Rubber bands, also referred to as elastics, are a strategic tool that can be used along with braces to make sure your teeth fit together perfectly. They may be worn on certain brackets between the upper and lower jaw during certain periods of treatment.
What do rubber bands do and when do you wear them? Learn the answers to these and other questions about rubber bands for braces.
How Do Rubber Bands Work?
Rubber bands exert extra force on the teeth beyond what brackets and archwires can do. When worn according to your orthodontist’s instructions they can shift the teeth as needed to achieve the desired results. The primary purpose is usually to correct bite misalignment. They can shift the teeth forward, backward, or to the left or right.
What Orthodontic Conditions Do Rubber Bands Help Correct?
Rubber bands can correct a variety of bite issues, including:
- Overbite. An overbite occurs when the top teeth extend too far beyond the bottom teeth when you bite down.
- Underbite. An underbite occurs when the top teeth meet behind the bottom teeth when you bite down.
- Crossbite. A crossbite occurs when some of the top teeth meet over the bottom teeth and some meet behind the bottom teeth when you bite down.
- Open bite. An open bite occurs when the top and bottom teeth don’t meet at all when you bite down, leaving an opening between the teeth.
When Can You Take Them Out?
Rubber bands should be worn as much of the day and night as possible. You can take them out to eat and to brush and floss your teeth, but the rest of the time you should be wearing them in order to get the best results. You should change your rubber bands at least 3 or 4 times a day because they lose their elasticity over time and become stretched out, making them less effective. They may break as well. When you take them out to eat, throw them away and put new ones in afterwards.
What Part of Your Braces Treatment Involves Rubber Bands?
Rubber bands can be used at any time during braces treatment. They are most commonly used toward the end of your treatment time once the teeth have been straightened but the bite is still not correctly lined up. They put the finishing touches on your orthodontic treatment to ensure that your teeth are in the right position before removing your braces.
Do Rubber Bands Hurt?
You may experience some discomfort when you first start wearing your rubber bands. This is due to the force they exert on your teeth, shifting them more than your mouth is used to. After a few days the discomfort should subside.
Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Uses Rubber Bands for Treatment
As a patient of Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics your braces treatment may involve the use of rubber bands, or elastics. We will provide you with all of the rubber bands you need for your treatment. Your job is to wear them according to our instructions for best results. The more you wear your rubber bands, the sooner your treatment can be complete.
Contact us today at one of our 3 convenient locations to schedule a consultation.