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Why Do My Teeth Feel Loose During Orthodontic Treatment?

By February 7, 2023June 30th, 2024Blog, Dental Health, Invisalign, Orthodontics

If your teeth feel loose during braces or Invisalign® treatment, there’s no need to panic. It’s actually a normal part of the process. To better understand the reasoning for this, let’s dig into the science and technology of how orthodontic treatments work.

The Different Faces of Braces: The Basics of Orthodontics

At Straight Smiles in Kelowna, Dr. James Scramstad, a general dentist practicing orthodontics only, offers several different types of braces, including metal braces and clear braces, as well as an alternative called Invisalign, which we’ll discuss a little later on in this article. 

It’s essential first to understand the question, how do braces straighten teeth? Metal and clear braces rely on brackets and wires to move your teeth. The brackets are bonded to your teeth, and then an archwire runs through them, which acts as a track to guide your teeth into place. 

If you’re wondering, “But why do my teeth feel loose from braces?” it’s because the pressure from your appliance stimulates a natural process called bone remodeling. The bone and tissues break down, the teeth loosen, and then they move in the direction we want them to. 

Keep in mind that once your teeth have been appropriately shifted and are in their final positions, new bone will form, and the tissues will tighten back up to secure them in place. You will also be provided with a retainer once you’re done with braces to ensure your freshly minted smile doesn’t budge.

Why Do My Teeth Feel Loose During Orthodontic Treatment?

How Does Invisalign Work? Will My Teeth Feel Loose With Aligners?

Invisalign is a modern and exciting teeth-straightening system that involves a series of clear, removable aligners that are specially created from smooth, BPA-free plastic. The aligners will be custom fitted to your teeth, gradually and sequentially shifting your teeth into proper alignment. They’re the ideal alternative for patients eager to align their smile and bite in the most subtle way possible. 

Though the timing and application of orthodontic forces are different with Invisalign vs. braces, the underlying mechanisms are the same. So, you might notice you have slightly loose teeth with Invisalign too. Again, when your teeth are in position, new bone and tissue will hold them in place. 

With a Little Bit of Pain, There’s a Whole lot to Gain

Does straightening your teeth hurt? Bone remodeling itself isn’t painful at all and happens on a cellular level. However, when you first get your braces or start wearing aligners, you may feel an overall soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to the pressure of biting anywhere from two to five days. It’s important to note that you might experience similar mild discomfort after braces adjustments, but have no fear; it will last a far shorter amount of time. 

On the bright side, there are some helpful solutions to relieve discomfort. You can make a saltwater rinse by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water – it should taste like you’re taking a sip from a saltwater lake or ocean. From there, you simply swish the warm water and salt around your mouth and then spit it out. You can repeat this as often as you’d like. If that doesn’t help and the pain, you can take Tylenol or any over-the-counter pain reliever, you typically take for a headache or similar pain.

Do Teeth Move After Braces or Invisalign?

Thanks to the final step in your smile journey, you won’t have to worry about your teeth moving. After your braces are removed, or you take out that last set of aligners,  you’ll be fitted for a retainer. 

Retainers are the only way to ensure your results last and are created to fit and preserve your new smile. Orthodontic retainers are the natural next step to ensure your brand-new smile stays in position. We use thin, clear retainers for most patients. 

Book an Appointment at Our Kelowna Orthodontic Office

Ready to find out how braces and Invisalign can straighten your teeth and align your bite? Schedule a new patient appointment at Straight Smiles here


Dr. James Scramstad

Author Dr. James Scramstad

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