There is a vast significance of braces tightening during the braces treatment. It is also known as braces adjustment. Braces apply gradual pressure on your teeth to reposition them. Every time your teeth change position, the braces lose their grip over them. Therefore, tightening of the braces is often required during the treatment.
Go through this article to know more about the process, frequency, and significance of braces adjustment. We also have some bonus tips for you on how to reduce pain caused due to braces tightening.
How Are Braces Tightened?
Braces are tightened by below process:
- First of all, the ligatures (elastic) that connect brackets to the wire and the archwire are removed.
- After that, the orthodontist takes a look at the progress of the treatment. They examine the repositioning of your teeth. They might change the archwire if needed.
- Finally, they connect the braces again to your teeth with the help of new ligatures.
How Often Should Braces Be Tightened?
The average frequency is 4-6 weeks. But Your orthodontist is the best person to tell you when you need braces tightening. They might call you sooner or later, depending on your case. But sometimes, you might need braces tightening before your scheduled appointment. Contact your orthodontist at the earliest if you feel that your braces are losing grip early. Not feeling any pressure from braces while eating is also a warning sign.
Why Do Braces Hurt After Tightening?
When braces are tightened, it is normal to experience some discomfort or pain. This is because the tightening process puts additional pressure on your teeth and jaw, which can cause temporary soreness. The pain is usually mild to moderate and typically lasts for a few days.
How To Stop Braces Pain After Tightening?
Are you procrastinating your braces tightening appointment because of pain? Well, here are some proven tips to reduce the pain and discomfort caused due to braces tightening.
- Eat Soft Food
- Take OTC Pain Relievers
- Go Easy on Brushing & Flossing
- Chew & Massage
- Apply Dental Wax
Eat soft and mushy food for 1-2 days after your braces adjustment. Avoid hard foods. You can take more liquids like yogurts and soups.
You can take over-the-counter pain relievers to get temporary relief. But don’t use them often. And take them only when the pain is unbearable.
Brush and floss with the proper technique when you are on braces. Pressing or pushing your teeth hard might aggravate your braces tightening pain.
An increased blood flow can get you major relief from pain and soreness. So chew your food correctly and massage your gums and jaw with your fingers to increase blood flow.
Your orthodontist can suggest some good dental or orthodontic wax. This wax protects your inner cheeks and gums from the rough surface of newly adjusted brackets and wires.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Your Braces Tightened?
There is no danger to your dental health or harmful side effects if you don’t get your braces tightened. But as we stated earlier, braces lose their grip on your teeth when your teeth move because of the gradual pressure. Thus braces will remain ineffective till the time they are tightened or adjusted. This will increase your treatment duration.
How Long Does It Take To Get Your Braces Tightened?
Braces adjustment appointments typically last between fifteen and thirty minutes.
Braces treatment generally takes 24 months or more to complete. Do you want to prolong this further? If not, you should take the next appointment at the earliest in case you missed your scheduled braces tightening appointment.
The discomfort and pain because of braces tightening decreases as the treatment goes on. And the tips mentioned above help you get rid of it. Therefore there is no reason to skip or delay your next braces adjustment appointment.
If you want to know more about dental care with braces, you can always reach us at Thurman Orthodontics. We take pride in treating every patient with cutting-edge orthodontic technology in a friendly and comfortable ambiance.
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.