Braces Rubber Bands: The Way to the Perfect Smile
Braces fall among one of the most popular and effective orthodontic tools of the day. However, that does not make wearing braces alone fully effective, in both adults and children. Therefore, in some cases, your orthodontist may recommend wearing rubber bands along with your traditional braces. They are part of your orthodontic treatment that helps tooth movement.
For many orthodontic patients, braces rubber bands are more uncomfortable to wear than braces alone. Still, truth be told, rubber brands are both necessary to wear and truly need a bit of getting used to. What is more, braces rubber bands play a huge role in teeth alignment, jaw positioning, and overall success of your orthodontic treatment?
What types of elastics there are?
Rubber bands, also known as orthodontic elastics, are tiny orthodontic tools which help the braces do their job even better by adding tension to your teeth and jaws. This additional force helps move your teeth and jaws in the right position. Braces rubber bands are small and come in many colors, which makes them kid-friendly. Mainly, orthodontic elastics or braces rubber bands fall in two main types:
Ligatures rubber bands
Ligatures are the types of braces rubber bands, which usually go over each tooth bracket, thus entirely securing the braces wire. These braces rubber bands are always fixed and you will wear them at all times. Also, these are used in treating both adults and children of all ages.
Medically speaking, there are three under-types of ligatures used in teeth and jaw treatment:
- Single elastic ligatures – this type ligatures has the least endurance of all. Because of this, you have to replace them regularly at your regular orthodontist visits. Those elastic ligatures hold the wire attached to your braces.
- Connected elastic ligatures – these are also referred to as power chain or c-chain ligatures. Again, a very versatile tool, these rubber bands serve the purpose of tightening the space between your teeth. These are also used to move a group of teeth all at once. These rubber bands are always done by your orthodontist and are subjected to changes.
- Steel wire ligatures – made of stainless steel, this type of ligatures works the same as the above once. However, the difference between these and the above is that these wire ligatures can apply more force on the brackets. They are made of stainless steel.
Inter-arch and Intra-arch rubber bands
- Inter-arch rubber bands – are the classic braces rubber bands. They apply pressure to top and bottom jaws and teeth. These are keeping the jaw steady, moving teeth, and giving you a normal bite in return. They come in different sizes, colors, and strengths. Unlike the first type (ligatures), you cannot buy these rubber bands in a pharmacy. You have to make an orthodontist appointment to get them. They are commonly used to fix an overbite.
- Intra-arch rubber bands – are the classic braces rubber bands. They apply pressure to teeth on the same jaw. These are moving teeth, and giving you a normal bite in return. They come in different sizes, colors, and strengths.
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How Do Braces Rubber Bands Work?
Once wearing braces, your orthodontist may decide you need to wear a type of braces rubber bands. Usually, the orthodontist will place rubber bands on both sides of the mouth. This is done by attaching the bands directly to the brackets of your top teeth. You will feel some stretching, as the band must be expanded to the bracket on one of your molars. With this, the bands can give your teeth and jaw the stability they need.
Tips for Wearing Rubber Bands on Your Braces
Again, wearing braces rubber bands can initially be unpleasant. Because of that, here are several useful tips to make your treatment plan easier:
- Your orthodontist will teach you how to place and take rubber bands out. Make sure your braces rubber bands are secured by using your thumb and index finger to attach them. Using a mirror, in this case, would benefit you a lot. If you feel super uncomfortable, or feel any pain, turn to your orthodontist. Oftentimes, you might need bigger-size bands.
- Always keep braces rubber bands near you, and make sure they are zipped properly at all times.
- It is crucial that you know that rubber bands are to be replaced daily. As these tear and grow weaker in elasticity, a suitable replacement is necessary. This will keep the treatment undisrupted and will have you covered even if one of your bands pops unexpectedly. Thereafter, it is best to replace these every 8-12 hours.
- Make sure to only remove your braces rubber bands from the brackets before brushing your teeth or eating.
- Wear your braces rubber bands at all times, unless your doctor advises otherwise.
- You might experience jaw stretching or discomfort, but it is only natural. In time, these symptoms of unpleasantness will fade away.
- You can always take over-the-counter painkillers, but only if you feel any discomfort due to wearing the bands.
What else should you know on braces rubber bands?
One of the things which matter the most when wearing braces rubber bands is persistence. Staying determined with wearing elastics and replacing them adequately is key to the treatment. Even more, by ignoring the importance of wearing rubber bands, you risk suffering additional teeth and jaw issues. Allow your children to accept wearing these bands on their own and help them in case of self-confidence issues.
All in all, when it comes to oral health, it is better to approach an issue in time. Therefore, don’t hesitate to reach out to your orthodontist and consult them on wearing braces rubber bands.