DS has to have a palate expander...what to expect?
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/30/2013 by pretzels in NSBR Board
 

pretzels
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:32:34 AM
I took my DS13 to the orthodontist yesterday. He needs a palate expander plus braces. They did impressions yesterday and he has an appointment next Thursday, I believe for just the palate expander.

Will he be able to eat normally? Does food get stuck up in the metal part against the roof of his mouth? I'm sure the orthodontist will discuss this next week, but I wanted to be prepared -- I grocery-shop on Sundays, so I'll need to get anything "special" then. TIA.

little mama
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:36:32 AM
Is he getting the kind that are cemented in? My ds had removable ones, so I don't have experience with the cemented-in kind.


I know ds' mouth was sore for a couple days when he first started wearing his. He wore them religiously, and was out of them during the day within about a year, then wore them at night until he lost more teeth and they didnt fit anymore (he was 8 when he got his)


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little mama
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:37:28 AM
Oh, and stand off to the side of him when he talks, at least until he gets the saliva issue under control.

He may also be hard to understand while he has them - always fun with a teen!


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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:41:09 AM
Both my kids had palate expanders around that age, for about 4 months. DS thought it was totally cool. He only needed a retainer with his - DD also had braces. Their speech will be difficult for a couple days but after that they get used to it. It just prevents their tongue from going to the roof of their mouth so they have to figure out how to make some sounds in a different way. You will have to crank it with a little key every day. DD actually cranked hers herself! Don't be surprised when they wake up one morning with a big gap between their front teeth! It's freaky, but the palate really does crack and the gap just all of a sudden appears. It's not painful apparently. Then the teeth will gradually shift around to space themselves out and the gap will close. It's pretty ingenious actually.

Food does get stuck in there - get lots of those flexible toothpicks with the little brush on them.


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pheestand
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:44:50 AM
My daughter's was not removable. She used to hate to eat lettuce/spinach because it was easy to get tangled up in the expander all the time. She had some discomfort, but not as much as we expected so her 4 months went rather quickly.

It seemed that having the expander installed was the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing- the bands didn't seem to fit quite right so there was a bit more pushing and wiggling it on, lots of pressure. Some tylenol before the appointment would have been a good idea.

She's got about 3 more months before all the orthodontics come off- can't wait to see the results! (Been slightly over 2 years for her)

maryannscraps
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:48:45 AM
What everyone else said. I recommend giving him some ibuprofen before he goes in to have it done. It does ache a bit.

My kids had a little squirt bulb to help clean under it.

toaojs
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:49:12 AM
I will be watching this thread as my brother (who's a dentist) was talking about neding to have an expander put in and I've been wondering what it would really be like.


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jennifw
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:49:27 AM
DD has had one for about eight months.

Give your child Tylenol before the appt. It will help. DD was sore that evening and ate only soft foods. (yogurt, mashed potatoes, etc) It got better in about 2 days. Expect some slobber and drool until they figure out how to swallow and control it. You will have a little key that cranks it every night. The doc will show you how to do it and tell you how many rotations. I could never figure it out so DD ended up doing it herself.

Overall, it is easy. I agree with the other poster who said to expect gaps / movement of their teeth. It is pretty amazing that such a little contraption can be so effective moving teeth around. DD got hers in April and then got braces in August. The expander comes out next month.

CreativeEngineer
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:50:03 AM
A Waterpik is your friend.

Peanut butter is hard, so are a lot of soft breads.

Tylenol or Motrin before the installation appt would probably be appreciated. And a day of soft liquids afterwards.

Otherwise, expect to write a big check!





gavinsmom
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:52:17 AM
It isn't fun but the benefits are worth it! I had a cemented one my senior year of high school because after getting my braces off in 8th grade, I had some relapse and finally decided that we needed more room. I won't lie, those first 2-3 days were pretty horrible but I was a 17yr old girl with a healthy dose of vanity!


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kellybelly77
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:52:59 AM
My dd had one. I agree with the spit issues!!! Unfortunately dd got hers put in the first few days of school and she was so embarassed. I didnt realize she would have spit/talking issues and the dr didn't clue us in either. So we took the only close appt and she spent the day not talking because she was too embarassed at not talking right.

