Schwarz Palatal Expander

What is the Schwarz Appliance?


schwarz expander appliance

Upper Schwarz Appliance


The Schwarz appliance is a removable palatal expander. The Schwarz can be designed in 100s of different ways depending on the size and shape of the existing jaw structure. The Schwarz looks like a retainer and can expand the expand the jaws in all three dimensions including forward growth. The Schwarz aligns the teeth as it expands the jaws it naturally creates more room for crowded teeth. The appliance is sometimes inaccurately called the Schwartz appliance.


Our most popular expansion protocol for kids:

  1. Schwarz expander to be worn at night for 6-9 months
  2. Diagnosis of any tongue, lip and buccal ties
  3. Myofunctional therapy assessment
  4. Release of any tongue, lip and buccal ties
  5. Invisalign or braces if need be (not always necessary)


Schwarz expander can correct mouth breathing and sleep apnea


The Schwarz corrects mouth breathing in kids when combined with tongue and lip tie release and myofunctional therapy. More space in the mouth helps teeth fit better and be less crooked. The Schwarz stimulates the jaws and face to grow wider, taller and more forward. If properly designed and used, the Schwarz results in more space for a straight smile, balanced bite and proper nose breathing. More 3D space in the mouth and nasal passageways is what corrects breathing patterns and promotes nose breathing.

Poor posture is linked to mouth breathing and airway obstruction.


Schwarz for cross bite, over bite and deep bites


The Schwarz is a very versatile device. It can be used to correct deep bite, open bite, cross bite, reverse jaw position and mouth breathing. The appliance can be designed in thousands of different ways. Schwarz treatment usually lasts 6-12 months.


What Does the Schwarz Device Look Like?


The Schwarz looks like a bit like a retainer, and an expander combined. It is very comfortable and it does not hurt unless expanded too often or not worn enough. The Schwarz needs to be worn during sleep for 8-10 hours per day. The patient will need to come in for dental appointments every 2 months.


Correct Mouth Breathing with Palate Expanders Video


YouTube video


Contact Dr. Adams for a Consultation and 3D Xray


Nose Breathing is improved by the Schwarz Expander


The palate bone (maxilla) forms the base of the nose. During palatal expansion, the diameter of the nasal passageways get larger. Nasal stuffiness and mouth beathing can be eliminated with the Schwarz in addition to other expanders. But the Schwarz is especially effective at improving nasal airway. If the nasal airway is improved, people no longer need to breathe through the mouth. Nose breathing compared to mouth breathing


How to Use a Schwarz Orthodontic Appliance


The Schwarz is only worn at night and is taken out during the day. It is not worn while eating. Oral hygiene is very easy since the appliance is removable. The treatment does not hurt because expansion pressure is very light compared to braces and conventional orthodontics. As long as the appliance is worn every night, designed properly and adjusted as advised, the treatment will go as planned. There are no required exercises or homework. If the appliance is worn, it usually expands the jaws.


What is our Schwarz Therapy About?


Dr Gary Adams and Dr Viet Le welcome you to our practice. If you are looking for information about the Schwarz appliance therapy, you have found the right place. Many of our patients are children who have crowded teeth, tied tongues, and mouth breathing problems. Some also have posture and sleep disordered breathing issues. We integrate orthodontic expanders (such as Schwarz), chiropractic services, breathing exercises and myofunctional or tongue correction therapy. Our therapy helps our patients have a straighter smile, sleep better and live a pain-free and healthier life. We are located in Vienna Virginia near Tysons Corner and just outside of Washington DC.


Goals of Schwarz Appliance Treatment:


  • Improve facial growth and profile
  • Improve smile
  • Optimize tongue function
  • Establish healthy breathing patterns
  • Create a good bite
  • Balance upper and lower jaw relationships
  • Establish healthy posture


Why Do Teeth Get Crooked?


Teeth become crooked because of poor tongue function, unhealthy mouth breathing patterns and a diet consisting of foods that are too soft. This is why kids mouths and faces do not grow large enough for all their teeth to fit and bite properly. If tongue and breathing problems are not corrected, your child will fall behind again in their development 1-2 years after appliance therapy. That is right, the teeth will get crowded and crooked all over again, if the root cause of developmental problems are not corrected. Kids continue to grow till at least the age of 19.


What Causes Small Jaws and Faces?


Poor tongue movement is the root cause of underdevelopment of the face. Tongue pressure naturally expands the mouth and lower part of the face. Tongue ties cause diminished range of motion of the tongue. The tongue does not move out far enough and cannot reach the palate easily. Tied tongues often get pointy and curl down when extended out of the mouth. There is a sequential cause and effect relationship in the following order:


  1. Tongue Tie
  2. Poor Tongue Function
  3. Under Development of the Palate and Nasal Passageways
  4. Poor Nasal Breathing
  5. Mouth Breathing


How to Correct Tongue Ties


Tongues can be untied with a soft tissue laser.  It is very quick, mostly painless and there is not bleeding. The dentist needs to verify the tongue is functioning correctly at the time of the procedure. Untying the tongue alone is not enough. The procedure is called a “functional tongue untie.” What caused tongue tie?


What is Myofunctional Therapy


Myofunctional therapy is basically tongue physical therapy. Tongue exercises to achieve healthy movements. If tongue therapy and exercises are done with a functional untie procedure, tongue reattachment is less than 20%. Without myofunctional therapy, tongue reattachment is closer to 80%.


How to Correct Mouth Breathing Patterns


  1. Remove all Tongue Ties
  2. Myofunctional Therapy
  3. Orthodontic Expanders to correct jaw and facial under growth
  4. Breathing Exercises to restore proper nasal breathing patterns
  5. Posture Therapy with a chiropractor or qualified PT


The Lower Schwarz Device


lower schwarz appliance

Lower Schwarz Device


The lower Schwarz device stimulates the lower jaw to grow wider.  The mandible can also grow forward or anteriorly. Mandibular anterior growth is also called mandibular repositioning. Mandibular repositioning is done by adjusting the bite area on the upper appliance to a more forward position. This is also how the jaws grow naturally when things are growing normally.


Schwarz is our Favorite Kids Expander


The Schwarz is our most popular expansion appliance for children. Dr. Adams likes the Schwarz because it is very versatile and effective in a wide variety of different orthodontic cases. The Schwartz is 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.


Expanders We use for Children

  1. ALF appliance
  2. Myobrace
  3. Twin Block
  4. Crozat
  5. Healthy Start


What is An Expander Anyway?


We prefer the use of the term “growth appliances.”  They are small retainer-like devices that promote growth of the jaws. The goal is to grow the jaws into a more optimal size and shape. Growth appliances work by applying a light force in the direction the jaws need to grow. They are not mechanical devices and do not cause pain. The appliance mimics tongue pressure and encourages proper tongue position. Appliance therapy is synergistic with swallowing and tongue movement.


How Long is Schwarz Appliance Therapy?


Most kids only need to wear the appliances at night for 6-9 months during treatment. The appliances are usually not worn during the day or while eating. The patient is usually seen in the office every 5-7 weeks. During the office visits we will evaluate the growth, adjust the appliances and verify patient compliance. Treatment is usually performed between the ages of 5 and14 years of age.

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