JN_Woods wrote:I have both quad and bi helix expanders right now. They haven't really caused me any problems with speaking or eating. Some people complain that it takes weeks to be able to speak properly and eat solid foods, but I was okay within a couple of days. I eat steak without any problems (with the exception of the few days following adjustments). To expand my upper quad helix, the ortho uses like a set of pliers to tighten it, but it doesn't hurt- I just feel the slightest bit of pressure. To expand my lower bi helix expander, they had to remove it and then put it back in. That was a little uncomfortable.
I have no clue about the RPE, but if you look in the braces stories forum or do a search I'm sure you can find a lot of info.
Click on WWW below to read my story and see my pics if you're interested.
I hope that helps you! Good luck with your braces journey.
A bihelix has 2 loops and a quadhelix has 4 loops. I have pics of both of my expanders in my braces journal. They are pretty much like an unfolded/rebent paper clip.
The spacers were by far much worse than the expanders have been.
I *thought* having an RPE placed in an adult required surgery? Am I wrong? I didn't have to have surgery to have my expanders.
You might want to wait until after your special event. Some people have trouble adjusting. I think I adjusted better than most do. Some have saliva issues. You might not be able to eat anything. After adjustments (and expander installation) I couldn't eat anything really crunchy or solid for maybe a week. I always take advil and that keeps most of the pain away.
I have adjustments about every 6 weeks. They have adjusted my upper expander twice and my lower once (which was annoying because they took it off and had to put it back in. They put my upper brackets on one week, then I went back in the next week for the archwire and both of my expanders. I just had my lower braces put on 3 days ago. I should have my expanders about 6 months, so not too much longer to go, but they don't bug me too much. Food gets caught sometimes, so you have to have a little dental pick or one of those small brushes (proxi?). I recommend the DentaKit if you don't have one already. You definitely need to brush after all meals and snacks.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!
pruettmj wrote:I can't speak from personal experience, and I'm sure it's varies from person to person and for different ages, but I can tell you my 8 year old daughter's experience with the RPE so far.
She had it put in about 2 1/2 weeks ago. We turn the top (RPE) 1x per day and the bottom (Schwarz) 1x every other day. It's quite easy to do the turns; you have a wire key attached to a plastic handle. You just poke the wire in the hole and rotate toward the back of the mouth.
Until just 2 days ago, she had no pain at all, then just a bit on the bottom recently (I'm sure her age is a plus). 1 Advil took care of that.
She is supposed to go in every 4 weeks; not sure how long we continue to turn. I'll have to ask when she goes in next week.
The first few hours she had difficulty dealing with her saliva, but got that under control quickly. Her speech was quite noticeable the 1st day, but now most people wouldn't even know she has orthodontics.
Sorry this is so long! I hope it helps!
I'm not really sure of the reason why the quad goes on the uppers, bi on the lowers, but I've seen other people's pics on here and they have the same expanders. My bottom expander comes right up behind my lower teeth, while my upper expander is maybe half an inch back. I think they have a much wider area to begin with on the upper arch.
I sometimes get slipped up with my speech, like if I'm talking too fast. Sometimes words that end in -ds (like words, birds, etc) like -dtch (wordtch), but when I'm aware of what I'm doing I say them slowly and they sound normal (maybe a tad bit slow though).
They said my lower jaw was shorter than it should be but didn't recommend the surgery. Why did you decide against it? Find out how effective braces and expanders alone will be and approximately how much overjet will remain. How much improvement would you be happy with? They were kinda vague with my overall outcome due to my short lower jaw, but even if I have an overbite and overjet I'll be happy because my teeth will look so much better.
You could also post a question in the ask the doctor forum and see what they have to say about non-surgery and what your complications (overjet, etc.) are and how effective RPE or quadhelix would be.
Were you going to have both upper and lower expanders or just upper?
pruettmj wrote:SSFW -
It probably would be a bit awkward to turn the key yourself on the upper one because you'd really have to tilt your head back to see it in the mirror.
Maybe you could use a mirror laying on the counter; that might be easier.
My daughter's upper expander is not visible unless she tilts her head back. It's banded only on back teeth, and the wire parts are behind her teeth. It's all pretty well hidden.