What Are Orthodontic Rubber Bands (How Do They Work?)
December 30, 2018
Orthodontic appliances are already amazing when you think about how some metal wires or plastic trays can help move your teeth into the desired positions. Then, you add on some rubber bands, and it’s easy to get curious about how each part of the appliance works together. The truth is that none of these components would work without the expertise of your orthodontist bringing them all together just right and making those fine-tuned adjustments, but it’s also fun to learn about how the rubber bands that you wear help to correct issues such as gaps between your teeth and a misaligned bite.
Why You Need Orthodontic Rubber Bands
Those tiny elastic loops play a big role in helping to pull your teeth into the right alignment. Typically, the elastics go between your top and bottom brackets, but they can also be used to connect the front and back brackets together. The placement of your rubber bands depends specifically on the type of movement you need to achieve for a better smile.
Rubber bands work with your braces by adding an additional level of pressure that helps to move your teeth and jaws. While the bands that are placed between the brackets help to keep the wires in place, your inter arch rubber bands help to realign your jaw so that your treatment results in a better bite.
How to Wear The Elastics
During your treatment, you will be shown how to wear the elastics properly so that you don’t experience a delay in your treatment. Since braces elastics positions are essential for them to make a difference in your mouth alignment, it is important to practice doing it yourself during your appointment so that you can make sure that you do it right.
Your orthodontist will show you how to attach part of the loop to tiny hooks that are on the brackets. As they do, make sure that you understand exactly which tooth and in which direction to put the band since this can change over the course of your treatment. You will also need to find out how often to change out the bands to prevent them from getting old or worn out. Over time, orthodontic bands lose their tightness just like other types of elastics and this can have a detrimental effect upon how well they hold their position.
Types of Rubber Bands Used for Orthodontic Care
There are several braces elastics types that are used for orthodontic care, and understanding how each one works in your mouth keeps you more informed about your treatment plan. The ligature bands simply sit across the top of your brackets, and you never need to worry about having to move these. Instead, you will have these placed during your appointments, and many people love these since they can be found in different colors that make treatment more fun.
Inter arches are the other main one of the braces elastics types that you may need to wear, and these are also found in different strengths that affect the level of pressure that they place on your teeth. With either elastic type, you may also have options such as the material that they are made from and the colors. For many people, non-latex bands are necessary due to allergies, and wearing colorful bands makes it easier to remember when to switch them out or put them back in. This is especially true for children who need to wear their rubber bands and are still learning how to be responsible for complying with their treatment.
Caring for the Rubber Bands
Orthodontic rubber bands require very little thought since they simply need to be removed and changed out according to the recommended schedule that is included in your treatment plan. You do need to remember to take them out of your mouth when you eat or perform your oral hygiene routine. Depending on how long you have been wearing them, you can either reuse them or switch to a new pair. You can also rinse them off with water or mouthwash before putting them back into your mouth if they get dirty and you do not have a fresh one to replace it.
If you run out of elastics or notice that something just does not feel right, then always report the problem to our staff so that we can help you get the supplies and help you need to keep wearing them for the majority of the day.
Tips to Always Wear the Elastics
The success of your braces depends upon how often you wear the elastics. In most cases, you need to wear them for the majority of the day. Going without them for more than a few hours could cause your treatment to stall since the pressure is not there to help move your teeth and jaw into alignment.
Once you get used to them, wearing your elastics is easy. Naturally, you want to periodically check to make sure that the braces elastics positions are still properly aligned. This is because talking or eating with them in your mouth can sometimes cause them to slip off of the hook on your brackets or just move slightly out of position.
You may also need to set reminder alarms to help you remember to put them back in your mouth after you eat. However, many people find that just setting their bag of elastics near their toothbrush is enough to help them remember to put the bands back in. Since you need to always have your elastics available in case one breaks, put spares into your purse or store them in your car. For kids and teens, try making a kit that includes elastics along with some basic hygiene supplies to put into their bag for school.
Contact us Today
Your curiosity about orthodontic rubber bands is a sign that you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. King at our King Orthodontics office to find out your best options for getting straighter teeth.
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CENTERVILLE OFFICE6460 Far Hills AveCenterville, OH 45459Phone: (937) 433-0830
What Are Orthodontic Rubber Bands (How Do They Work?)