Every 4 - 6 weeks during your orthodontic treatment, you will need to attend an adjustment appointment at our office so that we can tighten and adjust your braces.
We know: ‘tightening’ your braces does not sound like a very pleasant undertaking. But not to worry! It’s not as bad as it sounds!
In fact, the word ‘tighten’ isn’t a completely accurate description of this procedure. Really, we're just adjusting the pressure of your braces by tiny increments to move your teeth into the desired position.
We hope to put your mind at ease by letting you know what to expect, so here’s a basic outline of what we do during an adjustment appointment at Greater Vancouver Orthodontics:
- First, the orthodontic assistant will first remove your elastics to expose the archwire.
- The archwire is then removed.
- The orthodontist will examine the progress your teeth are making, and replace anything that needs replacing (such as the elastics, or sometimes the archwire). If you need anything replaced, she will let you know.
- Your archwire (either the one you already had, or a new one) will be placed back into your brackets, and new elastics will be added as well. (This is your chance to choose a new colour! Learn More »). You may find this hurts a bit the first time it happens, but future appointments will be much less painful.
- If the archwire pokes your cheek, be sure to mention it to your orthodontist right away. It’s not supposed to poke you. If it does, the orthodontist or the assistant can shorten it with clippers.
- That’s it!
After the Appointment
You're likely to feel a little tender and sore following your adjustment appointment. This should fade after a few days at the most. In the meantime, you can ice your face on and off, or use an over-the-counter painkiller to help you deal with whatever discomfort you feel. You also may also find it easier to eat only soft foods during this period.
If you notice that your archwire starts poking the inside of your mouth at some point after your adjustment appointment, come see us straight away, and we can clip it shorter for you.