Getting your first adjustment after braces have been placed can be scary. Most people have lots of questions about the process, so it helps to have some guidance before you go in. Having a little understanding of what will happen can help to ease the stress of the situation, which is generally the worst part of the experience.

Adjustment FAQ

1. Will My Teeth Hurt?

After adjustments, especially after the very first adjustment, most patients’ teeth are sore for about three to five days. The amount of soreness may vary depending upon how far the teeth have to move. Orthodontists often recommend that patients take a mild over-the-counter pain reliever before leaving the house for an adjustment appointment, as it will help to ease the soreness. After about six months, most patients say that adjustments are not as painful.

2. What Can I Eat Afterward?

Since the teeth are a little sore after braces adjustments, it is recommended that patients eat soft foods for the first several days. These foods include mashed potatoes, yogurt, ice cream, shakes, and any other foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Chewy foods should definitely be avoided.

3. What Happens at Adjustment Appointments?

Orthodontists remove all of the elastic ligatures that attach the brackets of the braces to the arch wire during adjustment appointments. Orthodontists then remove the arch wire and examine the progress of the braces. Based on the progress, orthodontists may place a new arch wire that is thicker or may decide to use the same or a similarly sized arch wire. After the arch wire is placed, the orthodontist places new elastics.

4. How Long Does the Adjusting Take?

Braces adjustment appointments generally take between fifteen and thirty minutes. The amount of time may vary slightly based on what the orthodontist has to do. If new arch wires need to be placed and the pressure on the teeth has to be increased substantially, the appointment may take a little longer.

5. Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Adjustment Appointments?

  • Temperature sensitivity is something that commonly occurs after braces adjustment appointments. Pain sensations may be experienced when patients eat or drink very hot or very cold items.
  •  The arch wire should never poke any part of a patient’s mouth. The orthodontist should be informed immediately if this occurs.
  • The cell regeneration process occurs after each adjustment, as teeth shift and break down some cells of the gums and bones and cause new cells to be generated. This process usually takes about three weeks, which is why orthodontists usually schedule adjustment appointments approximately every four to five weeks.

If you’re in the market for a clean, sparkly smile, call an experienced Orlando orthodontist at Carlyle Orthodontics today.