How Do Rubber Bands Work in Orthodontics?

A commonly used tool by orthodontists to straighten teeth are rubber bands, which are sometimes called orthodontic elastics. Braces are attached to the teeth to move them by the wires going from one tooth to another. Aligners, such as Invisalign, use clear plastic shells that snap across and over the teeth to produce force. While aligners and braces can both align the lower and upper teeth separately, they both need something to connect them between the arches and to correct the bite problem.

Why We Use Elastics (Rubber Bands)

There are several reasons we use elastics with braces.  They are flexible allowing full motion, and they are easy to remove and replace. Most importantly, they are useful in correcting a variety of orthodontics problems, such as crossbites, overbites, underbites, and open bites. Moreover, last but not least, they are much more cost-effective than headgear or springs.

While there are more advantages than disadvantages to using rubber bands for correcting a bite, you need to understand that the rubber bands are dependent upon patient cooperation. If they aren’t worn properly or as described, they aren’t going to do their job. There has to be constant pressure on teeth most of the day for teeth to move into the desired location. Patients who only remove rubber bands only to eat or brush are going to see faster, more consistent results. To get the best results, follow the prescribing instructions.

Rubber bands work great when they are used for the right patients. They can have potential side effects, such a moving the bottom teeth forward. This can result if you don’t have enough bone to allow the teeth to move in that direction. Undesirable movements can happen along with desirable ones, so you need to choose an orthodontist who has advanced specialty training to ensure your simple problem doesn’t become more complicated.

If you are experiencing orthodontic issues, you should contact Dr. Michael Larson and his team at Yuba City Orthodontics. Dr. Larson has undergone specialized training so that he can formulate the right treatment for each patient.

Yuba City Orthodontics

1215 Plumas Street, Suite 500
Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-5047

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