Also, her mouth was quite sore so have some tylenol on hand. Have some softer foods ready. She was not allowed to eat gummy/chewy things and also wasnt able to eat really hard foods that she had to bite into, like apples or carrots. DD's was glued in so be aware that he will need to floss well and one of those tooth brushes with the changable heads helped so that dd could brush them regularly at first and then change up to the head that looks like a pipe cleaner to get under the wires and such.

The expander worked wonders though and her teeth look great!


Kelly

kelbel827
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:57:52 AM
The waterpik and bulb things sound amazing. My son just made this awful noise to try to force the stuck object out. Kinda like trying to get phlegm out. He looked like Spongebob at one point too..and he thought that was cool.

Just ignore the noises it makes. Advil the first few days. After that, it's smooth sailing until something gets stuck!

PierKiss
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:01:15 AM
I had one. It wasn't a big deal. I think I wore it for a year and a half? I thought it was neat. I had to turn it with this little key every day or every other day (this was 7th grade so it's been a long time). Mine was removable, which was nice because then I could clean it in Efferdent (I think that's what it was called-denture cleaner)-I was obsessed with keeping it clean. I ate with mine in for almost everything. I did take it out for some things, but those times were very rare and I honestly can't remember what foods I took it out to eat.



PolarGreen12
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:01:28 AM

You will have to crank it with a little key every day

This is the same kind I had. I really don't remember having an issue with foods, or any extra soreness. I did almost swallow the key once trying to crank it by myself.


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pretzels
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:04:11 AM
Thanks, y'all. His will be cemented into his mouth. I'll warn him about the saliva issue -- didn't even think about that! I think we'll also look into getting a Water Pik. He's worried about being able to still play his trombone with it in, but we'll tackle that when we get to it, I guess.

shelly49
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:14:53 AM
Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room. Were you offered the pulling teeth option and just chose the expander? My ds (13) just got braces last July. He only had the tops until this Tuesday when he got the bottoms on. He had 4 teeth pulled beforehand--2 on top and 2 on bottom. I had the same thing done as a child due to a small mouth/overcrowding but never got braces. I didn't REALLY need them. My ds DESPERATELY needs them though, and they are working amazingly already, and actually in just 2-3 weeks there was a HUGE difference.

They didn't even mention a palate expander to us. Sounds like a pain to have to turn every day and wear for so long and get good stuck in versus having a few teeth out and being done. I'm curious to hear the responses.


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jennifw
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:18:46 AM

Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room


For DD, it wasn't an issue of not enough room. Her upper jaw was'nt as wide as the bottom to the palate expander moved her back teeth out to line up with the bottom teeth. (sounds disgusting but it worked)

toaojs
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:26:23 AM

Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room. Were you offered the pulling teeth option and just chose the expander?


I KNOW it's a preference for some dentists and not for others... in fact, our old dentist told us that we would need to pull some of our son's teeth before he has to have braces, whereas my brother is completely against my son's teeth being pulled. My brother has taken specialized training that teaches about different techniques (one of them being a palate expander) to make more room in the mouth. Some kids also have VERY narrow palates and need more room whereas other kids just have over crowded teeth for one reason or another.

I didn't like the idea myself of my son loosing teeth and was very happy when my brother told us about the expander.


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toaojs
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:26:28 AM

Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room. Were you offered the pulling teeth option and just chose the expander?


I KNOW it's a preference for some dentists and not for others... in fact, our old dentist told us that we would need to pull some of our son's teeth before he has to have braces, whereas my brother is completely against my son's teeth being pulled. My brother has taken specialized training that teaches about different techniques (one of them being a palate expander) to make more room in the mouth. Some kids also have VERY narrow palates and need more room whereas other kids just have over crowded teeth for one reason or another.

I didn't like the idea myself of my son loosing teeth and was very happy when my brother told us about the expander.


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KatieBPea
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:34:47 AM

Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room. Were you offered the pulling teeth option and just chose the expander?

