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Expanding the upper jaw with a Quad Helix

March 09, 2018


Occasionally, we as orthodontists find patients with a narrow upper jaw.  This causes the relationship of the upper and lower teeth to be out of sync, leading to potential problems with the jaw joints and how you bite.  Constant chewing and eating with a crossbite can lead to excess wear of the teeth and even pain in the jaw down the road.  That is why we always recommend crossbites to be corrected as soon as they are detected.

One appliance used to correct crossbites is pictured in this article.  It is called the "Quad Helix", named for the four springs composing it's design.  These springs allow the appliance to be flexible enough to gently expand the upper jaw and teeth over time.  Typically we recommend this appliance to function over the course of 8 months.  This amount of time allows any expansion we achieve to remain stable and not relapse back to a crossbite.  Since the appliance is cemented to the teeth and is meant to remain on the teeth for the entire duration of this 8 month treatment, we recommend patients avoid foods that can break or dislodge the appliance such as sticky and chewy taffies, gum, and candies and hard foods like raw carrots, apples, and ice.  We also recommend patients keep the roof of the mouth and the teeth around the appliance clean with the supplies we provide when starting this orthodontic treatment.