The Process of Tightening Braces

If you’re thinking about getting braces from an orthodontist in Melbourne, FL then you’ve probably heard a few things about the process already. One thing that people frequently say about the tightening of braces is that it’s a painful process. Now, you’re likely asking yourself if this is true. Are you doomed to a painful and long-lasting process if you get braces? Not at all! We strive to reduce pain as much as possible for our patients at Reddick Orthodontics. Here’s some information about the process of tightening braces, so we can hopefully clear up any misconceptions you may have.

Why Braces Need Tightening

Braces work as a process over time. The brackets are cemented to the patient’s teeth, and then the wires exert pressure on the brackets to move the teeth. It’s a slow process that takes months to work. As your teeth shift from their original position, you’ll feel the pressure from the process working.

Eventually, the pressure is reduced. This means that the process is working. However, it also means that the braces need to be tightened again, in order to keep the pressure on the teeth. If you didn’t feel any pressure at all, the braces would not be doing their job.

Frequency of Tightening Braces

Your orthodontist in Melbourne will let you know how often your braces need tightening. This really is a case-by-case basis, depending on how far the patient’s teeth need to be moved and a few other factors. In general, we ask patients with braces to visit us every four to six weeks at Reddick Orthodontics. This is to ensure the process is working correctly and that the braces are still in good shape and that your teeth are moving correctly.

It might be time for your braces to be tightened if you notice any of the following:

  • Brackets become loose.
  • There’s no pressure or pain from the braces at all, even when eating tougher foods.
  • You don’t feel pressure on your teeth when you try to push them together.

Braces Tightening at the Orthodontist in Melbourne, FL

Here’s what to expect when you come in to have your braces tightened at Reddick Orthodontics. The appointment starts with a check-up to see how your teeth are progressing and if there are any problems from the braces.

If any of the bands need to be replaced, it will happen at this time. If spacers need to be added or any other changes made, that will also happen during a tightening appointment. Then, the orthodontist will adjust the wire on the brackets so that it’s exerting new pressure on your teeth. If necessary, the wire will be replaced with a new one.

The Big Question: Does It Hurt?

It’s very common to have some soreness and sensitivity after getting your braces tightened. With that being said, there are also a lot of patients who say they only feel pressure from the tightening — but not pain. The initial pain and sensitivity usually goes away on its own after one to two days. You can take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to help manage any pain the first few days.

Instead of pain, most people say their teeth become very sensitive after having their braces tightened. They can go about their day normally without feeling any pain at all, but then when they sit down to eat, it becomes extremely painful. This is pretty normal after having your braces tightened. The teeth haven’t adjusted yet, and tougher foods can cause a lot of pain and sensitivity. It’s a really good idea to stick to softer foods, such as soup and yogurt, until that initial sensitivity and pain fades away.

Another thing to note is that cold foods and drinks actually help with the pain and sensitivity. It’s a nice excuse to have a frozen yogurt treat or a glass of ice water.

Call Us About Braces in Melbourne, FL

Traditional wire braces are not the only option available these days. Invisible braces and Invisalign in Melbourne, FL are popular options for patients. So, if you are thinking about braces or any other method of adjusting your teeth for that perfect smile, contact Reddick Orthodontics or give us a call to book an appointment today 321.254.5232.


We have missed seeing everyone!  We are finally able to go back to work and look forward to seeing all of our patients and their families.  We are in the process of calling everyone who has missed an appointment during our forced office closure to reschedule and get back on track.  We will be working overtime in the coming months to do what we can to help. Unfortunately, our time out of work will delay treatment completion for many and for that we are truly sorry.  Most importantly, we hope this message finds everyone happy and healthy.

The health and safety of our patients, their families, and the community remain our primary focus.  We are taking as many precautions as possible for prevention of spreading COVID-19.  We will remain vigilant with our sterilization and disinfection protocols and we will  be taking additional precautionary measures as well.   If the patient or an immediate family member has been sick in the past two weeks, we ask that you please call us to reschedule the appointment to a later date as a precaution.

To limit the traffic in our building, we will be adjusting to a “parking lot waiting area”.  We will have a staff member come out to each vehicle to greet you and check the patient in.  Please call the office if you are not promptly greeted.  There are some types of appointments that require a parent’s participation, so we ask that anyone accompanying the patient into the office wear a mask or face covering.  We can provide masks if necessary. 

We will only be utilizing half of our operatories to maintain significant distance between patients.  We ask that all of our patients please thoroughly brush their teeth prior to their appointments to limit use of our toothbrushing area.  We have also installed plexiglass barriers between our front desk and the waiting area.  As always, we will continue to be committed to giving each of our patients the best experience possible!

Thank you for your understanding!

The Reddick Orthodontics Team