up a little more.

    Since there was glue on my teeth and something in the roof of my mouth, I did have to learn how to eat and speak differently to accommodate it, but I managed...and it doesn't last forever.

    It did NOT hurt when it was expanding. Even though it says "rapid" it is not like they go in and shove your mouth apart on the first day. It is still a gradual process. There was some pressure, but nothing painful or even really too annoying.

    You will want to get a water pic to clean around and on top of the expander. Food can get stuck and it is gross.

    There are a few annoyances, but your child will be JUST FINE.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 8:35 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • My son had his for about 3 months. It was painful for him! Each monthly appointment I would tell the ortho how uncomfortable he was but she would check it but not do anything. Then the 3rd month she checked it after me complaining, noticed it was cutting into his skin! She went and got the main ortho and decided to take it out but said it would probably have to be put back in at a later date! I don't want to scare you, this could have just been something my son went through but if he does get one just keep checking it! It did make it more difficult to eat and he constantly would suck the spit back in his mouth plus he slobbered a lot. I know this doesn't sound very good, hopefully your son will fare better than mine did! good luck!


    Answer by anichols1 at 8:36 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Yikes! My experience was completely different than the other poster's son's experience! It should not hurt! If it does, there is a problem. That is awful that it was cutting into his mouth like that! If your child complains, definitely make sure the orthadontist takes it seriously.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 8:50 AM on Jun. 30, 2011

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