Getting braces can feel like a huge undertaking at first. Changing your oral hygiene routine, altering your diet, and making the time for more orthodontist appointments are all understandably frustrating for patients getting braces for the first time. Adjusting your braces is one of the many ways to upkeep your braces to get the best results and prevent potential damage to your teeth. If you have questions about adjusting your braces, you aren’t alone! Let’s review some of the basics around how often braces need to be adjusted and why it’s so important.

How Often Should Braces be Adjusted?

The exact frequency of braces being adjusted depends on the patient’s specific dental needs. People who require more correction to their teeth will require more frequent brace adjustments. For most patients, braces are adjusted every 10-12 weeks. These regular adjustments allow your orthodontist to track the progress of your teeth and alter the treatment plan accordingly. Another way you can determine if it might be time to adjust your braces is by paying attention to how they feel. There will be pressure as your teeth move with the braces right after an adjustment. Over time, the pressure will decrease as your teeth move into the new position, and your braces need to be adjusted more.  If you no longer feel like your braces are doing anything, they probably aren’t! Don’t hesitate to schedule an extra appointment with your orthodontist to check the progress of your braces if you think it may be time for an adjustment.

The Importance of Adjusting Your Braces

Braces need to be adjusted to correct your teeth properly. Without an adjustment, your teeth would stop moving in the direction you’re trying to move them. Regular adjustments make it easy for your orthodontist to look at your teeth, adjust the braces, and continue working towards the teeth of your dreams. Skipping braces adjustments can result in teeth moving in the wrong direction and slowing your progress. Ultimately, this can lead to more time with braces to get the desired result.

What Happens if You Don’t Adjust Your Braces?

Skipping regular brace adjustment appointments can have some pretty serious effects on your oral health, including:

  • Plaque buildup around the braces
  • Broken or missing brackets
  • Nerve damage from wearing braces for too long.
  • Teeth moving in the wrong direction.