Do not worry if your orthodontist has advised palate expanders for your child. Palate expanders are a commonly used orthodontic appliance. They are used to expand the palate or the upper jaw.
Let us understand what are palatal expanders, before we proceed to discuss how to deal with them. Palatal expanders are small devices that are fixed into the upper jaw or the palate, they are held with the support of bands attached to the upper teeth. The jaw or palate expansion treatment can last for a long time as the jaw bone has to be expanded to the required size. Expanders show best results for young children and teens, whose jaw bones have not yet fused. But sometimes adults are also prescribed treatment with palate expanders.
Tips to Deal With Palate Expanders
- Get Your Favorite Foods that are Soft and Easy to Chew
The palate expander is fixed in your mouth. In the initial days there may be some discomfort while eating and chewing food. It is advisable to stock up all your favorite foods that are soft and easily chewable. Choose foods that provide proper nourishment. Some examples are yogurt, ice cream, shakes, smoothies, mashed vegetables and fruits etc.
- Take Small Sized Bites
Chewing may be problematic, when you have a palate expander. Cut fruits and vegetables into small bite sized pieces to reduce the pressure on teeth and jaw. Small sized pieces are easy to chew and digest.
- Use Thin Straw
For the initial few days until you are adjusted to eating with the expander, have lots of fluids in your diet. Sip slowly or use a thin straw to ingest the liquid. You can have fruit juices, tender coconut water, milk and other healthy drinks.
- Wipe Your Mouth
People with palate expanders tend to drool excessively. Always keep a napkin or handkerchief handy.
- Slowly Introduce Solid Foods
The treatment may take anywhere between two months to a year. Once you are adjusted to the palatal expander, introduce solid foods in your diet. As mentioned earlier cut small size pieces and chew slowly to avoid any discomfort.
Now that you know what are palatal expanders and how to deal with them, go ahead and get the treatment scheduled. Consult a reputed orthodontic for the treatment.