Regularly tightening braces is a normal part of every patient’s treatment, but for some, the idea can easily cause them to feel some anxiety. We’re often asked questions like, “Does tightening braces hurt?” and, “How long does it take?” by concerned parents and children alike who don’t know what to expect. So, today, to make the unknown much less scary and mysterious, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions about getting braces in Powell tightened.
Q1: Why do braces need to be tightened?
Braces (more specifically, the wires) need to be routinely adjusted (not always tightened!) 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, your orthodontist in Powell won’t just fine-tune the braces, but they’ll examine them as well, making sure that nothing needs to be replaced (such as a bracket).
Q2: How does tightening braces actually work?
- Your orthodontist will 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.
- Your orthodontist 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.
Q3: Does tightening braces hurt?
The big question! Because your orthodontist places 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.
Q4: How long does it take to have braces tightened?
Not very long at all—about 20 minutes for most patients!
Q5: 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 you can see, getting braces tightened is actually nothing to fear at all! It’s just another part of how we help someone achieve a straighter, healthier, and more attractive smile. Another key thing to remember is that attending these adjustment appointments is extremely important to keeping treatment on track, so if you have to miss one for any reason, be sure to reschedule as soon as possible!
Do you or your child have any other questions about braces? If so, the team at Shirck Orthodontics would be happy to answer them. Feel free to give us a call any time!