About every 4 - 6 weeks during your orthodontic treatment, you'll attend adjustment appointments at our office to adjust your braces. This is a necessary part of your treatment and should not be put off.
It doesn't sound very pleasant to have your braces ‘tightened’, but fortunately, it’s not as bad as it sounds!
In reality, although the word 'tighten' is common in this context, it's not a particularly accurate way to describe this procedure. What we’re really doing is adjusting your braces to move your teeth incrementally into the desired position.
This can’t all be done in one go of course, so you have regular and fairly 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 at Langley Orthodontics:
- The orthodontic assistant will first remove your elastics, which hold each bracket to the arch wire.
- Next, he will remove the archwire.
- The orthodontist will then examine your teeth and the progress your treatment is making, and will also replace anything that needs it (such as the elastics, or in some cases the archwire). If you need something replaced, he will let you know ahead of time.
- Next, your archwire (either the one you already had, or a new one) will be placed back into your brackets, and new elastics will be placed. (This is your chance to choose a new colour for your elastics!). This may hurt a bit the first time you go through it, but future appointments will be less painful.
- If the archwire pokes your cheek, be sure to let your orthodontist know straight away, since it’s not supposed to! If it does, the orthodontist or the assistant will shorten it with clippers.
- That’s it!
After the Appointment
You may feel slightly sore after your adjustment appointment, but don’t worry; this should wear off after a few days at the most. In the meantime, try icing your face periodically, 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.