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Please someone help!! Quad Helix cutting tongue!!!

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:31 am
by kailynsmom
My child got the quad helix and headgear on May 7th due to her underbite. She is a TONGUE sucker. She started that way back during breastfeeding. We have gotten her to stop during the day, but we can't get her to stop at night. When she got the quad helix, of course at night when she wore the headgear and sucked her tongue, it cut into her tongue very badly. The orthodontist decided to take it off for two weeks in order to give her some relief and to get her tongue to heal. He swears there is nothing that we can put on it to keep it from cutting into her. We had it put back on last Thursday and it's even worse now. We have discontinued the headgear for two weeks hoping that it will give her time to get used to one thing at a time. Mind you, she did not eat the entire two weeks it was in the first time and now we are going on day 6 that she hasn't eaten this time. She says that she can't swallow. That along with the tongue being cut into, is getting to be more than I can handle. She cries all the time. I know that she is in pain, but I don't know how to stop her from doing something that she doesn't realize that she is doing. I'm sorry if I am rambling...but I am at my wits end. Can anyone give me any advice? The ortho says he has never had to stop this treatment...not so sure that I believe that. HELP!!

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:57 am
by trillium

Hi, here's a link to a post asking a similar question- hope it helps.

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:03 pm
by kailynsmom
It doesn't because there is nothing really to attach wax or a bandaid too. It's just a metal wire. Thanks for the help. I had read that earlier before I posted and was dissappointed that it couldn't work for her. If you have any other ideas, please throw them at me!!!

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:33 pm
by ohmyjaw
Is the purpose of the device to expand her upper jaw? When I was a kid, I had an expander that was removable. It was plastic, and kind of bulky, but had nothing sharp or metal except for the little hooks that attach it to the molars. I was allowed to remove it for eating. It looks a bit like a Hawley retainer, but with an expansion screw in the middle.

This was about 20 years ago, and I don't know if anybody uses this device anymore, but if nothing else works, you may want to ask your ortho if he's heard of it.

In terms of her eating, have you tried anything like smoothies or milkshakes? Or something else that doesn't need chewing and is easy to swallow, like applesauce, maybe?

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:08 am
by kailynsmom
Thanks for your response. She is living off of Nutripals Pediasure type stuff. She will eat some soup and mashed potatos, but that was the first go round. This time, she will not eat anything. I asked the ortho about any other options and he tells me that there are none. I am seriously considering having it taken out on Thursday until she is a little older or until we can find an ortho who will listen and find another alternative. The appliance that you are talking about would be great!! I would love to find someone that would do something like that. Thanks again for your help. I will definetly keep this in mind when we go on Thursday.

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:38 pm
by ohmyjaw
Here is a website with a picture of it (not very big, but the best I could find). If you scroll down to where it says "Palatal Expansion - Removable" you will see it.

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:10 pm
by bbsadmin
Would it be possible for the orthodontist to put the wire into some sort of plastic sleeve? They can do that for parts of the arch wire, so they may be able to do it for an expander.

How old is your daughter? I know that they like to do expansion when kids are young so that the growing jaw will be able to accommodate the adult teeth. But if there's nothing that can be done to either stop your daughter from sucking her tongue, or make the wire more comfortable so it won't cut her, you may want to stop the orthodontic treatment until she's older and can stop her tongue sucking habit. I say this as a mother. If it were my child, I would rather that she be able to eat and not be in constant pain.

She can still get her palate expanded when she's a little bit older. It might not be an ideal age, but it would probably be OK. The palate doesn't fuse until a person is around 18 to 20 years old. So she could start her treatment again when she's past this habit. She might wind up being in braces longer, but at least it wouldn't be the torture she is enduring now.

In the mean time, get yourself some Rincinol PRN mouth rinse. You can find it at most drugstores. It creates a healing shield for mouth sores and will probably work on the tongue, as well.


Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 5:19 am
by kailynsmom
Thanks so much ohmyjaw and bbsadmin! I am going to see about the removable one once we get back from vacation and see a different ortho. I will definately check out the rinse, too. As for the plastic sleeve, I just don't think that our ortho is willing to try anything else. I, too, am starting to feel that she is too young. She is just not emotionally ready, either. We are going to have it removed Thursday when she gets home from camp. I just can't handle her being in this much pain!! Thanks so much to everyone.