Rubber Bands for Braces: What are They & Why are They Necessary?

February 26, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — dailysmilesmacarthur @ 2:50 pm
a patient choosing their rubber bands for braces

Adjusting to wearing traditional braces can feel overwhelming as it is, but in some cases, your dentist may require you to wear elastics, which are special rubber bands designed to help you achieve a straighter bite and smile. While they can be easy to get used to, when you first put them on, you may feel uncomfortable. Just remember to trust the process and know that the results will be worth it! Read on to learn more about rubber bands for braces, like what they are and when you’ll need them.

What are Rubber Bands for Braces?

Rubber bands for braces are similar to the ones you can find at a department store to hold your hair back or at an office supply store to bundle papers, except they’re designed to aid orthodontic treatments. The ones your dentist will supply you with are high-quality, durable, and made of medical-grade materials to help shift the jaw into alignment as well as the teeth.

Types of Elastics

There are several different types of elastics, all designed to tackle a wide range of orthodontic problems. They come in a variety of tensions, sizes, and materials. Light, medium, and heavy tensions are able to place the exact amount of force necessary onto your jaw depending on how severe your bite problem is, while the size and material are determined based on any allergies you may have (like to latex) and the size of your mouth. They also come in a variety of colors, including clear so you can choose the option that best fits your unique expression.

How Do Rubber Bands for Braces Work?

In most cases, your dentist will ask you to wear your rubber bands on both sides of your mouth to distribute an even amount of tension across your orthodontic appliance. They’ll attach to small metal hooks on your brackets, usually the ones on your top canines and bottom molars. They help stabilize the archwire as well as shift the jaw forward, backward, or sideways, depending on what type of bite problem you have.

Tips for Wearing Rubber Bands for Braces

Every day, you’ll replace your rubber bands twice. When you diligently follow your dentist’s instructions, it will be easy to get used to them, although you may have a slightly uncomfortable, short adjustment period. To place them on your brackets, simply use a small hook-like tool to stretch them from your top canine to bottom molar. Because they’re very small, they can be easy to lose, so keep them in a secure storage bag and be mindful while removing them from it.

Although the thought of adding one more layer to your orthodontic treatment may seem frustrating at first, elastics aren’t so bad, and the benefits that they offer when it comes to your final results are huge! They’ll help balance your bite, drastically reducing your risk of experiencing future discomfort and conditions such as TMJ disorder. Plus, they’re an opportunity to add some flare to your orthodontic appliance!

About the Author

Dr. Rafiq Hirji has been practicing dentistry for over a decade and has completed advanced training in specialties including children’s dentistry and orthodontics, meaning he can provide comprehensive dental care under one roof. He enjoys treating patients of all ages and seeing families because it allows him to build lasting relationships! For questions or to learn more about orthodontics, visit Daily Smiles MacArthur Dental & Orthodontics’ website or call 972-947-9625.

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