I've made a few minor edits here and there. They show up in the editors, but not on the "nonediting" view.
When do the changes actually show up?
Firstly, edits do not have to be approved. They are added to the main OSM database as soon as you save.
It depends on the map as to how often they update. The "Standard" view on openstreetmap.org usually updates pretty quickly, often within a few minutes or hours. You may be looking a cached version, so a Shift+Refresh in your browser may help. Some more details here: http://help.openstreetmap.org/questions … et-updated
Other OSM based maps can take longer to update. eg the Cycle map seems to be a few weeks behind in places. See http://help.openstreetmap.org/questions … encyclemap
You're right - refreshing the browser worked.