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Preparing for Braces Tightening: Understanding the Brace Adjustment Process

Posted in Adults, Braces, British Columbia, General, Orthodontics, Phase 2 Treatment, Teens, Tips & Advice, Treatment Process

If you have braces, you likely know you'll need to see your orthodontist for periodic adjustments throughout your treatment. Our BC orthodontists discuss what happens during a braces adjustment appointment. 

Before Your Braces Adjustment Appointment

If you choose to get braces to treat your orthodontic condition, you're likely looking forward to finishing your treatment with a straighter smile and understand that until then, you might sometimes experience some mild discomfort. 

That said, it's never fun to have your braces tightened, especially considering pressure on your teeth can cause a bit of pain after braces adjustment appointments. For a few hours after an appointment, you might find it difficult to go right back to eating your favourite foods or feel totally engaged in work or school. 

You're likely wondering how to make your braces stop hurting. The good news is, there are some practical measures you can take and medicinal options you might consider to help dull the pain following visits to your orthodontist. 

In this post, we'll share some tips on relieving pain or discomfort after braces tightening appointments. 

1. Prepare yourself mentally. 

2. Prepare for slight discomfort or soreness after adjustment. 

3. Stock up on braces-friendly foods.  

What Happens During the Braces Adjustment Process?

Every 4 to 6 weeks for the duration of your orthodontic treatment, you'll need to see your orthodontist so your braces can be adjusted (you'll sometimes hear these referred to as braces tightening appointments). The pressure of your braces will be adjusted by tiny increments to move your teeth into the positions prescribed by your orthodontist. 

Here's a basic outline of the braces adjustment process at My ORTHODONTIST:

  1.  The orthodontic assistant will remove your elastics, leaving the archwire exposed. 
  2. The archwire is removed. 
  3. Your orthodontist will assess your treatment progress while adjusting your braces, and replace elastics or the archwire, if required. 
  4. The archwire is once gain placed into your brackets and new elastics are added. You may choose a new colour for your elastics. The first time this happens, you may experience a bit of soreness, but this discomfort should improved after future braces tightening appointments. 
  5. If the archwire pokes your cheek, be sure to tell your orthodontist right away so he or she can shorten it with clippers. 

How Can You Alleviate Soreness After a Brace Adjustment Appointment? 

Your teeth will probably feel somewhat sore and tender after your adjustment appointment. You should notice this fade after a few days.

In the meantime, you can apply ice to your face off and on, or take an over-the-counter painkiller to alleviate pain. You might also find it easier to stock up on soft foods to keep chewing at a minimum. 

If you notice your archwire start to poke the inside of your mouth at any point after your appointment, make sure to contact us right away and schedule a follow-up appointment to have it clipped. You may use orthodontic wax for relief until you come to our office. 

Monitoring Your Orthodontic Treatment at My ORTHODONTIST

Our orthodontists in BC understand that it may be difficult to schedule regular appointments around work, school and other activities. We will always do our best to accommodate your schedule and ensure your appointments are brief. 

The average braces adjustment appointment takes about 20 minutes. You'll come in for visits with your orthodontist about every 6 weeks, depending on your specific needs. 

Adjustment appointments are critical to keeping your treatment on track. If you can't make a scheduled appointment, let your orthodontist know so a make-up appointment can be scheduled as soon as possible.  

Are you interested in learning more about ceramic braces and Invisalign clear aligners? Schedule an appointment with our BC orthodontists at My ORTHODONTIST. We look forward to addressing your questions and concerns.

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