We all know that braces can be uncomfortable and tightening them sounds medieval, but it’s not the tugging and pulling that it sounds like. In fact there are newer braces (self ligating) that do not need to be tightened as often and this mean they do not cause discomfort as often as conventional braces. It is, however, important to get your smile the way you want it so no matter what type of brace you have, keep your appointments and try to focus on the end result and not the “tightening” that happens at your appointments.

braces adjustment orem UtahThere are two main types of braces: conventional and self ligating (Speed, fast track, Damon, Empower, Innovation R, etc.) There are many differences between old school and self ligating braces.

Conventional braces need to be “tightened” every 4-6 weeks, but it’s more of an adjustment than anything else. Your old—and possibly worn-out—elastic bands are replaced, and your teeth are checked up on. But the most important part is the “tightening.”

Self ligating braces only need to be “tightened” every 6-10 weeks so there is less pain. Nothing wears out on these types of braces and nothing needs to be replaced. In addition, this type of brace is more efficient than the conventional brace and often patients get their braces off faster.

Sometimes the wire needs to be replaced, to make sure it is tugging your teeth in the right way. This could mean the wire is tighter or looser, hence the “tightening.”

If you skip the adjustment, you could mess up the whole process and it almost always takes longer for your braces to fix your teeth and get your braces off.

And the pain? The added tension of the new wire and elastic bands (conventional braces only) will usually hurt a bit. This could go on for hours or even days, but usually doesn’t last for very long.

The pain can range from annoying pressure to a dull pain. But again, it usually goes away pretty quickly.

You can try softer foods like you did when you first got your braces put on—to help with the pain.

But just remember, a little bit of pain is a whole lot better than another year in braces. So go make that appointment you’ve been dreading, your future self will appreciate it.