|palate expanders for a wider smile?|
I'm not a dentist or orthodontist, just a scientist reading the scientific literature, but this is my opinion. In the studies I read, palate expanders achieved an average increase in jaw width of only 1mm, which I would think is way too small to make a visible difference in the width of a smile. Palate expanders also act on the molars, not the front teeth that are visible in a smile.
A wider appearing smile was not a benefit mentioned in any of the studies I found on palate expanders either, which indicates to me that it isn't something generally achieved by this method.
It seems that cosmetic dentists that want to create wider smiles generally use veneers to make the teeth themselves appear wider. But that's not something a 12 year old should have done.
A 12 year old's face will still grow on it's own, especially a boy's face. If someone is trying to sell you a palate expander for a wider smile I think you would be better off saving your money. Remember-the experts couldn't tell the difference between kids who had expanders and those who didn't when treatment was finished.