Do you wonder why you need to return to your orthodontist periodically to have your braces tightened? While it might seem like a minor inconvenience to have to keep up with routine appointments, it is important that you know that having your braces tightened is an integral part of the treatment process. The tightening and adjustment of braces is necessary for facilitating tooth movement. Simply put, if you do not have your braces tightened, you won’t see the results you want. The gentle yet consistent pressure of tightened braces creates tooth movement. Tightening braces will close gaps between teeth and align crooked and overlapped teeth.
Following are more answers to commonly asked questions about orthodontic treatment.
How often should braces be tightened?
Braces need to be tightened every three to six weeks. The frequency of tightening your braces will be determined by our staff based on your unique needs. During these visits, our doctor will either tighten your braces by adjusting the wires or by replacing the wires altogether.
What should I do if a wire comes loose?
If a wire comes loose, you should call our practice as soon as possible to set up an appointment for repairs. In the meantime, you can alleviate potential discomfort by placing an eraser on the end of the wire and gently pushing it back into place. If this doesn’t work and the wire is still protruding, use dental wax. Place dental wax on the loose end of the wire to prevent it from irritating soft oral tissue.
When should I use wax?
Dental wax is useful for preventing minor irritation caused by orthodontic appliances during treatment. You can use dental wax if an orthodontic appliance comes loose and if fixed appliances like brackets irritate your gums or linings of your lips/cheeks. To use wax, simply break off a small, pea-sized amount. Roll the wax between clean fingers. The heat from your fingers will soften the wax. Then place the wax where needed to improve comfort.
Call us today to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist and ask any questions you may have.