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Thread: Know anyone who's had dental expanders?

  1. #1
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Our 6-almost 7yo has a tiny mouth. Our dentist just recommended upper and lower expanders to enlarge the bones so the teeth will fit. (It's way over crowded) I've been trying to read about them online and am not sure what to think.

  2. #2
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    I know of some kids that had them. The DDS put an appliance in the mouth, non removable I think, and you have a "key" that you use to turn them every few days. The kids that I have know with them had great results.

  3. #3
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    I had the expanders 20 yrs. ago. They can be painful, had to eat etc., but they do work. I had great results.

  4. #4
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Did you have the tops or top & bottom? He needs both and I'm not sure what to think about the bottom (from what I've read, which is hard to know what to believe!)

  5. #5
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    My grandson had the upper expander when he was 8 years old, 2 years ago. He had great results and almost no complaints. My daughter, his mom, was a little squeemish about turning the "key", but once she did it, it went just fine. He didn't have to have it all that long. Their bones are growing so fast at that age that the results are quick. (By quick, I mean several months). So much better than having a lot of teeth extracted as his mom did and then into braces for several years. He may need braces later on but should not be extensive. Best wishes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ljfox's Avatar
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    My oldest son had the one on the top and it was not too bad.

  7. #7
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    It seems to be very common now. When I was a kid they just pulled 4 corner teeth out to make room in my too small mouth. Needless to say, I had very crocked teeth growing up. I had the Invisiline braces in my 60's. I think I would have avoided a lot of sinus problems if they had done expander thing when I was kid.

  8. #8
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    my goodness, never heard of this. my son got my small jaw line. had some teeth removed when he got braces. i did the same later and regretted it a lot. no room for my tongue. i had to learn to talk again. and eat, etc. not fun.
    hope it works!!

  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    One of my daughters had a successful upper one. I wasn't aware DDSs did the lower, too.

  10. #10
    Super Member lindyline's Avatar
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    Hmm never heard of lower expanders. Am at work will ask the dentists , and get back to you.

  11. #11
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    My son had them 10 years ago. He still had baby teeth at the time. Our dentist did the kind that are more like braces. I had no "key" to turn. All of that was done at the dentist. He worked pretty well, but he still ended up with regular braces for some minor crowding later and no has to have his wisdom teeth taken out because of lack of space.

    His were always tightened at the dentist before school. Only once during the process did he call home and want to leave school because it hurt later that day. Generally, he only wanted to eat soups and such the day they were tightened.

  12. #12
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    DD had upper one when she was 13. She did not complain. She had to lay down when I turned the key. it was like a small allen wrench. She did say that her teeth ached for about an hour after but tylenol was handy. Great results,

  13. #13
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    My son went thru this when he was about 10yr.(now 31 y.o.) It work out just fine.Only compliant was the food got caught in the upper part of his mouth. The before and after pics were amazing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member sammygirlqt's Avatar
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    My daughter had this done 20yrs ago. What a nightmare. Do you know it actually splits the bone in the roof of their mouth? She suffered horribly and I had to send a 8yr old to school every time it was cranked on tynol. She later had to have his wisdome teeth pulled and that was a nightmare too.

  15. #15
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    I worked with dentists for 40 years, seen many expanders. They can be some what uncomfortable, but wll worth it after you see the outcome. They seperate the bone where they naturally grow together, the bone fills in and widens the arch and mandible. I've seen some very nice results.

    The little girl across the stree just had hers removed and also had her braces off.

  16. #16
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    Granddaughter, 15, got hers on last week....the turning goes every other night to expand the area.......

    Not as bad as we thought it would be.

    She gets the braces on at the end of the summer.this is all in preparation for the big day........

  17. #17
    Senior Member Angellight's Avatar
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    All 3 of my boys had them since both my husband & I have small jaws.
    Pros: They are made to expand the width and length of the jaws. The palate is softer at younger ages and will stretch/expand better at this age according to my dentist and the ortodontist that did their work. Worked with a woman years ago who had to have her upper palate cut(yes sawed apart) in a cross to expand hers to straighten her teeth at 28 years old.
    Then all 3 of my kids had the braces.
    Cons: It IS painful to the kid. You are altering their mouth. If they are permanent, YOU have to help them be responsible for the cleaning out from under them (we used a waterpik.) If they are removable, they can be left behind (ours was at a restaurant in a napkin, thankfully remembered and searched for by the staff before being completely trashed and driving home 400 miles.)
    Would I do it over again versus the teeth pulling. Yes, but I would probably also have a couple of teeth pulled.
    I had 5 teeth pulled as an early teen to "allow my teeth to move around & straighten themselves out" It was quite tramatic for me, but that was the way it was back then. AND, No that did not happen, my teeth are still crooked.
    Except for wisdom teeth, my two older boys have all of their teeth. My youngest however ended up having 9 teeth pulled. 4 impacted wisdom, 4 impacted 12 yr molars and an extra molar that was also under the gum line.
    I don't know if this helps, but it is my experience.

    Happy Day,
    Susan

  18. #18
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    I had to have the four teeth pulled and then braces. And my teeth, especially on the bottom are still crooked. My mouth is just too small, so I can understand the concept.... and I can see with the upper jaw, but I'm not so sure I understand how the lower jaw works. I see that most people that have had them have had the upper.

    He (the dentist) does removable, which I think I'm glad of. I don't know if I could "turn the crank" on my kid! lol! I think I need to find out more about the lower expanders... dh was the one that took him in since I was working that day - I doubt I would've had all the questions then anyway since I wasn't expecting this. Thanks for the positive comments though - it does make me feel better!

  19. #19
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    My son who had it done in Kindergarden complained less with his expanders and traditional braces then he has with his Invisilines now that he is 15. Our dentist said the younger the better.

  20. #20
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    Our daughter had the upper one, still had to have braces later.

  21. #21
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    Both my children had them. Made their mouth sore during the time that you expand them with the key but I made sure and gave them soft foods and their favorites. Even took spaghetti to school for my son. His had to be turned 3 times a day. They both had to have jaw teeth removed in addition to this but they both have beautiful smiles today which they are very proud of.

  22. #22
    Super Member rosiewell's Avatar
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    my daughter had an upper when she was 4 years old, it took only 6 months to expand her palate and 6 months with a retainer to make sure it would stay that way, she has had no problem ever since and never needed braces.

  23. #23
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    So good to hear about the uppers - but no one experienced lower expanders?

  24. #24
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    My daughter had an upper expander to widen the roof of her mouth. They wanted to do surgery and cut the palate, bring it down to widen it. We tried the expander (we called it a crib there was another name I can't remember)it was also used to stop her tongue thrust and thumb sucking. It worked tremendously, she is 30 and has the most beautiful teeth. I am so glad we didn't do the surgery.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    My daughter also needed a dental expander. It worked really well - her teeth and mouth look great!

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