While many people, kids included, wonder just what is a jaw expander is, one girl in San Antonio, Texas became intimately familiar with them, to her great joy, as the orthodontic aid brought an end to years of sleeping and breathing problems.
Little Isabella Salazar has been dealing with a number of health issues since her birth, as she was born 24 weeks premature. Janelle Morales, her mother, stated that the kid has always had trouble sleeping, and also snored a lot for her age. These issues hampered her sleep, resulting in Isabella getting less sleep than she should, which has affected her studies. On top of that, her breathing issues resulted in the kid getting bullied in school.
Salazar’s pediatrician reported that Isabella’s weight was the cause of her problems.
Isabelle says that her friends told her that she breathed heavy a lot, and it made her a bit sad, as it felt kind of mean to be told such things.
The family accepted their pediatrician’s diagnosis for years, until Isabella’s teeth began crowding, wherein they decided to head for Stone Oak Orthodontics, to get a diagnosis, and, if necessary, get braces. The doctor there, Dr. Tito Norris, the orthodontist on site, did a 15-minute examination and immediately found the issue; enlarged tonsils.
According to Dr. Norris, it was easy to determine what the problem was, as it was clear even with just the initial examination. The issue with the airways was easy to find, as orthodontists at Stone Oak like him don’t just check the teeth, they look at the whole mouth, and even the throat.
Following the initial diagnosis, Salazar got a CT scan, and was sent to other doctors who made additional examinations. According to her, however, the biggest change was when she got the answer to “What is a jaw expander”, when Dr. Norris outfitted her with a micro-implant assisted rapid palatal expander (MARPE), a device which slowly widened her upper jaw to create more space inside her mouth. Notably, Stone Oak is the only office in San Antonio that offers this particular procedure.
Norris explains that the MARPE is fairly new technology that acts on the skeleton, opening the airway of patients more than tooth-borne expanders. He adds that the MARPE takes about six weeks to provide desired results.
As for Isabella, her mother reports that the girl has slept better, doesn’t snore as loud, or have episodes at night where she’s having trouble breathing. The little girl says that it’s given her more energy to play and be a kid.