How Often Do Braces Need Tightening?

Metal braces tightening Carmel IN orthodontists

This question and more are bound to be swirling around your head once you’ve had your braces put on. While every patient is different, our Carmel, IN, orthodontists generally recommend you come in for an adjustment, or tightening, appointment every 4-6 weeks.

Here’s what else you need to know about orthodontic checkups.

Importance of Follow-Up Visits

Believe us, we understand that finding the time to come into our Carmel, IN, orthodontics office isn’t always easy. After all, there’s school, work, and socializing to contend with. It might not be ideal, but it is what you sign up for when you choose ceramic or metal braces for your smile.

The treatment plan created for you by our orthodontists requires frequent check-ins to keep your progress on track. Missing these types of appointments can throw off your treatment completely, result in needed corrections, and add to your time wearing braces.

Generally, there are 4 major components to a follow-up visit with our orthodontists. Those include:

  • Changing the archwire so it’s stiffer
  • Adding on or changing out elastics
  • Replacing rubber bands (elastic ligatures)
  • Adjusting or tightening ligature wires

There is a chance that your visit may involve additional steps but our team will be sure to brief you about what’s needed before getting started.

What to Expect

If you selected either Invisalign® aligners or InBrace® for your orthodontic treatment, your checkup appointments will be shorter and much less involved. Otherwise, the structure of your visits will be pretty standard each time you come in.

After you check in at the front, you’ll meet with one of our clinical assistants who will get started making the necessary adjustments to your braces. Before you leave, however, either Dr. Davila or Dr. Hani will take a closer look at your progress. You’ll be on your way after that – until next time!

Length of Visit

If there’s something that needs fixing at your checkup appointment, that can mean you’ll be in the exam chair for longer. We’re talking broken wires, brackets, and other loose components like a spacer or bands.

Common mishaps aside, you can expect a follow-up visit to last around 30 minutes give or take. Feel free to ask any questions you may have during this time. Our assisting team members and orthodontists would be more than happy to help.

Pain or Discomfort

Fortunately, you should not experience much or any pain during a standard checkup with our orthodontists. Of course, all treatments and pain tolerances are different so it’s hard to generalize for all patients.

For example, your reaction to new forces being applied to teeth may be better or worse than another patient. One thing that will occur regardless of your personal pain tolerance is general soreness. This feeling is temporary and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days following an adjustment.

To help combat soreness, we recommend eating soft foods after your appointment and taking over-the-counter pain medications as needed.

Give Our Carmel Office a Call

Our orthodontists in Carmel, IN, want you to finish your treatment on time which is why attending regularly scheduled visits is so crucial. Call WestClay Orthodontics today at (317) 593-1400 to request an appointment. We’ll see you then!