What is the Schwarz Expander Appliance?
The Schwarz appliance is a removable maxillary expansion appliance for kids. The appliance stimulates the jaws and spaces in the mouth to grow to be the proper size and space. The end result of Schwarz therapy is more space for teeth to fit straight and the tongue to function normally. The 3-way Schwarz pictured below grows the upper jaw to be wider and more forward. The Schwarz pictured also has a biting surface called a “bite plane.” The bite plane is adjusted to get the correct forward resting position of the lower jaw. The upper Schwarz is usually paired with a lower device as well.
Schwarz is Dr. Adams’ Favorite Appliance for Kids
Dr. Adams, a founder of holistic orthodontics, has been doing expansion therapy for kids and TMJ treatments for adults for nearly 20 years. The Schwarz is his favorite expansion appliance for kids. Dr. Adams likes the Schwarz because it is very versatile and effective in a wide variety of different expansion cases. Schwartz expanders are also very easy to tolerate because it only needs to be worn at night and it is removable. Unlike braces and other fixed expanders, the appliance does not get in the way of daily activities and is not worn during meal time. The appliance does not hurt when being adjusted because it is a very low pressure therapy.
The lower device stimulates the lower jaw to grow wider. Additional features can be introduced to get intra-lower-jaw forward growth, but mandibular repositioning is usually better done by adjusting the bite plane to a more forward position.
There are many different kinds of expanders for kids and the Schwarz is just one of them. Other popular appliances we use include the ALF Appliance, Myobrace, Twin Block, Crozat and Healthy Start. Myobrace and Healthy Start are examples of non-specific growth appliances.
How Long does Schwarz Appliance Therapy Take?
Expansion therapy and treatment with the Schwartz usually lasts 6-12 months. The patient is usually seen in the office every 5-6 weeks where expansion is verified and adjustments are made to the appliance. Treatment us usually done between the ages of 5 and13 years old. It is usually better to start the appliance therapy at a younger age (usually before 10 years old).
Whenever possible use growth appliances to create room for the tongue and all the teeth to fit in the mouth. It is never advisable to remove teeth for braces and to straighten teeth. The Vivos DNA appliance is a Schwarz-like device that can be used for adults who have crowded teeth, TMJ and/or sleep apnea.
Palatal Expander Appliance Options for Kids Video
Why Palatal Expansion and Anterior Growth is Important?
The entire point of expansion therapy and holistic orthodontics is to promote proper growth and development of the jaws and face. And of course to get straight and healthy teeth and smile. The symptom is crooked and crowded teeth. Additionally, we usually find signs such as mouth breathing, sleep problems and pediatric sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing. Poor nasal breathing and teeth clenching are sometimes noted as well. The underlying root cause of this medical problem is tongue and other soft tissue dysfunction and mouth breathing. If the problem is corrected as well as the cause of the problems we are using a holistic and functional approach to dental care. This is why we need to not only complete expansion therapy by also eliminate tongue ties, tongue thrust and mouth breathing issue.
How Dental Appliances Promotes Jaw and Facial Bone Growth Video