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"hay rake" appliance

My 9 year old daughter had a "hay rake" appliance put in today and within an hour of being home from the dentist, she is sobbing because she can't eat and can't swallow properly without the "spikes" stabbing her tongue.  Of course, my dentist office closed before we got home, and they are not open again until Monday morning.  

Does anyone have any tips on how to help a child adjust to the "hay rake"??  This seems like a pure instrument of torture and she is so miserable that I am tempted to call the dentist for an emergency appointment and demand it be removed.

She has not sucked her thumb for 6 months.  She went cold turkey as soon as the dentist told her that her thumb sucking habit was creating problems for her teeth (her permanent incisors would not descend because the palate was too vaulted from thumb sucking).  She doesn't even accidentally suck her thumb in her sleep (I have checked often).  

The dentist put this on as a first step toward a palatal expander, but it seems a bit unnecessary, to me.  He says to leave it on for 6 weeks, since she has apparently already kicked the habit of thumbsucking.  

What do I do to ease this for her??  She is so pitiful that I feel helpless to make things more comfortable for her!!!

Thanks for whatever advice you can give!!

Kathleen
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Kathleen,
Is this put on her front lower teeth, and is scraping her tougue?  I had this done to me to corrrect the way i swallow due to pushing my upper teeth forward.  this was done probably 38 years ago.  I remember it cutting my tongue a lot, which caused cuts, hence the treatment to correct the swallow.  I am unable to give you advice for coping....but i can add that i recently saw a TMJ dentist, who said that procedure is no longer used...is this an orthodontist u are dealing with?  They seem to be the best ones to ask this question to......try posting on AllExperts.com and go directly to the dental section and you can find an orthodontist or dentist that will answer your question over the weekend at least.  Hope this helps.  
Lynda
Avatar universal
I am a certified orthodontic assistant and have been for the past 9 years. We use thumb rakes or TSR's for thumb sucking. I don't understand why he would put the TSR in there if her habit had stopped prior to placement. It is NOT going to get her ready for a palatal expander. They are two completely different appliances used for two completely different reasons. If I were you I would demand that they take it out and seek a different orthodontist with a good reputation. I am so sorry your daughter has had to deal with unnecessary procedures.

Danielle
Avatar universal
FYI, when I was a child, I had a hay rake installed to attempt to stop my lisp.  I am now 40 yrs old and thank goodness my parents & ortho put it in my mouth.  I stopped my lisp and now I see grown ups today with a lisp and think why didn't their parents or ortho install a hay rake?  I run several companies in the L.A. area and cringe when I hear other adults w/a lisp. Yes, the first hours/day your child would be inconvenience, the same with braces on their teeth.  I guess your child doesn't eat veggies either.  I say horray for the hay rake.
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