Rubber bands are an essential part of orthodontic bite correction. They help your braces guide the teeth into place. The orthodontists at Village Orthodontics will answer the questions you may have about the different types of orthodontic rubber bands for braces.
What's the purpose of rubber bands for braces?
Rubber bands are essential in orthodontic bite correction. These bands fit over tiny hooks on the top and bottom of your braces, or the small, clear buttons on clear aligners. If worn consistently, they help guide teeth into place. Rubber bands are not required for everyone wearing braces. Whether you'll need rubber bands will depend on the alignment of your jaw and your orthodontist's recommendations based on your individual circumstances and treatment plan.
Although medical-grade latex is safe for your mouth, latex-free alternatives are available.
What are the different rubber band types for braces?
Elastics for braces and be classified into three different classes, aptly named Level I, Level II, and Level III.
- Class I rubber bands are used to close the gap between teeth. These rubber bands run from the upper first or second molar hook to the upper cuspid hook.
- Class II rubber bands are used to reduce an overjet by retracting the upper teeth and moving the lower teeth forward.
- Class III rubber bands are used to correct an underbite by retracting lower teeth and advancing upper teeth.
How can I put on the rubber bands?
Your orthodontist should give you instructions on how to put your rubber bands on. Here are some extra tips to help you.
- Rubber bands are usually attached to the hooks on braces, so ensure you know the different parts of your braces before trying to hook the rubber bands.
- Change your rubber bands as instructed by your orthodontist and ensure you are wearing them for the correct amount of time.
- Attend your regular orthodontic appointments to ensure your orthodontic treatment stays on track and the necessary elastic adjustments take place
Can I eat with my rubber bands on?
You should wear your rubber bands at all times, even when eating. If your rubber bands are bothering you, take them off for a few minutes and replace them after your meal. To avoid treatment complications, keep your rubber bands on your braces as much as possible.
Will these rubber bands on my braces hurt?
It's normal to feel some discomfort when using rubber bands with your braces. This is because these bands apply additional pressure to your teeth and jaws to align them. The good news is that this pain should subside soon after placing these rubber bands or having them adjusted.
You might consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed, and drinking a glass of cold water.. If the pain persists, contact your orthodontist to properly fit the rubber bands and relieve the pain.