What to Expect When Your Braces are Adjusted

Having a bunch of metal in your mouth may already seem intimidating. If so, you’re likely wondering what to expect when your braces need to be adjusted. Your first follow-up appointment will probably happen after the first couple of months of treatment, and we think it helps to know ahead of time what to expect when you get your braces adjusted.

Why Are Follow-up Appointments Important?

Successful follow-up appointments after your braces have been installed are vital for your treatment to be effective. In addition to tracking your progress, these appointments allow your orthodontist to make the adjustments needed to keep your teeth moving properly. However, your orthodontist isn’t necessarily tightening your braces, as is commonly thought.

What Happens During the Appointment?

To know how your treatment is going so far, your orthodontist will need to get a good look at your teeth. Each band will be carefully removed, leaving the archwire loose but in place. Next, your orthodontist may take the archwire off of your teeth, leaving only the brackets left and offering a clear look at how your teeth are adjusting so far.

In addition to assessing how your teeth are moving during your treatment, your orthodontist will also take the time to see how you are keeping up with cleaning. Be sure to be open about any questions or concerns you have so you leave each appointment with a clear idea of what to do moving forward.

After assessing the progress of your teeth, your orthodontist will determine if any adjustments in the positioning of your bands and archwire need to be made. You will get new bands and maybe a new archwire if necessary to keep moving your teeth in the right direction.

When your fresh archwire and bands have been installed, they may feel a little strange, but you’ll quickly get accustomed to them. However, if you feel something poking your gums or cheeks, be sure to let the orthodontist know so he can check it before you leave.

Will the Adjustment Hurt?

It’s possible that your mouth could experience some discomfort after getting an adjustment. This could be due to the new bands or from your orthodontist slightly altering the course of your teeth in a specific spot. This discomfort often subsides after a few hours and should last no more than a couple days. Be sure to let your orthodontist know if the discomfort is unusually intense or doesn’t subside in a few days, and schedule a follow-up visit sooner if needed.

You’ll likely have adjustment appointments scheduled about every six to eight weeks to keep your treatment moving smoothly along toward a healthy, beautiful smile. Contact Austin Orthodontics today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.