How to Eat With an Expander

October 29, 2019
J. Courtney Gorman, DDS, MS

Your child or teen is finally ready to start their foray into the world of orthodontics. You meet with your care team at Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics and collaborate on a treatment plan, starting with a palate expander. Once your child comes home with their shiny new expander, though, you might be wondering: how do you eat with an expander?

Many children and young adults start their pediatric orthodontic treatment with palate expanders — a very common tool that applies gentle pressure on the roof of the mouth and upper jaw in order to prevent, reduce, or correct the severity of jaw and teeth problems. Since palate expanders are designed to capitalize on changes in the early development of the teeth and jaw, they work best at a young age.

How to Eat With an Expander

That being said, it’s important to instruct your child on how to properly eat with an expander to avoid damaging their mouths or the appliance. Here are a few tips to consider:

Commit to a Healthy, Balanced Diet

The best rule of thumb for your child is to eat healthy foods everyday. Encourage lots of fruits and vegetables along with meat, healthy whole grains, and dairy. These foods will be the easiest for your child to eat with an expander and most beneficial to their growing bodies.

Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods

Chewy or sticky candy like chewing gum, taffy, licorice, and caramels should be avoided. Hard and crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, and ice are also not recommended with a palate expander. Instead, opt for softer snacks and try satisfying your child’s sweet tooth with fruit or softer desserts like ice cream.


What to Expect at Your First Pediatric Orthodontic Visit


Be Mindful About Food Size

While healthy foods are always encouraged, even foods like apples, celery, and carrots could pose a problem to your child’s expander if not eaten properly. Cut crunchy fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces before offering them to your child.

Keep in mind that choosing the right foods to eat with an expander is important, but it’s also critical to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine. Food and other debris can easily get trapped in your child’s palate expander, so encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day and floss daily in order to avoid cavities and tooth decay. Drinking plenty of fluids with meals and snacks, and swishing with water after eating will also help remove any food that may have gotten stuck.

. . .
As always, never hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist at Gorman & Bunch Orthodontics with any questions related to your or your child’s orthodontic treatment. Our mission is to create orthodontic treatments that fit the unique lifestyle and needs of your family.

 

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • review rating 5  Cannot say enough good things about this practice! I've been to Westfield and Carmel locations, both are beautiful with helpful and friendly staff. Dr Bunch is experienced, knowledgeable, and truly cares about his patients and strives to get the best results possible for each one!

    thumb Karen Caudle
    3/06/2018
  • review rating 5  Excellent every time we’ve brought our kids. Thorough evaluations, knowledgeable doctors/staff, great with kids, and great results

    thumb Stephanie
    2/21/2018
  • review rating 5  This 64 year old had teeth that had begun to overlap in my adult years, which was attributed to having 4 good teeth removed as a child for "Crowded teeth". I waited to fund Invisalign until incurring no penalty for taking IRA funds, other than taxes. I was fortunate to be referred to Dr. Jason Bunch by my dentist, Dr. Jack Nicewander. Dr. Bunch and his Carmel, IN office staff see numerous children and young adults, but welcome the young at heart as well. I trust them and find them accommodating, efficient, professional and compassionate.

    thumb Joyce Eggleston
    3/22/2018
  • review rating 5  Amazing experience they all made my daughter and I feel very comfortable, all the ladies were extremely nice. Very well informed. Wouldn't go anywhere else!

    thumb Erica Wood
    10/02/2017
  • review rating 5  Love this office! Helpful, professional, and knowledgeable doctor and staff. Haven’t had 1 issue with them. They’ve got their routine down pat.

    thumb Courtney Amos
    3/21/2018
  • review rating 5  Heather and Dr Carly were awesome! Friendly, informative, and professional. Office was very inviting. We had a great appointment and look forward to the next couple of years of working with them.

    thumb Andy Tebbe
    9/27/2017
  • review rating 5  Fantastic staff who put the person (and their teeth!) at the center of the experience. Child-friendly waiting areas. I've had nothing but good experiences over my nearly 10 years with Gorman and Bunch. Cannot recommend highly enough!

    thumb Pete Freeman
    3/21/2018
  • review rating 5  Personal and professional, everyone always takes great care of my sensitive mouth teen! This is our first experience with needing orthodontia, when it’s time for my youngest to get braces, we’ll choose this place again in a heartbeat. From the team up front to the team in the back, everyone is so nice and yet so efficiently on task, it is quite impressive. They have reasonable pricing and are willing to help with a payment plan. Keep up the great work!!

    thumb Robert Cassidy
    1/10/2018
  • review rating 5  Amazing office! My daughter was home from college and had an orthodontic emergency. She was not a previous patient. Dr Moran was kind enough to see her. The entire staff was amazing. I would never go anywhere else!

    thumb Sharon Hoover
    10/18/2017
  • review rating 5  Very great place! Went there for my first time today and i felt so comfortable and they are helping me fix my mouth!! Love love love!

    thumb Haley Elston
    2/21/2018

timmy