Braces exert continuous pressure to gently and steadily move the teeth and jaws into place. However, they stretch their teeth and upper and lower jaw independently. Correct alignment ultimately means your teeth will fit right when you bite into them. In some cases, achieving the ideal connection between the upper and lower bends requires a connecting force. Rubber struts can add to this strength and add an extra sound to the system to encourage the gear to shift in a certain way. Rubber bands align your bite and are essential to the bite fixation phase of braces treatment, usually the longest and most challenging part of the process.
How do they work?
The orthodontic elastic band pulls the jaw forward or back, depending on the motion you need to get into the proper alignment. Your upper and lower teeth should be aligned and comfortable when you bite. Rubber bands speed up the moving and straightening process and are an essential part of orthodontic treatment.
What is the purpose of rubber bands in braces?
The purpose of rubber bands in braces is to increase the force applied to certain areas of your mouth. Also referred to as elastic, rubber bands connect to your braces’ brackets and can be positioned in many different conformations. They align your bite and help different types of misaligned jaw.
Does everyone with braces need rubber bands?
No. Not everyone who wears a brace has to wear a rubber band. Ultimately, it depends on how well the teeth move and how your bite is affected as the teeth move. In some cases, orthodontists know that you need a rubber band before attaching braces. In other cases, the orthodontist may not know if your teeth will move after you’ve worn braces for a while. It is a good idea to consult your orthodontist if you will need rubber bands.
Do’s and Don’ts of Rubber Bands
- The more you wear your elastics, the better it is for your teeth. Wearing your elastics properly will help shift your teeth.
- Wear them exactly how you have been instructed to. Too much force too quickly can damage tooth roots and stretch out the amount of time it takes to move your teeth.
- Start the habit of carrying additional elastics on you. This will be an excellent habit to get into as you’ll always be ready in case of breakage or replacement.
- Double up your rubber bands. It will not help your teeth move faster. It can stagnate the tooth’s movement and even damage your roots.
- Overstretch them. When you stretch the elastic more than its actual strength, it can lose its power; therefore rendering it ineffective.
- Take your elastics off if your teeth are sore. Every time you remove them for an extended period and put them back on, you’re starting the adjustment period and any related discomfort over again.
Rubber bands are diverse, coming in a variety of sizes, force categories, and materials. They can also be arranged in different conformations depending on the treatment plan. If you need to use rubber bands on your braces, be sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions for wearing them carefully. This can help your treatment go according to plan.