What Do the Rubber Bands on My Braces Do?
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What Do the Rubber Bands on My Braces Do?

A person with their mouth open showing their braces and rubber bands

If you’re new to braces, you may be curious about what the parts and pieces do. You know they all work together to straighten your teeth, but how do they do it? The main components of traditional braces are wires and brackets. Wires move the teeth to the correct locations, and they are held in place by the brackets, which are adhered to the teeth. As for the rubber bands, they differ depending on your treatment.

Elastic Ligatures 

These small elastic ligatures act as an anchor between the arch-wire and the bracket. The arch-wire is attached to the brackets on each tooth, and it is what’s responsible for guiding the teeth into proper alignment. Many patients like choosing different colors for their elastic ligatures, but there are clear ligatures for those who want their orthodontic treatment to be kept discreet.

Rubber Bands 

Unlike elastic ligatures, not everyone who undergoes orthodontic treatment will need rubber bands. Depending on your bite pattern, you may need a bit of help to improve the way your upper and lower jaws fit together. During this phase of your treatment, the rubber bands will be attached to small hooks on the brackets on the upper and lower teeth to guide the jaws into alignment. The placement of the rubber bands will vary depending on your bite issue.

Rules of Rubber Bands

Failing to wear your rubber bands correctly can result in a lack of progress or prolong treatment duration. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when wearing orthodontic rubber bands:

  • Wear the bands 24 hours a day, removing them only to brush and floss
  • Change the bands 3-4 times per day (or every 12 hours)
  • Make sure you’re properly hooking the elastics onto your braces

Here at Lockett Orthodontics, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to wear and attach your rubber bands properly. If you are confused about any part of your orthodontic treatment, please feel free to ask! Everyone at our Colorado Springs, Colorado orthodontic office is here to help.

Posted on Jul 27, 2020

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