Five Commonly Asked Questions About Rubber Bands For Braces
If you are preparing to start your orthodontic journey with braces, or if you already have them installed on your teeth, you might have some questions about the purpose of the tiny rubber bands. It's essential to remember that even though elastics can create unwanted challenges throughout your treatment, they are a crucial part of your overall treatment plan.
This article will discuss five commonly asked questions about rubber bands and the vital role they play alongside your brackets and wires.
1. Does everyone need rubber bands?
Not every patient will be required to wear rubber bands, as it ultimately depends on how the treatment progresses. Your orthodontist will know when designing your treatment plan, and before installing the braces, if you will need the use of rubber bands. In other cases, it may not be known until the braces are worn for an extended amount of time, and the teeth start to shift. All in all, each patient will receive a customized set of rubber bands catered explicitly to their treatment needs.
2. How do the rubber bands work?
Rubber bands on braces are highly influential and helpful in the process of straightening teeth. The rubber bands work to pull the jaw forward or backward, and this movement is dependent on the patient's specific condition and what needs to be achieved for proper alignment. When attached to the braces, rubber bands create a force that assists the teeth in their correct position when you bite.
3. Is there different types of bands?
Each rubber band that an orthodontist provides has a specific strength and size. They can also be arranged into different configurations depending on your customized treatment plan outlined by your orthodontist. There are two main types used in treatment: ligatures and interarch bands. Ligature bands wrap around each bracket and help to keep the archwire adequately secured. It's important to note that ligature bands stay in place throughout treatment and can only be removed during an adjustment appointment. Interarch bands are used for additional support as they help align the jaw. You should only remove the bands to eat, brush, and floss.
4. What if one breaks?
If a rubber band becomes loose or breaks in-between adjustment appointments, it's essential to contact your orthodontist's office for a professional consult. It might be possible to wait until your next appointment to replace the band, but your orthodontist should decide.
5. Do you have to remove the bands to eat?
Removing the rubber bands to eat comes down to the patient's comfort level. If you feel comfortable eating with your rubber bands in, there's no need to take them out. But keep in mind that constantly opening and closing your mouth while eating will wear down the elasticity of the bands. It's recommended to change the rubber bands at least once per day, if not more. The bands are introduced into a treatment plan to provide a certain level of force. If the bands become loose, they will not give the required pressure to be effective during treatment.
Now that you hopefully have a better understanding of the purpose of elastic bands for braces, below are some tips to keep in mind during treatment:
• To hook the rubber bands securely, use both your thumb and your pointer fingers.
• Replace your rubber bands daily and change each side to ensure an equal level of tension is applied on both sides.
• Always remove your rubber bands to eat, brush, and floss.
• Store the rubber bands in a safe, clean, and convenient location.
• Have fun with your treatment by switching up the colours of the bands!
Rubber bands are an essential part of the treatment.
If you fail to replace the rubber bands throughout your treatment or skip adjustment appointments, you will directly impact your treatment success. The braces alone cannot provide enough pressure to shift your teeth into the proper bite position, as rubber bands are implemented into your treatment plan for a reason.
Make sure to wear the elastics correctly
It is not recommended to double-up on rubber bands to shorten treatment times or move the teeth more quickly. Without following your orthodontist's instructions, you could compromise your treatment, as applying too much force can damage the tooth roots.
Rubber bands will affect overall treatment time
The most important thing to remember is not to neglect to wear the rubber bands. Without them, you are prolonging your treatment and the overall success of your desired results. Patient compliance is essential to achieving the straight smile you've always wanted.