You just got your braces on and the orthodontist went through a list of dos and don’ts, along with instructions for proper maintenance. One thing you did not expect was having to go back for adjustments. You are probably wondering, “Why do I need my braces adjusted?” Luckily, braces technology have improved over the years and adjustments are spaced out further than they used to be.
Why Do I Need My Braces Adjusted?
The purpose of braces is to straighten crooked teeth and help align your teeth, jaw, and smile. The brackets and wires put pressure on your teeth which causes them to move into better alignment. During this process, your gums and teeth go through a regeneration process. Your orthodontist needs to continuously adjust your braces and swap out your elastic rubber bands so they continue to apply pressure to move your teeth.
Worn out bands that are over stretched fail to help keep the pressure your mouth needs. The same goes for your wires. As your teeth shift, there could be gaps in your wires. They too will need to be tightened to make sure your teeth move where they are supposed to.
How Often Do I need to Get Adjusted?
You should plan to visit your orthodontist every six weeks or so. You may not always need adjustments every appointment but it is recommended to still schedule appointments regularly to make sure your teeth are progressing.
After a thorough examination, your orthodontist will then let you know if you need adjusting now or at a future appointment.
What can I expect During an Adjustment?
After your exam, the first step in adjustments is to remove the rubber band (elastic ligature) that holds the brackets to the arch wire.
Next, your arch wire is removed and your orthodontist will again examine your teeth positioning to determine if you need a new arch wire.
Finally, either your old arch wire or a new one will be reattached to your brackets and the new rubber bands will be added to the arch wire.
How Long Does this Appointment Take? Will it Hurt?
Generally, an adjustment will only take 30 minutes or so. While it sounds like a lot of work, it is a relatively quick process. As far as how painful it will be, there will likely be some discomfort after the adjustment as your teeth adjust and move to the proper place, especially after the first few adjustments. Overtime, it will not be as uncomfortable or last as long.
If you just got braces, be sure to properly plan for exams and adjustments every six weeks or so. It is an important part of having braces and help ensure they are doing what they are supposed to do. You can expect your appointments to last roughly 30 minutes, with light discomfort for a few days afterwards.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Your Adjustment
Did you make your first adjustment appointment? If not you have questions about the process, schedule an appointment. We have six Chicago orthodontic offices and eight in the suburbs!