Concord Palatal Expander and Space Maintainers

Happy smiles start at a young age

Expanders and space maintainers help create future smiles!

Space Maintainers

Did you know that baby teeth play a major role in your child’s future smile? They don’t only help your kid eat and speak while their adult teeth come in, but they also act as nature’s “space maintainers”, saving room for permanent teeth that will eventually erupt in their place.

However, sometimes children can lose their baby teeth too soon, which can make a permanent tooth shift into the space of another. If this issue is not addressed promptly, it can cause crowded or crooked teeth, which can lead to bite problems.

That’s what space maintainers are for. A space maintainer is a small device — either fixed or removable — made of metal or plastic, designed to save room for the adult tooth that will fill it someday.


Expanders, on the other hand, are needed when the upper arch (palate) is too narrow in comparison to the lower arch, which causes biting problems and leads to crowding in the future.

These metal appliances work by gently stretching midpalatal suture and pressuring the palate plates outwards, expanding it to its ideal size. Once this is achieved, the expander needs to be worn for several months, typically 4.

Some benefits of expanders are:

  • Prevents crowding, creating more room for future teeth
  • Help treat and prevent cross-bite (biting problems)
  • In some cases, they can help erupt impacted teeth that are blocked by other teeth
  • Improved breathing and a broader, more beautiful smile

Start now with a free initial consultation — no referral needed!

doctor luba richter
“One of the things that I like the most about working with kids is that what we do now makes a huge difference for them in the future. I love knowing that we are creating beautiful, healthy smiles that will last for many years!”

Dr. Luba Richter

Frequently Asked Questions

How do expanders work?

Your child’s expander will be tailor-made to their mouth. It will basically consist of 2 parts connected by a screw. You will need to turn the screw once or twice a day — don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds — which causes the appliance to gradually expand. Once the desired expansion is reached, your child will need to use the appliance for about 4 months.

Do expanders hurt?

Your child may feel some pressure right after you turn the screw. In general, children experience some minor temporary discomfort that doesn’t require the use of pain relievers. Usually, our patients get used to expanders quickly, and they can eat and talk normally.

Do space maintainers hurt?

Because space maintainers are “passive” devices, they don’t generate pressure and they usually don’t cause any discomfort to patients.

How do I care for my expanders/space maintainers?

To keep the appliance in perfect condition, your child must avoid sticky and hard foods (like ice and nuts). Dr. Richter and our experienced clinical staff will talk to you about the recommendations you must follow and answer all your questions!

Illustration by Adsurd.Design

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Our Office

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155 Pleasant St, Concord, NH 03301
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Monday: 8:30AM–4:30PM
Tuesday: 8:30AM–4:30PM
Wednesday: 10AM–4PM
Thursday: 8:30AM–4:30PM
Friday - Sunday: Closed

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Discover the difference Luba Richter Orthodontics can make in your life. Welcoming patients ages 6 to 100+!

1. Book your free initial consult and meet with an orthodontist

2. Work together to start your smile journey

3. See your smile — and your life — change for the better