Getting braces is a significant step towards achieving a straight and beautiful smile. While braces work wonders in aligning teeth, they require periodic adjustments to ensure the desired results. 

During these adjustments, the braces are tightened, which may cause some discomfort or soreness in the days following the procedure. In this blog post, we will explore why teeth hurt after braces are tightened and how long it typically takes for the discomfort to subside.

Why Do Teeth Hurt After Braces Tightening?

Braces work by exerting gentle pressure on the teeth, gradually moving them into the correct position. When braces are tightened, this pressure is increased to continue the alignment process. As a result, the surrounding ligaments and bones that hold the teeth in place are slightly stretched and adjusted, leading to temporary soreness.

The Initial Discomfort: After braces tightening, it is common to experience some discomfort, especially within the first 24-72 hours. This discomfort may range from mild soreness to aching, and it is normal for patients to feel uneasy during this period.

Eating Soft Foods: During the initial days after braces tightening, it is advisable to stick to a soft food diet to reduce pressure on the teeth. Opt for foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, soups, and smoothies to minimize discomfort while eating.

Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help manage the soreness. However, always follow the recommended dosage and consult with Best dentist in Frisco before taking any medication.

Applying Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the cheeks can help alleviate swelling and numb the area, providing some relief from the discomfort.

Orthodontic Wax: If the braces are causing irritation or rubbing against the cheeks or lips, orthodontic wax can be applied to smooth the edges and reduce friction.

Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential even during times of discomfort. Continue brushing and flossing gently, making sure to clean around the braces to prevent any additional issues.

Drinking Water: Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins and reduce inflammation, contributing to a smoother recovery.

Gradual Improvement: As the days pass, the discomfort should gradually subside. Most patients report feeling significantly better within a week after braces tightening.

Follow Orthodontist’s Recommendations: Always follow your orthodontist’s post-tightening instructions carefully. They may provide additional guidance to manage the discomfort effectively and ensure a successful treatment outcome.


Experiencing some discomfort after tightening braces is a normal part of the orthodontic journey. The pressure applied during the adjustment process may lead to soreness, but it is a sign that the braces are working to align your teeth correctly. By following proper oral hygiene, eating soft foods, and using pain relievers as needed, you can help ease the discomfort during the initial days. 

Remember that each patient’s experience may vary, but in general, the soreness should subside within a week, leaving you one step closer to your dream smile. If you have any concerns or the pain persists, don’t hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist for guidance and reassurance.