Rubber bands on braces aren’t just meant to add some color to the metal wires. They can speed up your treatment and correct severe misalignments when used correctly.
Photo: studiogstock on Freepik
Many people who have worn or plan to get braces might have also worn different rubber bands over them. But are they actually any useful?
Orthodontic rubber bands are worn between the upper and lower teeth to increase the force applied. They are positioned according to the dental correction required.
They might be used for a variety of corrections:
Rubber bands attach to your brackets using small metal hooks and are periodically adjusted by the orthodontist.
Orthodontic rubber bands are typically used when there is a major misalignment in your teeth, or to correct issues such as an overbite or an underbite. Therefore, not everyone needs them.
The length of time that you would have to wear orthodontic rubber bands depends on your treatment plan. In most cases, they are worn for a few hours each day. These details are specified by your orthodontist as treatment progresses.
In general, people have to wear orthodontic rubber bands for a few weeks to a few months.
You should also take certain steps to ensure proper maintenance of your orthodontic rubber bands. This includes:
In some cases, your orthodontist may recommend readjusting your braces or an alternative treatment.
The side effects typically go away when your braces are removed. If you continue to experience them, consult your orthodontist.
Based on the force applied:
Based on application:
Based on material:
Based on size:
Some brands may also indicate the size of rubber bands by characteristic colors, while others are available only in clear options.
A headgear is commonly used for children whose jaw bones are still developing.
Power chains are made of a series of tiny ligatures connected in a chain-like fashion. They connect to the brackets, forming a continuous band that runs across your teeth. They are typically used for:
Lip bumpers are used when upper front teeth are protruding or the upper jaw is too narrow.
A palatal expander works by slowly expanding the roof of your mouth. This widens your upper jaw to align crowded teeth.
Other alternatives include:
The best treatment depends upon your budget, the time of treatment allowed, and how your orthodontist plans to treat your condition.