As a proud owner of a new set of braces, you may be excited and anxious about the future. If you haven’t been to your first braces adjustment appointment yet, you may not know exactly what to expect. Is it going to hurt? Is it going to take a long time? All valid questions, so let’s discuss your braces adjustment appointments—what to expect, what goes on and why your orthodontist makes adjustments in the first place.
At Your Adjustment Appointment
If you’re anxious about what to expect at your adjustment appointment, take a deep breath and relax. There’s really nothing to it! Your orthodontist will chat with you about how your treatment is going, and you’ll be able to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have at this point. Then, your orthodontist will begin their evaluation of your progress. First, your elastic bands will be removed, followed by the arch wire. This is where your orthodontist will track your progress and make adjustments accordingly.
You see, braces work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth in to move them to the right locations within the mouth. Too much or too little pressure won’t move them properly, so your orthodontist needs to ensure just the right amount of pressure is being applied to your teeth. After examining your teeth, your orthodontist may opt to replace your archwire with a new one or keep the same one in place. Once the archwire is back in place, you’ll be able to choose a new set of elastic bands and you’ll be on your way. All in all, you can expect your braces adjustment appointments to last around 20-30 minutes.
After Your Appointment
Once your archwire is replaced, you may start to feel some slight discomfort. This is because your archwire has been tightened to help move the teeth properly. Once your appointment is over, be sure to:
- Have your orthodontist make adjustments if your wire is poking your mouth.
- Schedule your next appointment, so you can stay on track with your treatment.
- Alleviate any discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications, rest, and eating soft foods.
The level of discomfort you may experience depends, since every patient is different. Some patients report slight discomfort, while some report no discomfort at all.
It can be a little stressful when it comes to getting your braces adjusted, but remember, each visit brings you one step closer to the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always wanted.