The rapid palatal expander (RPE) is one of the common appliances used at Park Smiles NYC to help children with early orthodontic treatment, commonly known as early interceptive treatment. By widening the upper jaw, the expander creates space for permanent teeth and helps treat and prevent severe teeth crowding or impactions. The expander is especially useful for young children who are still actively growing and have developed orthodontic issues.
Additional benefits of using the rapid palatal expander in early interceptive treatment include:
The RPE is custom-made to fit exactly for each patient’s mouth and teeth. It is a non-removable appliance fixed onto the first molars of the upper arch and covering over most of the palate. An RPE can also be removable. The appliance consists of two halves connected in the middle with a screw. Using a special key, turning the screw will induce controlled tension at the intersection of the two palatal bones.
This tension will gradually move the two bones apart. At the time of the desired expansion, your orthodontist will leave the expander in for a couple more months to give your child’s bones time to adapt and stabilize the new expansion.
Your child will likely experience mild discomfort during the beginning of the treatment period, probably more so due to the actual presence of the appliance inside the mouth than expansion, but this is a normal sign that the expander is working as intended.
It’s important to remember that the uncomfortable experiences are only temporary and will lessen as your child’s body adapts to the appliance. Some of the issues your child may experience could include:
At Park Smiles NYC, communication with our patients and parents is always a priority, and you can rest assured that we’ll guide you and your child every step of the way during treatment. This includes at-home maintenance instructions, including how to brush properly, take care of the expander and what foods to avoid.
If your child has crowded teeth or spacing problems, an orthodontic evaluation at Park Smiles NYC is the first step to getting them the help they need.
Our skilled orthodontic team is here to help your child achieve a sparkling, straight and healthy smile for years to come. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us at (212) 988-6724 .
Attaining a healthy, straight smile is like a Walk in the Park – at Park Smiles NYC!