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Suggestions about sleeping with neck gear?

Original post made by Izzy, another community, on Dec 7, 2007

My eight-year-old son just got fitted with neck gear (phase one of a several phase orthodontic plan for him). He has been working up for the last week to get use to it and starting a few days ago, he is wearing it overnight. (Notice that I didn't say sleeping with it because none of us are getting a lot of sleep.)

Obviously, he is now limited to how he can lie with it on and it is hard for him to get comfortable. We keep telling him that it will get easier to sleep with it on, but he is not really believing us at this point. To be honest, I am not sure how he's even sleeping at all -- he is a 'back sleeper', at least most of the time.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what we can do to make it easier for him to sleep with it on?

Looking for suggestions... thanks in advance!


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Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 7, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Sleeping on his back is one way to get through the initial pain. I cannot tell you how much I hated headgear ... hated wearing it when I was a kid, and hated it when my kids had to wear it themselves.

One thing that might help is an Advil or Aleve (anti-inflammatory -- tylenol won't do the trick) with a snack an hour or so before bedtime. Just help take the edge off so he can sleep. Ask your orthodontist if s/he thinks this is a good idea. It worked well for my kids.

When I was a kid, my siblings and I went to an orthodontist who was extremely aggressive with his headgear design. As a result, we all have TMJ as adults because the headgear actually changed the shape of our jaws. The orthos my kids saw were aware of this problem and designed headgear that didn't twist the TM joint while expanding the palate. Make sure your ortho is in this camp.

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 9, 2007 at 3:06 pm

There are some orthodontists who use alternative methods to headgear - it just takes longer.