Why should you wear your rubber bands? Elastics, or rubber bands, are a critical part of almost every person’s orthodontic treatment. While we can make the top teeth straight and the bottom teeth straight largely without your help, we can’t get the teeth to fit together perfectly without help from elastics.
Elastics help slide the top and bottom teeth forward/back/up/down as a unit so that your bite is functional and stable. We will ask you to wear your rubber bands in a specific direction that depends on how your jaws and teeth are positioned relative to each other. You can wear rubber bands with both braces and Invisalign!
For example, if you have a lot of overjet (layperson’s term is “overbite,” or horizontal overlap between the top and bottom teeth), we will usually ask you to wear them from the top canines to the bottom back molars. This will help slide your top teeth back and shift your bottom teeth forward to eliminate the overbite. If you have an underbite, like the patient in the photo had, usually you will attach them from your bottom canines to your top back molars in order to move your top front teeth out in front of your bottom front teeth.
Every time you come to your appointment, we will evaluate your bite and decide how you should wear your rubber bands. You will generally move up in size and strength as your treatment progresses. You don’t have to lie to us about whether or not you’ve worn them either… because we can always tell!! 😛
Wearing your rubber bands is directly correlated to how long treatment will take too. The better you wear them, the faster you will get done! In order for bite correction to happen, typically they have to be worn a minimum of 20 hours/day continuously until we ask you to stop.
Do you have any questions about elastics or do you want to fix your bite? Let us know in the comments below or contact us!