Every 4 - 6 weeks or so during your orthodontic treatment, you'll attend an adjustment appointment at our office to adjust your braces. This is a very important part of your treatment and should not be put off.
Having your braces ‘tightened’ does not sound very pleasant. Fortunately, it’s not as bad as it sounds!
Actually, the word ‘tighten’, though common in this context, is not completely accurate for describing this procedure. What we’re really doing is adjusting your braces to move your teeth incrementally into the desired position.
Since this can’t all be done in one go, you have regular and fairly frequent adjustment appointments, so we can do it bit by bit.
To put your mind at ease, here’s a basic outline of what we'll do during an adjustment appointment at Austin Heights Orthodontics:
- The orthodontic assistant will remove your elastics, which hold each bracket to the arch wire, first.
- Next, the archwire is removed.
- The orthodontist will then examine the progress your teeth are making, and replace anything that needs it (such as the elastics, or in some cases the archwire). If you need anything replaced, he will let you know ahead of time.
- Your archwire (either the one you already had, or a new one) will be placed back into your brackets, in addition to new elastics. (This is your chance to choose a new colour for your elastics!). You may find this hurts a bit the first time you go through this process, but future appointments will be less painful.
- If the archwire pokes your cheek, be sure to point it out to your orthodontist straight away, since it’s not supposed to poke you! If it does, the orthodontist or the assistant will shorten it with clippers.
- That’s it!
After the Appointment
You may feel a bit tender after your adjustment appointment, but don’t worry; this should fade after a few days at most. In the meantime, try icing your face on and off, or using an over-the-counter painkiller to help you deal with any discomfort. You also may be better off eating only soft foods during this period.
If your archwire starts poking you at some point after your adjustment appointment, come see us right away, and we'll clip it back for you.