About every 4 - 6 weeks during your orthodontic treatment, you'll attend an appointment at our office to have your braces adjusted. This is a necessary component of your treatment and should not be put off.
It may not sound very pleasant to have your braces ‘tightened’, but fortunately, it’s really not that bad!
Although the word 'tighten' is commonly used, it's not a very accurate way to describe this procedure. What we’re really doing is adjusting the position of your braces to straighten your teeth incrementally.
This can’t all be done at once of course, so you have regular frequent adjustment appointments, so we can do it bit by bit.
Here’s a basic outline of what we'll do during an adjustment appointment:
- The orthodontic assistant will start things off by removing your elastics, which hold each bracket to the arch wire.
- Next, she will remove the archwire.
- The orthodontist will examine your teeth and your progress, and will also replace anything that needs it (such as the elastics, or sometimes the archwire). If you need something replaced, she will let you know ahead of time.
- Next, the archwire will be placed back into your brackets, and new elastics will be placed as well. (This is your chance to choose a new colour for your elastics!). This may feel a little uncomfortable the first time you go through it, but future appointments will leave you feeling less sore.
- If you notice that the archwire is poking you in the cheek, be sure to say so straight away; it’s not supposed to! If it does, the orthodontist or the assistant will shorten it with clippers.
- That’s it!
After the Appointment
Your mouth may feel slightly tender after your adjustment appointment. This should wear off after a few days at the most. Meanwhile, try icing your face, or using an over-the-counter painkiller to help reduce any discomfort. Try to eat mostly soft foods during this period.
If your archwire starts to poke you at some point after your adjustment appointment, come see us again, and we'll clip it back for you.