If you wear braces on your teeth, there’s a chance that you will be one of the many orthodontic patients who must wear rubber bands as part of their treatment. They play an important role in achieving a perfect smile.
How do rubber bands help?
Braces by themselves only move teeth along the upper or lower sets of teeth, but rubber bands apply constant pressure to move the lower jaw and upper jaw into proper alignment with each other. The goal of rubber bands is to achieve a perfect bite. Repairing the bite is often the longest and most difficult phase of the orthodontic process, but rubber bands help move your jaw into the correct position more quickly. The way that the bands are attached to the braces is customized to each patient to direct tension in the best way for you.
How much should I wear them?
Orthodontists recommend that you wear rubber bands all day, removing them only to brush, floss, replace with new bands, or occasionally to eat. Most of the time you should eat with them in place, as it is helpful for your mouth to learn to work with that tension. Rubber bands should be worn when sleeping and playing sports. Leaving them off for even just one day can erase progress you’ve made.
Will I get used to them?
It takes a few days to learn to take the rubber bands in and out, but after some practice it becomes simple. It’s normal for your teeth, jaws, and mouth to be a bit sore at first, but that goes away. However, if you do not wear your rubber bands consistently, you will have constant discomfort because your mouth won’t get used to them.
What if I don’t wear them consistently?
To achieve the best orthodontic results in the shortest amount of time, you must be committed to wearing your rubber bands as your orthodontist has recommended. Wearing them intermittently will negatively affect your progress, so it’s vital to wear them full time.