Why do braces need to be tightened?

Braces need to be routinely adjusted in order to ensure that they are applying the right type of pressure to slowly move the teeth into their ideal positions. At these appointments, we won’t just fine-tune the braces, but we will examine them as well, making sure that nothing needs to be replaced (such as a bracket).

How does tightening braces actually work?

We start by removing all of the rubber bands from the brackets that are holding the wire in place. They’ll then remove the wire itself. We will look at the position of the teeth, check how they have moved, and determine whether or not a new wire is needed. Lastly, either the original or a new wire will be put back onto the brackets, and then a new set of rubber bands will be used to hold it in place.

Does tightening braces hurt?

The big question! Because we place new rubber bands onto the brackets, this can cause a patient to feel some extra pressure on their teeth and experience a little oral tenderness. This is normal, and it just means that the braces are working! This slight discomfort should go away after a few days, and a patient can take an OTC medicine to help manage any pain. As a patient receives multiple adjustments over the course of their treatment, they’ll actually feel less and less after each one.

How long does it take to have braces tightened?

Not very long at all—about 20 minutes for most patients!

How often do braces need to be tightened?

This answer will differ depending on each patient’s unique needs, but for most, we recommend having their braces adjusted about once every 4 weeks.

As always, here at Loyacona Orthodontics in Pittsburgh/Penn Hills, Uniontown, and Murrysville, we are available to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us today!

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