We all know that braces straighten your teeth and give you a beautiful new smile, but sometimes, those braces need a bit of help. That help comes in the form of rubber bands. These small elastics help your braces fix your bite, which may be misaligned.
Rubber bands for braces are designed to line up your upper and lower teeth properly. That’s if you wear them correctly. How do you put rubber bands on braces? There are certain ways to wear rubber bands on braces, and we can show you how to wear them correctly.
Hamilton, Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics uses every tool we can to create the smile of your dreams. Rubber bands are one of the best tools we have to work with braces. Sometimes, they can be difficult for some people to put on their braces, but we have tips and tricks to make it a much easier task. We’re happy to show our patients in Topeka, KS, or Seneca, KS, how to wear rubber bands.
Why Rubber Bands for Braces?
The rubber bands for braces, sometimes called elastics, are used mainly to fix a misaligned bite. While the braces fix your overbite, underbite, or open bite, rubber bands can fix a crossbite or misaligned bite by moving the upper or lower jaw in one direction or another. These orthodontic rubber bands are made from a special latex that is non-toxic, unlike standard rubber bands. You can also get a non-latex version if you have an allergy to latex.
Your back teeth need to line up correctly to chew your food properly. Otherwise, you don’t chew correctly, which can lead to digestive problems, as well as jaw fatigue and pain.
Rubber bands apply gentle pressure to line your jaws up correctly. They can also be used to close an open bite by pulling down on the upper teeth and helping the braces change the angle of those teeth. This closes your open bite and gives you a straighter smile.
How Do I Put Rubber Bands on Braces?
There are two main ways you can put rubber bands on your braces — with your fingers or with a special hook. First, let’s explore how to put rubber bands on braces without a hook. You simply use your fingers and fingernails, but it helps if both are small.
Rubber bands fit on braces via hooks attached to the brackets on the front teeth or the bands on the back teeth. Often, the hooks are on the canines in the front and the first or second molar in the back. You may also find hooks on the brackets for the premolars, the two teeth behind the canine.
Using your fingers, you snag the rubber band on one hook, then use your fingernail to stretch the rubber band over the other hook on the bottom or the top, depending on where you started. Some patients find it easier to start from the bottom and stretch the rubber band forward and up to the top, where it’s easier to see. You can do it whichever way is easier for you.
If your fingers are large or your nails are too long, it may be difficult to get rubber bands into place. That’s where the hook comes in. A rubber band hook is made of plastic and has a tiny hook on one end and a handle on the other.
You put the rubber band on one bracket, then use the hook to pull the rubber band to the other bracket and slide it into place. The plastic hook is small, so it fits into your mouth more easily than your fingers or long nails. Ask us about where to get a hook for rubber bands for braces!
What Ways Do Rubber Bands Go on Braces?
There are four main ways rubber bands go on braces. They can simply stretch from an upper tooth to a lower tooth. The rubber bands can hook on the bottom, drape over the canine hook and connect at another tooth on the bottom.
The rubber band can hook to one tooth on your top teeth and two on your bottom teeth, or vice versa, to form a triangle. Or the rubber band can hook to four teeth in a box pattern.
Why use these different patterns? Each pattern has a specific purpose of moving your teeth into certain positions. These patterns can also be used with different classes of rubber bands.
The classes of rubber bands are determined by their thickness and pull strength. Class 1 rubber bands are the thinnest and stretch the easiest, while Class 3 is thicker and harder to stretch, which means they apply more pressure when moving the teeth.
How Do I Care for My Rubber Bands for Braces?
When we first give your elastic rubber bands to you, we will show you how to put them on your braces properly. The method we will show you depends on the type of issue we’re correcting, whether it’s an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite. You will need to wear your rubber bands for the length of time per day we prescribe. Usually, you wear them full-time except when you are eating or brushing your teeth.
Once you remove your rubber bands, throw them away. Do not reuse your rubber bands! If you run out of rubber bands, you should be able to find them at your local pharmacy or major retailer. Otherwise, our Topeka, KS patients can contact us to get more.
Rubber Bands for Braces in Topeka, KS
Wearing your elastics is vital when it comes to recreating your smile through orthodontic treatment. Hamilton, Wilson & Hendrickson Orthodontics uses rubber bands with braces to not only straighten your teeth but to improve your bite. This improves not only the look of your smile but your oral and overall health by correcting a bad bite. If you find that wearing rubber bands can be tricky, give us a call, and let us help you out!