In the case of my oldest and her younger sister (who will be getting an expander within the year), it has to do with having a very narrow palate which also means a misalignment of teeth.

They both also have more complicated orthodontic issues which involve missing adult teeth that can't be treated by moving the existing teeth together.



pretzels
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Posted: 1/30/2013 10:45:56 AM

For DD, it wasn't an issue of not enough room. Her upper jaw wasn't as wide as the bottom to the palate expander moved her back teeth out to line up with the bottom teeth. (sounds disgusting but it worked)


This. The top part of his mouth isn't as wide at the bottom part. He does have overcrowding, too, but that's a symptom of the narrow palate. Pulling the teeth wouldn't make the two parts of his mouth meet like they are supposed to.

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Posted: 1/30/2013 12:05:32 PM

Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room


I had 4 teeth pulled before I got my expander and braces. I have a small mouth.



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Posted: 1/30/2013 12:20:20 PM
I had the expander with a key at 16. It HURT!! Every time I cranked that key I could feel the bone breaking a little. Tylenol and aspirin were my best friends back then.

DD had an expander at 10 to fix a mixalignment of her jaw teeth. She had one with a spring. It hurt periodically, especially a few days after they adjusted it.


Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room.


The dentist wanted to pull a bunch of teeth, but the ortho said no. He actually looked at both of my parents' mouth structure to make that decision. The problem wasn't just overcrowding of teeth, it was the fact that my upper jaw was not matching the size of the bottom jaw, and my teeth didn't meet properly. Having the expander actually changed the shape of my face. Once I was done with the expander, all my teeth fit perfectly. And I could eat steak, which was very hard before braces.

As far as foods - spaghetti got wrapped around the spokes, and things like lettuce and spinach were not good.

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Posted: 1/30/2013 12:25:26 PM
My 8-year-old DS has one. He can't eat gummies, and long stuff like spaghetti would get stuck under it so it has to be cut up.

He can't say his K's and I forget what else very well, but it's improved a bit over time.

The gap is very disconcerting!

We had to go in to the ortho yesterday for a "comfort check" because it was cutting into the roof of his mouth (cemented in).

Just a couple of weeks after it was put in, two of his teeth fell out because there was finally room for them to do so. It's supposedly avoided tooth-pulling and will make braces easier. I wish they had one for the bottom of the mouth!

It cost $1800 -- ugh.

pheestand
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Posted: 1/30/2013 1:15:01 PM

Just curious as to why I have read about so many here (in other threads too) going that route instead of pulling a few teeth to make room. Were you offered the pulling teeth option and just chose the expander?


For us, her mouth was narrow, not really an overcrowding issue but when she smiled, all you could see was the top front 4 teeth, the rest were hidden in the mouth, and there was a gap between her lips and her teeth.
Before expander:
After expander, with gap:

Aggiemom92
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:07:08 PM

I wish they had one for the bottom of the mouth!


DD had a mouthful when she was 8. Upper AND lower expanders plus front brackets. Ortho was very clear at that time that that was just phase 1. We already know she'll get full braces later. Her mouth was a mess.

OP, even with all that in there, she didn't miss a beat. No trouble eating, talked just a little funny but it didn't stop her, and very little discomfort.


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maryannscraps
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Posted: 1/30/2013 6:53:20 PM
The trombone will take a bit of extra practice, but he ought to have it under control in a week or so. Both my kids were playing instruments (flute and clarinet) when they got their palate expanders and braces on and were fine once they got used to it. I don't remember it being a very long adjustment period.

I wouldn't recommend getting them on the day before an important audition, but he should be able to adjust quickly.

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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:18:30 PM
My son's upper expander would get food caught between it and the roof of his mouth. A Water Pik helped a lot.

Expanding that sucker with the little key was a nightmare. Half a turn every week for months. I tied a string to the key in case I dropped it down his throat. And it hurt every time. Some weeks I notched back to quarter turn then waited a couple days to do the other quarter turn.

ETA-If you can have it done on a Friday, it will give him time to reteach his mouth to form words. It takes a couple of days to figure out how to talk again and how to deal with the spit.


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