2711 N. Duke Street   Durham, NC 27704


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Duke Oral Health

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DSPD Safety Protocol

Quad Helix Appliance


The purpose of the quad helix (QH) is to stimulate the upper teeth and jaw to grow wider. This creates more room for the permanent teeth and shapes the upper dental arch to more closely match the patient's lower dental arch.


What is the initial adjustment time?

The device is not removable and you will not need to adjust it. Since it fits behind the teeth, it is not very visible. Most patients require between 3 and 5 days to become accustomed to the QH device. After these days of initial adjustment, most patients forget that the appliance is in their mouth. As well, the first 3 to 5 days of wear usually result in some alteration in speech. If the patient will speak slowly, speech will become normal within 3 to 5 days. Although the QH works slowly and gently, some discomfort is to be expected. Ibuprofen (Advil), Tylenol or similar analgesics will be all that is necessary. It is an excellent idea to take the proper dose of medication before discomfort starts. Another point of information is that many patients have the habit of pressing their tongue against the QH wire. This will create a groove in the tongue. Although this is not harmful, it may make the tongue sore.


What is the care of a Quad Helix?

Patients must not play with the wire or pick at it. Hard or sticky candy such as Gummy Bears, Skittles, or Star Burst will bend the wire resulting in discomfort and added expense. Carrots, apples, steak, pizza, or similar foods, should be cut into small pieces before being chewed. Teeth should be brushed and flossed in the usual manner.