When using traditional metal braces to straighten your teeth, metal wires are used to create pressure on your teeth. These wires are called archwires. The force from this wire is what causes your teeth to move. But over time, the pressure from the wire decreases until it becomes no longer effective. This is when the wire will need to be replaced and your braces will be tightened.

Traditional metal braces

Your braces are tightened during adjustment appointments.

These are the most common appointments and are typically every seven weeks. Although you might not necessarily have your braces tightened at every adjustment appointment. These appointments are also used to make sure you do not have any problems with your braces and that your treatment plan is on track. Wires are made up of different materials and sizes that will be used throughout your treatment. Your doctor will use different types of wire depending on what they judge to be necessary for your treatment.

Now that you know why you need your braces tightened. Let’s talk about how it is done.

assistant write down information

Your assistant will get ready for your adjustment by preparing a tray with the necessary tools and supplies. In order to prep for the doctor, the assistant will write down the following information based on your specific treatment

  • The quality of your braces’ hygiene
  • The completed time into your treatment
  • The current type and size of your wires
  • The plan for your next visit

Before tightening your braces, your assistant will also check for any loose or broken brackets. Your assistant will start by untying your brackets one by one. These ties are what hold your wire in place and allow you to personalize your braces with unique colors.

Next, the assistant will remove your old wire. Your assistant will then replace your wire with a new wire recommended by your doctor. But first, the new wire needs to be measured to ensure that it will fit comfortably and correctly. The length of the wire is measured and it is also fitted to confirm that it will fit in the midline of your brackets.

Tightening Braces

Once the wire is confirmed to fit correctly, your assistant will bend the wire in place around your brackets. The end of your wire will be bent into a loop and your assistant will make sure that it is not poking your cheek. In order to make the wire easier to bend your assistant may burn five to ten millimeters at the end of the wire with a flame before applying it to your teeth.

After your wire has been properly placed, the last step is to re-tie your wire with colors of your choosing.

It is important to have adjustment appointments.

Because your treatment will be delayed if you do not have the correct pressure on your teeth. Your doctor will also make sure that there is nothing wrong with your braces during this appointment. The sooner the doctor is able to correct any problems the quicker you will get on track to your new smile.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

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