Rubber bands or “elastics” allow your orthodontist to target specific teeth and make more directed adjustments to your jaw. Since you’ll be living with them for a while, rubber bands probably pose a lot of questions. Read on to learn about braces with rubber bands, why orthodontists use them, their benefits to your treatment, and more.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
How Do Braces Work?
Before explaining the role of rubber bands in your treatment, you need to know how braces work.
Braces are comprised of brackets and wires. The brackets sit on the front of the teeth, held by a special adhesive. A wire (or “archwire”) loops through the brackets and forms an arc over the teeth being treated. This wire applies constant pressure to your teeth to move them over time into a straighter position.
Read our blog, How Do Braces Work, for more info!
What About Rubber Bands?
Rubber bands may be added to your braces to speed up the treatment or correct bite issues. These elastic bands attach to both the upper and lower brackets vertically, horizontally, or both—depending on your unique treatment needs. Rubber bands usually aren’t added to new braces, but after a few months, your orthodontist may recommend them to correct a bite issue.
Benefits of Braces with Rubber Bands
Rubber bands give your braces extra moving power while they work on your teeth. They can be used to increase the force on your teeth, and they can allow your orthodontist to better target precise teeth. Ultimately, rubber bands are used to address bite issues, and they may even shorten your treatment time!
Types of Rubber Band Configurations
Before getting into the maintenance of your rubber bands, let’s briefly review the four main types of rubber bands that your orthodontist may recommend for your braces:
- Class II. Class II rubber bands extend from one upper canine to a lower molar diagonally across the front of your teeth. This configuration helps correct overbite issues by moving the upper teeth back and the lower teeth forward.
- Class III. Likewise, Class III bands treat an underbite with the reverse configuration: a vertical rubber band extending from the upper molar to the lower canine. This moves the lower teeth back and the top teeth forward.
- Midline Elastics. To correct a midline alignment issue, midline elastics spread over the front of your teeth. Your orthodontist will customize the arrangement to correct your specific issue.
- Vertical Elastics. Finally, vertical elastics are useful for correcting arch and open bite problems. They form a triangle between upper and lower teeth to exert pressure in these areas.
How to Maintain Braces with Rubber Bands
Braces with rubber bands require some extra maintenance. While eating, brushing, and flossing, you have to remove your elastics. Your orthodontist will give you a special hook and show you how to put the bands back on. You will also need to replace the bands daily to prevent them from degrading or getting dirty.
Keep in mind that your diet impacts the condition of your rubber bands. Acidic drinks like lemonade, orange juice, and tomato juice can adversely affect your bands. In addition, crunchy, sticky, or overly hard foods can damage them as well.
Talk with your orthodontist about recommended dietary restrictions for braces with rubber bands so you or your child can maintain them without issues.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
For braces with rubber bands in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the best available care. Our advanced technology and treatment options offer a comfortable orthodontic experience, no matter your treatment needs. Don’t let treatable oral conditions get worse over time by putting off braces. Schedule an appointment with us today!