Treatments > Quad-Helix Appliance

A Quad-Helix is a fixed orthodontic appliance used to expand the upper arch and provide adequate space to later straighten teeth. The appliance is cemented to the molars and it has four active springs that widen the arch.


Some discomfort and soreness is normal and usually last a few days. This soreness is easily controlled with Panadol. You may feel some pressure as the appliance is activated and possibly, some tenderness in your back teeth. You may notice a change in your speech for a little while, once your tongue adapts to the change you will be speaking normally again.
A mark on the tongue where it rests against the wire is normal and will disappear soon after the Quad Helix is removed. Sometimes this mark can become ulcerated in which case warm salty mouth washes three times a day will help healing. A space may open between your upper front teeth, if it does, don’t worry it is a sign that the quad helix is working and it will eventually close again.
It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regime. Brush well three times a day after meals and use a fluoride toothpaste. If possible carry a toothbrush with you for use after lunch; 
  • Floss and brush your teeth and gums;
  • Using your toothbrush, gently brush the appliance taking care not to damage or bend the wires;
  • If you don’t have your toothbrush with you, rinse your mouth with water after eating to get rid of any food left in your mouth and around the appliance. 
Regular appointments are required for Dr Coveney to check your progress and make adjustments to the appliance. Appointments are usually every six to eight weeks (unless Dr Coveney specifies otherwise).
For your orthodontic treatment to work well and in the shortest possible time it is important you take care of your teeth and the appliance. Certain foods can loosen or bend your appliance and cause decay of your teeth.
To prevent damaging your appliance and teeth, you should avoid the following;
  • Sticky, chewy, hard and sugary foods like toffees and caramels, Minties, chewing gum. Hard biscuits & crackers like Savoy, Jatz. Crusty breads, all chocolate & chocolate bars like Mars Bar & Snickers, nuts and ice.
  • Soft drinks (including diet drinks), sports drinks and excessive amounts of fruit juice.
  • Avoid playing with the quad helix with your fingers or tongue. A bent or broken quad helix is difficult to fix and can cause unwanted tooth movements.
It is very important that you have regular check-ups with your general dentist throughout orthodontic treatment to check for decay.
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