Braces are an investment in multiple ways. Time is one of the things you will sacrifice, but the demand on your schedule won’t be as intense as you might have anticipated. Tightening only needs to be done every four to eight weeks, and every patient’s case is different. It helps to understand why you need your braces tightened – you’ll feel more agreeable about all your orthodontic visits if they have a point and a purpose.
Adjust Your Perspective
That first visit for braces tightening might be a little daunting but remember you’ve already done the hard part – you’ve had your brackets applied and the first sets of rubber bands and wires put on. You’ve survived that initial week with “stuff” on your teeth. It’s easy from here on out.
Understand What Tightening Means
When brackets and wires are attached to your smile, whether braces for kids or braces for adults, they prompt teeth and roots to move into alignment. It takes time for this process to work, which is why there is a significant gap between visits to your Woodinville orthodontist. You never want to miss an appointment because making changes to your hardware allows teeth to progress in the straightening process.
Thermally activated wires are typically used in conventional braces treatment today. When the wires are cold, they are soft and malleable, but as they warm up in the mouth they will stiffen. This process eliminates the need for actual adjustment as different wires do the work depending on how your orthodontist wants your teeth to move.
What to Expect at an Orthodontic Appointment
The words “tightening” and “adjustment” where braces are concerned may sound painful, but it is only likely to produce just a little discomfort afterward. Here is what to expect at the appointment:
- Rubber bands (which hold the brackets to the arch wire) are removed.
- The arch wire is removed.
- The orthodontist examines your teeth, how they have moved, and where they are now positioned.
- A new arch wire is threaded through the brackets.
- Rubber bands are added again, and the patient gets to choose the color.
Doing things repeatedly makes them easier, and visits to the orthodontist will become more tolerable every time. Early visits may result in a day or two of discomfort with pressure being placed on the teeth to shift them into their new positions. The closer you get to the end of treatment, the easier each appointment will be.
Get Braces from Your Woodinville Orthodontist
Every patient’s response to getting their braces tightened will be different. Some people have a higher pain threshold and feel no discomfort, while others experience soreness for days. You can likely expect your body to react similarly after every adjustment, but the pain should never be severe.
The journey to a straight smile is an exciting one. There are many steps along the way, but each is important in helping a patient develop a healthy, aligned smile. If you or your teen is ready for braces, schedule a consultation at Soleil Orthodontics in Woodinville, WA, to learn more.