Do Braces Hurt: When You Get Them Off and When Tightened?

Wearing braces corrects dental problems like bite, crowded and crooked teeth and misaligned jaws. Braces are an orthodontic treatment which works by applying constant pressure to your teeth.

This moves the teeth from their bad positions into their straight, correct placements over time. New braces pain is sometimes felt, but this can be managed by soft foods and over the counter pain medication such as Panadol.


How long does it take to straighten my teeth?

How long the process takes to move your teeth from a bad position into a correct one depends on the problem your Orthodontist is aiming to fix, but it generally takes about two years.  Braces pain may be experienced when your braces are tightened, with some discomfort felt for a little while, but you will find relief from over the counter pain medication.

Why Do My Braces Have To Be Tightened?

Correcting misaligned teeth takes time and patience. Teeth can be gradually convinced to move into place and straighten, but your braces have to be adjusted and activated for that to occur. With each ounce of very small amounts of pressure on your teeth, your teeth move into place, and before long you will have a better smile.

What’s involved in tightening?

You need an appointment with your Orthodontist every few weeks for treatment and an evaluation of your progress, to see how much pressure the braces produce. When your teeth move, it lessens the tension, so the braces stop working and need tightening.

The treatment process involved in tightening your braces includes  increasing the tension on the rubber bands, springs and wire to provide more pressure and move your teeth. You may feel some soreness after your braces have been adjusted.

After a few days you will feel relief and shouldn’t have any trouble with your jaw, teeth or gums when you eat and need to chew foods.  

How Long Will My Mouth Hurt After Getting Braces Tightened?

When your Orthodontist changes the location of your teeth, even in the tiny increments braces do this, it can affect your blood flow, which may trigger inflammation. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, but can lead to a pain response so your teeth and gums  may feel sore, but not for long.

What To Do When Your Braces Hurt After Getting Them Tightened

If you’re in pain after a brace tightening, these tips will help to relieve it:

  • Oral pain relief -Your pharmacy may recommend a gel or oral pain relief to rub on your teeth and gums (but don’t use it all the time). You can also take some over-the-counter pain medication such as Panadol to make lessen the tenderness
  • An Ice pack – to ease discomfort, ice your cheeks for 10 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation, and sip ice water, but don’t chew the ice, it can crack your teeth, break brackets and wires on your braces. 

Soft food – Avoid crunchy or hard foods and eat blended soups, yogurt, oats, mashed potatoes, smoothies, and other liquid meals. Steer clear of popcorn, toffee, hard lollies and chewing gum.

When Your Braces Are Removed

When your orthodontist tightens your braces for the last time and you go back to have your braces finally removed, you’ll be very happy. When you see your smile and your new straight teeth, you’ll forget about any pain or discomfort.  

Removing your braces shouldn’t be painful, either. Your Orthodontist will clean your teeth, perhaps do some X Rays and dental scans to make sure your bite is corrected and everything has worked.  

Is that the end of the process?

While it will be a relief, having your braces removed doesn’t mean the job is totally done since your Orthodontist will want to fit you for a ‘retainer’. The type of retainer for each patient is individualized and custom made. Retainers are used to stop your teeth moving back into the old crooked positions while your gums and bones heal into a new formation. You may have to wear the retainer daily, or just at night. 

 For all things Orthodontic, call us today at The Orthodontic Place so we can help you smile freely and feel great again!