Kristin Cavallari's "Spaghetti Catcher" - First Step To A Winning Smile - Mirelez Wellness Dental - Dr. Art Mirelez | Mirelez Wellness Dental – Dr. Art Mirelez

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Kristin Cavallari’s “Spaghetti Catcher” – First Step To A Winning Smile

Kristin Cavallari’s flawless smile has been featured on TV, film and magazine covers. But the 25-year-old actress and reality-show personality didn’t always have a perfect set of teeth. In fact, she told Dear Doctormagazine — where readers recently voted to crown her with the “Smile of the Year” award — that her dental treatments began the same way many do: with orthodontics in sixth grade.

“I had the ‘spaghetti catcher,’ which is what everyone used to call it,” she reminisced. But by that, she didn’t mean a strainer — she’s talking about what dentists call a “palatal expander.”

In case you’re not familiar with this orthodontic device, a palatal expander takes advantage of the natural growth patterns of a child’s upper jaw to create additional space for the top set of teeth. How does it work? Basically, it’s similar to braces: By applying gentle pressure, the appliance creates changes in the jaw. Unlike braces, however, it’s invisible — it fits between the upper teeth, close to the roof of the mouth.

During the three to six months a child wears the palatal expander, it pushes the left and right halves of the upper jawbone apart, and then maintains and stabilizes the new, wider spacing. Since the palatal bones don’t fuse until after puberty, tightening it a little bit each day for the first few weeks provides a quick and painless method of making the upper jaw a bit roomier. And that can be a very good thing. Why?

There are lots of reasons. For one, it can relieve the condition called “crowding,” when there is not enough space in the upper jaw to accommodate the proper alignment of the permanent teeth. In the past, teeth often had to be extracted in that situation. It may even allow “impacted” teeth — ones which are blocked from erupting by other teeth — to come in normally.

It can help treat a “crossbite,” when the back top teeth come down to bite inside (instead of outside) the lower back teeth. It also generally shortens the total time a child needs for orthodontic treatment. That’s good news for any teenager — even if their own day-to-day “reality show” isn’t featured on TV!

If you would like more information about palatal expanders, please contact us for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Palatal Expanders” and “Early Orthodontic Evaluation.”

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Mirelez Wellness Dental
Jose Arthur Mirelez, Jr., DDS, FICOI, FAGD
5492 N Palm Ave Ste B
Fresno, CA 93704
Call: 559-435-3113559-761-1871
Fax: 559-435-5785
Testimonials
  • Unusual situation, needed repairs to an implant. Dr. Miralez and the whole staff went out of their way to be sure to address some issues which could have been dangerous if left untreated. This practice always endeavors to provide the best for their patients.
    —Charles T.
  • My experience was great. They were very nice and gentle and they would also let you watch T.V. while they work on you. Also, they would always greet you with a smile.
    —Adrien P.
  • I am completely happy with my experience. Even though I have moved to Carmel, I continue to drive to Fresno because of the friendly staff and excellent service.
    —Kim B.
  • A friendly and enjoyable experience. This office is the best. They strive to provide something beyond ordinary and elevate it all to extraordinary.
    —Jesse T.
  • I refer everyone I meet who is looking for a dentist. Great staff and always so courteous. I appreciate all that you do.
    —Madeline M.
  • It was very refreshing to have the treatment explained along with a comprehensive estimate provided.
    —Grady M.

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