young girl smiling with braces

How Long Can You Go Without Adjusting Your Braces?

When it comes to bonding braces, your orthodontist doesn’t just see you once, bond them, and off you go for the magic to begin. Having braces and Invisalign requires regular reviews, adjustments, and visits to your orthodontist. 

The top two ways to get your braces off on time are to go for your regular adjustments; this way, your orthodontist can assess all oral health challenges and braces adjustments as needed. The second way is, if recommended, to wear your elastics for at least 22 hours daily. Braces and Invisalign are the safest and most effective way to realign your teeth, and you must attend all your appointments to complete your treatment in the shortest possible time. Remember, braces are a marathon, not a sprint. 

This article explores the questions: how long can you go without tightening your braces, and when do you get your braces adjusted? It also delves into why regular adjustments are needed and the potential oral health issues that may crop up if your orthodontic appointments are avoided. 

It’s Essential To Get Your Braces Adjusted

Orthodontists are specialists in straightening teeth, but sometimes their best plans may need to be adjusted as your teeth move in ways they don’t expect. Sometimes your doctor may need to apply more pressure than expected and in a different direction to achieve the desired results. This is why attending your regular adjustment appointments is so vital. 

If you don’t come in to adjust your braces, there is a possibility you won’t obtain the results you desire. For your teeth to move as planned with your braces, the tension that the wires and elastics produce will need to be changed too. Once you can feel the pressure on your teeth decreasing or even stopping, it’s probably time for an adjustment. It’s not just the pressure you need on your teeth to make them move; it’s the correct pressure. 

By attending all your scheduled appointments, your orthodontist will check all movement is going according to plan, change your elastics, and replace or adjust your wires. 

Frequency of Adjusting Your Braces

The reason your orthodontist must reevaluate your braces often is because they need to plan each stage of your teeth’s movement and assess whether the pressure is working as expected. If not, adjustments need to be made. 

Every person’s treatment plan is unique and will differ according to your dental needs. At the outset, your orthodontist will assess your alignment requirements and create an adjustment schedule. Your schedule will be determined by assessing your age, oral health, and jaw and teeth alignment. The more crowded or crooked your teeth, the more frequently your doctor will want to adjust them. 

If you’ve asked yourself the question, “do you get your braces tightened every month?”, the answer is that it’s not required that often. Generally speaking, braces are adjusted only every 10-12 weeks. 

Possible Oral Health Issues from Skipping Your Checkups

If you skip your appointments, you may run into some oral hygiene issues. When visiting for these checkups, your orthodontist can assess your overall oral health and ensure everything is in order. And sure, skipping an appointment or two may be fine, but it will most likely delay your treatment for a couple of months, meaning you will be wearing your braces for longer. 

Here are a couple of things that you need to keep an eye on when your braces are fitted and why you shouldn’t skip your adjustment sessions:

  • Brushing can be tricky. Brushing and flossing correctly with braces can be challenging. Tiny bits of food can get stuck between the brackets and wires without you noticing, making it tricky to get your teeth cleaned effectively. 
  • Plaque build-up. If you aren’t cleaning your teeth well, you give plaque a chance to build up on your teeth. And if this turns to tartar, your dentist will have to remove it before it leads to gum disease. 
  • Nerve damage. This is possible if you wear your braces for too long. Your orthodontist will know how to look for this potential problem.
  • Snapped wires and brackets. If you wear your braces for too long without having them checked and adjusted, there is a chance they dislodge or break, which in turn can teeth to move in unwanted directions.

How Can We Help?

Scheduling bi-annual professional cleans and exams are highly recommended when you have braces or Invisalign fitted to keep your oral health in good condition. 

Advanced Orthodontics uses the latest in orthodontic treatment to help minimize soreness associated with braces. Self-ligating brackets allow the teeth to be moved with a constant, lighter force versus heavy on-and-off adjusting. Our team is known for creating beautiful, healthy smiles throughout the Valley. We use the latest orthodontic technology to treat patients of all ages from Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and the Globe. See the difference in our clients’ smiles by visiting our Smile Gallery.

Advanced Orthodontics offers high-tech self-ligating braces, which are smaller and more discreet than traditional braces and don’t involve colored elastic ties. Contact the team at Advanced Orthodontics for a professional answer to any of your braces or oral health questions.

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