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 Melbourne 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 Melbourne 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 Melbourne 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 Melbourne Orthodontics or give us a call to book an appointment today 321.254.5232.