How are braces tightened?

Braces and other orthodontic treatments work to fix crooked, separated teeth and also bite problems. 

Braces can take years to move teeth into their correct positions; that is why during this time we orthodontists need to change your braces’ elastic bands and wires regularly. 

People usually refer to this process as “tightening braces,” even when we no longer tighten them. However, changing elastic bands and wires is an essential step of the treatment, which is why we talk about how, why, and how often braces get “tightened” by your orthodontist.

So, are they no longer tightened? Then what happens when I go to the orthodontist?

No, braces are no longer tightened as they used to be several decades ago. In today’s orthodontics, wires do most of the work, so we change bands wires when we need teeth to move in different ways. People may feel more pressure on their teeth after these appointments, so they keep calling it “tightening braces,” even when braces are no longer tightened.

How often are braces tightened?

Before answering this question, we need to know how different wire materials behave. Braces work with two different types of wires: Nickel-Titanium (NiTi), and stainless-steel wires.

Nickel Titanium (NiTi) wires

NiTi wires have shape memory; this means that the wire will want to go back to its original shape. This is important since these wires will move the teeth with them so that they are aligned.

Stainless steel wires

On the other hand, stainless steel wires do not move even when being under an outside force, so they can be useful in certain situations.

Furthermore, wires can be round or rectangular, and they also have different sizes, so orthodontists will use different wires during the orthodontic treatment. Therefore, braces have to be “tightened” every four to ten weeks, depending on your treatment stage.


So… how are braces tightened?

As stated, braces are no longer tightened, but people still need to go to the orthodontist to change wires and elastics. The process is usually the following:

  1. Your orthodontist removes the old elastics.
  2. You are asked to pick new elastic band colors.
  3. Your orthodontist checks and changes the wires for ticker or thinner ones according to your specific treatment needs.

And that is the whole process, but it needs to be carried on regularly, which is why you need to attend your appointments as told by your orthodontist.

How long are teeth sore after getting braces tightened?

As stated before, teeth can feel sore after getting new wires; this sensation usually lasts between one and three days. Some people do not feel noticeable changes, but others feel discomfort and even pain after getting bigger-sized wires. If you feel pain after going to your appointment, you can take over-the-counter painkillers to stop the discomfort.

Where to get affordable braces in the Phoenix Metro area?

If you are looking for a place to get affordable braces in the phoenix metro area, you can come to Somos Dental. At Somos Dental we are known as the affordable braces place in Phoenix. You can get a free first appointment by filling our online form or calling us at 623-900-1554; you can also visit us at any of our six locations at Downtown Phoenix, Mesa, Camelback, Laveen, Avondale, and Desert Sky Mall.

Get a free laptop when you prepay your braces for only $1,999

We wanted to give the best present that it can be given, the presence of a beautiful white smile. In Somos Dental you can get a free laptop when you prepay your braces.You can schedule your appointment by filling our online form, which will also give you a free diagnostic appointment, so you get your braces while also taking care of your finances.

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