For our Wilsonville orthodontics patients, regular visits to see Dr. Senestraro once your braces have been placed should become a regular habit. To ensure that your orthodontic treatment is going as planned, and to perform regular maintenance, follow-up visits rank as a vitally important part of how we protect and improve your long-term oral health.
Whether a younger patient wondering why it’s time to see Dr. Senestraro again to adult patients trying to find time in otherwise packed schedules, follow-up visits can seem like a bigger pain than what they’re worth. However, while Dr. S loves to regularly see the smiling faces of all of his patients, we only schedule follow-up visits when necessary.
To let you know what to expect during follow-up visits and why they’re needed, here are some answers to some commonly asked questions.
Why do you need frequent follow-ups?
Regular follow-ups, also called “adjustments,” are needed to replace worn-out rubber bands, check on the progress of your teeth, and make any necessary adjustments to the wires to ensure your teeth are being pulled in the desired direction. Failure to schedule follow-ups or skipping appointments can slow the progress of your orthodontic treatment, and may extend the amount to time you need to wear your braces.
How often will you need to schedule a follow-up?
In most cases, follow-up appointments will need to be scheduled every four to six weeks. However, more frequent visits may be required depending on the current state of your oral health.
What happens during a follow-up appointment?
During every follow-up visit, Dr. Senestraro will replaced the elastic bands on each bracket and may take out and replace the wires of your braces as needed. Each adjustment appointment should take between 20 to 30 minutes.
Do these appointments hurt?
While Dr. Senestraro always uses a gentle approach when treating his patients, it is possible that patients may experience some discomfort after each follow-up. In many cases, patients experience some minor discomfort or soreness for anywhere from a few hours to a few days after an adjustment appointment. This feeling may manifest as anything from a mild, unpleasant pressure to more significant discomfort. However, any discomfort you experience should not last very long.
Changing to a stiffer archwire may also cause some discomfort until the mouth becomes accustomed to the extra pressure. If Dr. Senestraro decides to add auxiliaries, such as rubber bands or elastics, these can occasionally cause some initial discomfort.
To deal with any post-adjustment discomfort, just return to eating softer foods and the same pain management techniques recommended by Dr. Senestraro after you first had your braces placed.
How long will you have to wear braces?
By far the most commonly asked question we hear from our Wilsonville orthodontics patients is “how long will I have to wear my braces?”
Most patients will wear their braces from between one to three years. This means that you need to be prepared for many follow-up visits. However, the amount of time a patient needs to wear braces can vary greatly depending on the severity of the problem, rate of teeth growth (for younger patients), how well a patient tends to their braces and maintains his or her oral hygiene.