Palate or maxillary expander is a device used to widen the upper jaw. It helps to widen the dental arch and creates space for the teeth to grow properly. There are many types of palate or maxillary expanders and Orthodontists chooses the right one depending on the reason for using the expander, age of the patient and the shape of the jaw.
Some people may experience pain or discomfort due to palatal expanders, especially while eating and speaking. Expanders are used for the purpose of upper jaw expansion and the treatment takes time. You may encounter certain problems such as problems while eating, soreness and headaches, noticeable lisp and drooling. Here are some tips to ease the discomfort and make living with the expander easier.
Tendency to Drool
Excessive drooling is the first problem patients encounter when they fitted with a maxillary expander. However, the problem disappears after the initial two to three weeks. If the problem of drooling continuous even after the initial weeks, you may have to consult an orthodontist to get an adjustment to the expander. You may continue to drool when you are asleep as the jaw becomes during sleep.
Dealing with Eating Problems
In the initial days, you may have difficulty eating with the palatal expanders placed inside your mouth. The orthodontist may suggest a liquid diet of soup and jello in the initial week. Once your mouth gets adjusted to the new way of chewing, you can start taking soft solids and then proceed to having normal food. You can use the back teeth for chewing and regular food. If you find it hard to swallow, cut the food into small bite sized pieces and enjoy your meal.
Tips to Conquer the Lisp
Almost all the patients who use an expander face the problem of lisp. They are unable to pronounce certain words clearly as the tongue placement is altered due to the expander. Most of the patients can conquer the lisp as the mouth gets used to the expander. You can practice some speech exercises recommended by your orthodontist to perfect your speech with the expander.
Dealing with Pain
The palatal expander is a device that is used to move bone in the jaw. It causes pain and swelling as it moves the bones. You can use pain medications to deal with the pain. If there is swelling using hot compress helps to overcome the discomfort.
The jaw expansion treatment using palatal expanders can take anywhere between a few months to several years. Follow these tips to make life with expander easier. It is recommended to consult your orthodontist if you experience severe pain or bleeding anytime.