Most people know that rubber bands are a part of the treatment process when getting braces, but why are they necessary? In this blog post, our BC orthodontists discuss rubber bands for braces and why they are so important in fixing your smile.
Braces & Rubber Bands
When undergoing orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, a patient may be required to wear rubber bands as part of the process. When it comes to braces, a patient will likely require rubber bands for an overbite, underbite, crossbite, and other misalignment issues.
There are actually two types of rubber bands that may be used during treatment. The first kind are called ligatures that wrap around each bracket. The second type of rubber band is called an elastic. These bands are manually put in and removed by the wearer. An orthodontist will recommend when to put them in and take them out, and also make sure the wearer is able to successfully place them.
How Rubber Bands Help With Braces
Rubber bands are used with braces to apply additional force to specific areas of the mouth. They are typically used to help adjust the positioning of the jaw for those with misalignment issues. There are times in which elastic bands may be used to help pull a tooth down or into a correct position. However, the alignment of the teeth is typically left to the braces themselves.
They can come in different sizes, force categories, and materials depending on the needs of the patient. They can also be placed in different configurations to accomplish the issue that a patient has, depending on the orthodontist's treatment plan.
Not every patient will require rubber bands or elastics on their braces. In fact, multiple alternative options may be suggested by an orthodontist. However, if one does need rubber bands with their braces, it is important to follow the orthodontist’s instructions on how to wear them carefully. This is to help ensure that the treatment process goes as planned.
Can You Eat With Rubber Bands on Your Braces?
Patients are often curious about what they can eat when wearing braces, but what about if they also have rubber bands? The good news is that patients won't need to make any further dietary changes if they have rubber bands on their braces. The same foods can be eaten with braces whether or not you have elastics.
Patients don't even need to take their elastics out when they eat. However, if a patient finds their elastics getting in the way while eating, they can be removed and put back on when they're done.
What Happens If You Don't Wear Your Rubber Bands?
Failing to wear the rubber bands on braces will be a big inconvenience to the wearer. They are a crucial part of the treatment process, and not wearing them will prevent your braces from successfully doing their job and accomplishing the goals of the orthodontist. This, in turn, will likely result in the treatment process taking longer than expected.
If a patient forgets to wear their elastics for a few hours or even a day, it's not a big deal and should not impact treatment. However, if a patient goes to their orthodontist and says 'I forgot to wear my rubber bands for a month', there is a good chance the treatment plan will be lengthened.
This is all to say that it is very important to follow the instructions provided by the orthodontist as closely as possible. The last thing a patient wants is to have their braces on longer than they need to.