The Importance of Wearing Rubber Bands

Rubber bands… how can something so small make such a big difference? In orthodontics, rubber bands (also called elastics) help to improve the way that your upper and lower jaws fit together – also known as your bite. When you first get your rubber bands for your braces, they can be a little bit difficult to get used to. Continue reading to learn some important tips and reminders that will make it easier.

What to Expect

At your appointment, Dr. Durham will show you the exact placement of your rubber bands and what they should look like. Be sure to ask any questions you may have if you’re confused about placement. Unfortunately, you may experience some soreness in the first few days after getting rubber bands. The good news is that Tylenol or Aleve will help significantly with any discomfort.

How to Wear Rubber Bands

The 24/7 rule. You must wear your elastics every day, all day. The only exceptions are when you are eating or if you’re playing a sport that requires a mouth guard.
Replace rubber bands as directed. You may be tempted to leave them in for longer periods, but they will stretch a lose elasticity over time. Not changing them can be just as bad as not wearing them.
If one breaks, replace it immediately. Always carry backup rubber bands, just in case.
Only wear the elastics you get from our office.
Don’t try to double up. Only wear the amount of rubber bands we prescribe. You may think more will speed up treatment, but it can delay it.
If you have a bracket come off that your elastic is attached to, stop wearing your rubber bands and contact us immediately. We will get your bracket replaced as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

The Importance of Following Directions

After those first few days, if you’re wearing your elastics correctly, the soreness will disappear altogether. Wearing your rubber bands exactly as directed is the KEY to alleviating and discomfort and progressing your treatment as planned. If you wear your rubber bands in the proper position and for the directed 22-24 hours a day, your teeth will show significant progress and you will become used to the new pressure in your mouth. Not wearing them properly or for the correct amount of time can result in constant pain. Even wearing them 20 hours a day can slow progress or stop it altogether.

Here to Help

If you have any questions about how to wear your elastics, we’re here to help! Call our office at any time and one of our team members will be able to get you the answers you need. Wearing rubber bands can take some getting used to, but it is an important part of your orthodontic journey. You’ll be finished with the rubber band phase before you know it and have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!