What are Rubber Bands?

We get asked a lot about rubber bands and why some people need to use them when they get braces. It’s important to remember that every case is different, so if you have any specific questions be sure to ask Dr. Black. We are always happy to answer anything you want to know! Two kinds of rubber bands may be used with braces. The small elastic band that wraps around the bracket is called a ligature and stays on until your next adjustment when the orthodontist changes them. Often you can choose what color bands you want, making it fun to change your smile’s color throughout the process. The second kind of rubber bands are called interarch rubber bands, and you change these yourself throughout the day. These can go side to side or from the bottom row to the top.

Why Do I Need Rubber Bands?

Interarch rubber bands adjust bite and jaw position. They help to align the top and bottom jaw properly, which is important as the teeth on each jaw are repositioned by the braces. They also help to straighten the teeth depending on where your orthodontist places the hooks. Not everyone who needs braces needs rubber bands. It depends on the position of your jaw and the desired alignment, which your orthodontist carefully considers based on your individual treatment and recommendations. If your orthodontist tells you to wear rubber bands, make sure you do. They are a very important part of your treatment!

Facts and Tips

Here are some facts and tips on rubber bands:

#1: Rubber bands help to align your bite. They can correct over or under bites. 

#2: Rubber bands help your teeth to move in different directions. Basically, the tension from the bands puts pressure on the bracket, which straightens teeth.

#3: Wear your rubber bands 24/7! Only take your rubber bands out to brush your teeth and when eating. Replace them at least once a day to keep the tension tight.

#4: Always carry replacements. It’s a good idea to always carry rubber bands with you in case you need a replacement which happens often, so be prepared.

#5: If the hook breaks. If the hook for your bands breaks off make sure to contact Dr. Black’s office ASAP.

Keep on Smiling! 🙂