Orthodontic treatment is not just braces. There are many different treatment options out there today including your standard braces but also expanders, clear aligners (Invisalign), functional appliances and many others. We will focus today on expanders.
An expander is an orthodontic appliance that is used to widen the upper or lower jaw. Expanders are most often prescribed in children to widen their upper jaw (Maxillary Bone).
As part of an early orthodontic exam your orthodontist will check for potential bite discrepancies. One common bite discrepancy is a crossbite of the back teeth. This occurs when the upper jaw is too narrow and your upper teeth bite inside of the lower back teeth. Crossbites can be bilateral (both sides) or unilateral (one side) but in either event it is advisable to use an expander to correct this discrepancy at a young age. The Maxillary bone fuses as we get older so expansion at a young age is most predictable and effective.