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Ortho 101: How Often Do Braces Need to Be Adjusted?

Sep 15, 2023Braces, Orthodontic Treatment

kid with blue braces and missing teeth

Metal or ceramic braces are a common rite of passage for many teenagers and an increasingly popular choice for adults seeking to perfect their smile. However, getting braces is not a one-and-done procedure. It’s a journey that requires commitment, patience, and regular adjustments. That’s right, you’ll need to go see your orthodontist periodically to tweak the brackets and wires on your chompers.

But why are these adjustments necessary, and how often should they happen? Let’s delve into the secrets of smile care and discuss why routine adjustments make all the difference in successful orthodontic treatment.

How Do Braces Work?

Understanding the mechanics of braces can help you appreciate the necessity of regular adjustments. Braces use constant, gentle force to shift teeth, correct alignment, and adjust jaw position over time. The archwire runs through the brackets attached to your teeth, and tiny elastic bands, or ligatures, secure the wire and apply additional pressure. 

By replacing the archwire and adjusting the braces, your orthodontist ensures that the right amount of force continues to guide your teeth into their correct positions.

Why Do Braces Need Adjustments?

We already know that the superhero archwire-and-bracket combo allows braces to work their magic. But as your teeth move, the pressure behind the tooth movement decreases. This is when you go back to your orthodontist’s office to get everything tightened again. Adjustments are necessary to maintain the right amount of pressure on your teeth.

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During your appointment, your orthodontist will change your archwires, tighten your braces, and replace your old elastics. While these adjustments might cause temporary discomfort, they are a crucial part of the process, ensuring that your braces continue moving your teeth effectively. 

Don’t worry – the pain won’t be bad or last long! You can use orthodontic wax and eat soft foods for a few days after your braces tightening appointment. If you continue to have mild or moderate discomfort, give your orthodontist a call to get things checked out.

How Often Do Braces Need Adjustments?

The frequency of braces adjustments largely depends on each patient’s treatment plan and the type of braces. But typically, adjustments occur every 4-6 weeks. These appointments allow your orthodontist to check the progress of your treatment and make necessary changes to the wires, bands, or rubber bands that are moving your teeth. This regularity helps ensure that your teeth are shifting in the right direction and at the right pace.

Start Your Journey with Great Smiles PDO!

Navigating the orthodontic treatment journey with braces may seem daunting, but understanding the process can make it much smoother. Regular adjustments are essential milestones on your path to a brand-new you, ensuring that your teeth move effectively and efficiently.

If you’re considering a smile transformation, then it’s time to step into Great Smiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics! Our team is here to help the whole family create a smile with great vibes – so book your complimentary assessment at one of our Western North Carolina offices today!

Positive Communication

Choose a children’s dental practice near you where you and your child feel comfortable. You want good, effective communication and education. Look for a pediatric dentist who takes the time to explain procedures in a child-friendly manner, addressing any concerns or questions your child may have. 

Final Thoughts on Finding a Pediatric Dentist Near You

Friendly staff and dentists who are skilled in interacting with children can help alleviate anxiety and create a positive dental experience for you and your child. Have a conversation with the staff when you call or ask to have a quick conversation with one of the pediatric dentists before you make an appointment.

Or, if you go and something does not fit about the experience– the service, the location near you, the atmosphere– then switch to a different dentist for your kids.

By prioritizing your child’s comfort, communication, and comprehensive care, you can ensure that they receive the best possible dental experience and lay the foundation for a lifetime of oral health.