Loose Teeth With Braces: Is It Normal To Feel Your Teeth Wiggle?

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Medically reviewed by Danielle Romatz, RDH

Braces are dental devices used for correcting crooked, crowded teeth or a misaligned jaw. Because of the prevalence of these dental issues, braces have become an important device use to treat children and adults alike. But what if you feel your teeth wiggling while wearing braces? Is that normal?

It is completely normal to feel your teeth wiggle when you have braces. Wearing braces can cause some pain, discomfort, and tooth mobility, especially at the start of treatment and after tightening sessions. Always consult your orthodontist if the discomfort becomes more severe.

If you have poor periodontal health or if braces aren’t applied properly, they can lead to tooth loss and other issues. For that reason, you should only see a qualified orthodontist for treatment with braces. But for now, let’s take a look at how braces work and why you might feel some wiggling while you’ve got them on.

How Do Braces Work?

Woman smiling showing teeth with braces

Braces work by applying pressure to the teeth and jaws to shift their position gradually. Brackets are glued to the teeth and hold the archwire in place. The brackets ensure the pressure is evenly applied. After some time, this pressure will cause the teeth to shift into proper position.

Periodontal ligaments are soft tissue that surrounds the bone and teeth. These ligaments hold the teeth in place and compress or stretch as teeth move.

When braces move a tooth to the left, the left ligament compresses, causing bone to break down on the left side and bone to rebuild on the right side; specialized cells are in place to ensure each process takes place.

Braces must move teeth slowly in order to be comfortable and effective. If an orthodontist moves the teeth too quickly, it is not only hurtful, but it can also harm the bone around your teeth and roots of teeth.

People who only need minor cosmetic changes to their teeth may only need braces for several months. However, people who need more complex treatment could wear braces for years.

Is It Normal for Your Teeth to Show Signs of Mobility With Braces?

Woman smile have dental braces on teeth laughing and have medical equipment tools for check tooth

Yes, some signs of mobility are normal, especially at first. Your teeth may feel loose for the first 2 to 3 days after your braces have been applied. However, this sensation is nothing to be concerned about. Changes in tooth-supporting structures and the movements your teeth make are the reasons for this looseness.

Once braces are installed, gentle force is applied to move the teeth properly into position. Various reactions and changes occur in the bone and periodontal tissues during this process.

Braces can make your teeth feel loose, but this sensation won’t last for long. Furthermore, you may experience some discomfort, but don’t fret; the pain will gradually subside.

The orthodontist will make normal adjustments to the wire every 4-6 weeks, allowing the teeth to slowly move into place. Once the teeth are in proper position and alignment, the bone will become more dense over time and the sensation of mobility will start to subside as treatment is completed.

Don’t forget to follow the orthodontist’s recommendation for retainer use.

Movement After Braces

Signs of movement after braces have been removed is also normal, but it may mean you need to use retainers for several months after the braces are removed. The retainers help maintain the teeth’s position as the jaw bone hardens around the teeth.

A patient may need to wear a retainer for years, or even for life. This is because teeth will always want to move back to their original position throughout your lifetime.

Other Expected Side Effects of Braces

In this section, we examine other common side effects of braces. If you experience more severe symptoms, we advise visiting an orthodontist for proper treatment.

Mild Discomfort

It is completely normal to experience mild discomfort from braces. Fortunately, most people can relieve any tension or pain with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin. If the pain or headaches worsen, consult your dentist.


Mild irritation is another common side effect of this treatment. This irritation is because your mouth isn’t accustomed to a foreign structure inside. Fortunately, there are products you can use to alleviate any irritation to the mucous membrane (cheeks) from the brackets.

The most popular product is orthodontic wax, such as GUM Wax with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera (on Amazon).

Apply wax to an entire section or a bracket in an area that bothers you, and you should feel instant relief. If a sharp wire is poking your mouth or causing it to bleed, contact your orthodontist right away.

Jaw Pain

Another side effect you can expect from wearing braces is jaw pain, particularly if your treatment requires jaw realignment. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help but depend on how severe the pain is.

Lastly, it is important to note the pain could also reoccur after every tightening session.

Difficulty Eating

Difficulty eating or chewing food is another common issue associated with braces, especially after a tightening session with an orthodontist. It may be tough to eat solid foods for some time after tightening sessions.

Luckily, this side effect should subside quickly.

What Should I Do if My Teeth Feel Wiggly?

In conclusion, anyone with loose teeth should see a dentist right away. If braces cause you any problem, all you need to do is follow expert advice on what to consume and avoid.

If you want to avoid loose teeth, make sure you follow proper dental health guidelines.

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