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Rubber Bands For Braces: Helpful Tips And Tricks


Written by prositesdentalDec 31 • 4 minute read

Woman showing off her white smile and straight teeth

If you need braces, chances are you might need to wear rubber bands with them at some point during your treatment. So what are these rubber bands, why are they necessary, and why would you want to wear them?

In this article, we’ll also explore some helpful tips and tricks to help you both remember to care for your braces and wear your rubber bands to ensure you experience a successful braces treatment!

What Are Orthodontal Rubber Bands?

Rubber bands for braces are also known as elastics. These rubber bands are very small and come in lots of different colors. When it comes to getting your teeth aligned, rubber bands serve a valuable function. The first area where rubber bands are helpful is in the ligatures which wrap around every single bracket and hold the arch wire in position. These bands stay in that place for the entire treatment time frame and are only taken out by your orthodontist when they adjust your braces during appointments.

Another Type Of Rubber Band

There’s also another type of rubber band used in orthodontic treatments, known as an inter-arch rubber band. This type of rubber band exists to adjust your bite and the placement of your jawbone. The goal of this type of rubber band is to fix things like an overbite, under-bite, and other jaw alignment issues.

While at the end of the day these things you put in your mouth are rubber bands, keep in mind that they are not just any ordinary rubber bands! Make sure that if you ever break or lose a rubber band, that you use one of the ones supplied by your orthodontist, and not just a random one off the shelf.

How Do These Rubber Bands Work?

Usually you will need to wear one of these orthodontia rubber bands on each side of your mouth during your braces treatment. They will each be attached onto a bracket that is in turn attached to your top canine teeth, and then stretched so that they can be attached onto a bracket, which is glued to one of your lower molars. The purpose of this rubber band is to hold the archwire in place for the duration of your braces treatment time.

Braces Rubber Band Tips And Tricks

The first and most important thing when it comes to dental rubber bands is to make sure that you wear them every day. It is going to take you a little while to get used to wearing these things in your mouth, and you may experience some pain at the beginning, but eventually you won’t even remember that they’re there.

It can always be helpful to have some useful tips, so here we go:

  • Change out your rubber bands each day, both to keep them clean and to keep them fresh and tight. Don’t replace just one side, but always be sure to replace both sides at the same time, to make sure that they remain symmetrical and are able to function properly as a set.
  • Whenever you eat, take your rubber bands out first so you don’t get food all over them. Also, keep the rubber bands out until after you brush your teeth after eating. This will make things go a lot more smoothly.
  • Be sure to keep your rubber bands stored in a clean, safe location where you won’t lose them and they won’t get dirty.
  • Use both your thumb and your index finger to attach the rubber bands in place. It helps to stand in front of a mirror while doing so. After some practice, you should be able to do this without the mirror. You will also be able to do it much more quickly.

Choosing Rubber Band Colors: To Be Creative, or to Stay Conservative?

Orthodontic rubber bands come in lots of colors. This means you have the opportunity to customize the look of your braces every single day. This can be fun for some of us, customizing the color of the rubber bands for each holiday, for sports teams, or other fun themes. Of course, these sorts of customizations are most likely going to be limited to kids and teens. Adults will probably want to stick with more conservative color choices.

As an adult braces wearer, keep in mind you will probably want to maintain a professional appearance with your braces. You have a handful of options here, ranging from clear to white to colors like brown, silver, or black. However, remember that colors like brown or black can resemble food stuck in your teeth, so you might want to stay away from them. White or clear are both good options, but keep in mind that sometimes clear rubber bands can become tinted by coffee stains, so if you drink a lot of coffee, white might just be your best bet when it comes to choosing a color for your rubber bands. Certain darker drinks like soda or wine can also result in discoloration of your rubber bands.

How to Make Sure You Wear Your Rubber Bands

Whether you are an adult or a child with braces, it is absolutely critical that you follow your orthodontist’s instructions carefully and wear your rubber bands daily as instructed. If you don’t follow your orthodontist’s instructions, and decide not to wear your rubber bands daily, your braces treatment could end up being much less effective or take far longer than it was supposed to.

Right about now you’re probably wondering if there are any ways to make it easier to remember to wear your rubber bands. Don’t worry, we’ve come up with a few tips to help!

Tips for Remembering to Wear Rubber Bands and Take Care of Your Braces:

  • The first and most obvious tip is to simply put a little sticky note on your mirror so that each morning when you wake up, you will see the note and remember to put in your rubber bands for the day.
  • Do a Google search to find out what happens when you wear your braces too long. The images and stories that result will probably be enough to convince you to take care of your braces properly!
  • If one of your children is having a hard time remembering to take care of their braces or rubber bands, you will probably need to use something a little bit more positive with them. At the end of the week, you could have some sort of a reward that is available to them, like going to their favorite place, sharing a favorite meal, or watching a favorite movie together.

Hopefully this helps answer some of your questions and concerns about braces and orthodontic rubber bands. We hope that your braces treatment goes smoothly and that you’re able to get the beautiful new smile that you deserve!

Have you had a successful experience with braces? Do you have any tips for others who are looking to have a successful experience as well? Feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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