How Often Do Braces Need to be Tightened?

How Often Do Braces Need to be Tightened?

When you are first getting braces on, you might be a bit concerned about what to expect. Although it’s not a scary process, you will experience some soreness or pressure. The mechanics are meant to align your teeth together. They do so by slowly adjusting where your teeth need to be to maximize your smile and functionality. While this isn’t painful, you should be aware of what to expect when getting them. 

The process of getting them 

After having an initial discussion with your dentist about your alignment options, you will choose what you’d like. Each is a different price point, and many offer low visibility options, making patients more comfortable with their smiles as they get adjustments. Once you are getting them on, it will take about one to two hours. Typically, small rubber-band like rings are put around some of your teeth. It is normal to experience some pressure during this time. Then, glue is applied to the brackets that will be placed on your teeth and connected with wires. Within the next few hours, you can expect some soreness, as your teeth are beginning to adjust and are adapting to the change.


You can expect to have frequent visits with your dentist to ensure that your alignments are going well and meeting your treatment plan. There may be times where adjustments may take longer or shorter, depending on how quickly your teeth adjust to the pressure and change. The process of tightening your braces is meant to slowly apply tension to your teeth to pull them to the correct position. Frequently, the time frames that you expect to wear them change in accordance with the progression of movement.

How often do they need to be tightened?

Usually, every few weeks, you will need to have your dentist tighten them. This allows enough time for your teeth to acclimate to the difference. At your appointment, your dentist will also look at the elastic bands and quality of the metal to ensure going accordingly. If you experience soreness, you can rectify this with an over-the-counter pain killer. You may also get a soft wax from your provider that can aid in any irritation along the inside of the mouth, which can help protect against sores or irritation.


Be cautious of the foods you eat, as things like popcorn or hard candy can be a bit too rough and can cause damage to them. Even gum can be risky. Speak with your provider about what foods to absolutely avoid. If you experience soreness, try to aim for softer foods like yogurts, fruits, or oatmeal. Make sure to clean them often with a brush to get in between the teeth, ensuring you remove any particles of food that can harvest unwanted bacteria. With proper maintenance of your braces and appropriate tightening by your dentist, you’ll enjoy your new smile in no time!

Request an appointment here: or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at (602) 547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.


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