14 doctors weighed in:
What does an orthodontist do to tighten braces?
14 doctors weighed in

Dr. Shawn Murray
Dentistry
3 doctors agree
In brief: Braces
Tying the arch wire which goes in all the braces.
Each brace must be tied with rubber bands or smaller wires.

In brief: Braces
Tying the arch wire which goes in all the braces.
Each brace must be tied with rubber bands or smaller wires.
Dr. Shawn Murray
Dr. Shawn Murray
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1 comment
Dr. David Schleimer
OR, better yet with a self-ligating brace; whereby the wire is connected to the brace by a sliding gate. Better for oral hygiene, and less friction. Tightening is usually just a larger wire size being used, not really tightening the existing wire, which is the way we did it in the "old days".
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Dentistry - Orthodontics
2 doctors agree
In brief: Adjust the wire
Which will create greater tension to move the teeth as needed.

In brief: Adjust the wire
Which will create greater tension to move the teeth as needed.
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Dr. Hilary Baskin
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2 doctors agree
In brief: Bend the wires
When an orthodontist tightens braces, they do it by very small bends in the wires to change the forces that are moving the teeth.

In brief: Bend the wires
When an orthodontist tightens braces, they do it by very small bends in the wires to change the forces that are moving the teeth.
Dr. Jennifer Holtzman
Dr. Jennifer Holtzman
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Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Adjust force
The "medicine" we use in orthodontics to move teeth and jaws is directionally applied force.
As force applications (wires, elastics, head gears, springs, etc) are adjusted the braces temporarily feel tighter. To reduce discomfort follow orthodontist's directions exactly, keep teeth ; tissues immaculately clean, eat soft high protein diet, take advil, (ibuprofen) rinse w salt water.

In brief: Adjust force
The "medicine" we use in orthodontics to move teeth and jaws is directionally applied force.
As force applications (wires, elastics, head gears, springs, etc) are adjusted the braces temporarily feel tighter. To reduce discomfort follow orthodontist's directions exactly, keep teeth ; tissues immaculately clean, eat soft high protein diet, take advil, (ibuprofen) rinse w salt water.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Thank
Dr. William Dabney
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Orthodontics
By changing to a bigger wire as treat progresses or by placing more force on the same wire to pull it tighter into the brace.

In brief: Orthodontics
By changing to a bigger wire as treat progresses or by placing more force on the same wire to pull it tighter into the brace.
Dr. William Dabney
Dr. William Dabney
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Dr. S. Jay Bowman
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Many things
The previous answers are excellent.
The key is that there are so many possibilities to cause things to feel "tighter" in orthodontics. Tightness may come from inserting larger diameter wires, adding different appliances or devices, or even "activating" spring force wires with loops. The tightness most often signals that tooth movement will follow.

In brief: Many things
The previous answers are excellent.
The key is that there are so many possibilities to cause things to feel "tighter" in orthodontics. Tightness may come from inserting larger diameter wires, adding different appliances or devices, or even "activating" spring force wires with loops. The tightness most often signals that tooth movement will follow.
Dr. S. Jay Bowman
Dr. S. Jay Bowman
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Dr. Daniel Sampson
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
In brief: Changing wires
There is a wire that runs through all of the brackets on the teeth.
They change that wire and it's shape to move the teeth, then secure the wire to the brackets with rubber bands. They don't actually tighten anything.

In brief: Changing wires
There is a wire that runs through all of the brackets on the teeth.
They change that wire and it's shape to move the teeth, then secure the wire to the brackets with rubber bands. They don't actually tighten anything.
Dr. Daniel Sampson
Dr. Daniel Sampson
Thank
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