Archive for November 2017



A Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is an early orthodontic treatment used to correct a cross-bite, and are the most common orthodontic appliance used to expand the palate of young children.  Dr. Glenn typically recommends an RPE for a child with a posterior cross-bite around 5-6 years old, depending on how the child will handle treatment.  Most patients feel pressure on their teeth throughout treatment, however experiences may vary.

The RPE is placed on the palate with 2 rings around each molar.  There is a key used to turn the expander twice a day for two weeks; each turn expanding the palate in small increments.   During treatment, some children start to see a gap between their front teeth; this is a positive sign.  A typical cross-bite will be corrected by the RPE within 3-6 months of use.

Primary Teeth Development Chart
Upper Teeth When tooth emerges When tooth falls out
Central incisor 8 to 12 months 6 to 7 years
Lateral incisor 9 to 13 months 7 to 8 years
Canine (cuspid) 16 to 22 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 13 to 19 months 9 to 11 years
Second molar 25 to 33 months 10 to 12 years
     
Lower Teeth    
Second molar 23 to 31 months 10 to 12 years
First molar 14 to 18 months 9 to 11 years
Canine (cuspid) 17 to 23 months 9 to 12 years
Lateral incisor 10 to 16 months 7 to 8 years
Central incisor 6 to 10 months 6 to 7 years

                                                                                                                            An overview of children's teeth

Other primary tooth eruption facts:

  • A general rule of thumb is that for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.
  • Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption.
  • Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth.
  • Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs -- one on the right and one on the left.
  • Primary teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow.
  • By the time a child is 2 to 3 years of age, all primary teeth should have erupted.

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