Many people who are just getting started on their journey with braces might not know what to expect about some of the big changes to come. With new brushing and flossing techniques, the need to avoid some of their favorite foods, or the change in appearance, it can be a lot. Then top it all off, your orthodontist recommends rubber bands!
Truthfully, braces and rubber bands really aren’t as bad as they seem, and they are a small price to pay for the brilliant smile and healthy teeth that are the final result. But most patients want to know that they aren’t alone as they face all these changes, and we don’t blame them!
The team at Brady Orthodontics in Winnetka is ready to help you get the smile you deserve, and will support you in all the adjustments along the way. Since most patients who wear braces will need rubber bands at some point, it’s helpful to learn about why and how rubber bands are used. This will set you up for success if you need them in the future.
Why You Might Need Rubber Bands
Just like every single patient who comes to see Dr. Brady, you have a completely unique mouth shape and jaw composition. Maybe you have an over or underbite. Maybe you have a gap in your teeth that needs to be closed. Depending on what’s going on, Dr. Brady might recommend braces and rubber bands to help shift your teeth and jaw into proper alignment.
This isn’t just for a prettier smile, though beautiful straight teeth are often a result. It’s actually healthier for your teeth and mouth to be aligned properly to promote long-term oral health! Rubber bands are helpful in this task by creating resistance for more movement between the teeth or jaw.
How Do They Work?
Braces work by securing wires and brackets along each row of teeth on the top and the bottom. Over weeks and months, as Dr. Brady adjusts these brackets, you will begin to notice your teeth shifting and getting more aligned. This works great for each set of teeth, but alone it won’t correct the alignment between the top and bottom sets of teeth. This is where rubber bands come in to create resistance between the bottom and top!
Rubber bands don’t come as a one-size-fits-all. With different sizes and resistances, it may be necessary for you to change what kinds of rubber bands you use, and where you attach them to your braces throughout your treatment. Wearing rubber bands as directed will help move your teeth and jaw into the correct alignment.
How To Use Rubber Bands
Putting in a rubber band is pretty straightforward. At your appointment, one of the hygienists at Brady Orthodontics will show you how to secure a rubber band along the top bracket on one side of your mouth, and attach it to the bottom bracket. You’ll typically do this on each side of your mouth, depending on Dr. Brady’s recommendation
Typically he will suggest wearing them almost 24/7, at least at first, removing them only for meals and to brush and floss teeth. It’s especially important to keep them on when sleeping and to change the bands after each removal to ensure cleanliness. Be sure to keep an extra bag of elastics on hand so you’re always replacing old bands or one that might have broken during the day.
It’s Easy to Get Started
Brady Orthodontics is the perfect place to get started with orthodontic care. Schedule a free consultation at our office in Winnetka to experience all the benefits of a healthy smile!