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Everything You Need to Know About Rubber Bands for Braces

adult wearing rubber bands for braces

Rubber bands are one of the most common types of appliances used with braces!

We’ll show you how to wear your rubber bands in our office and tell you everything you need to know about these appliances when you begin treatment with us in Johnson City.

In the meantime, check out this guide for rubber bands and braces!

What are rubber bands for braces?

Rubber bands for braces are tiny elastics that hook around bracket/brackets on the top dental arch and bracket/brackets on the bottom arch to correct jaw misalignments. They can also be used with Invisalign aligners!

These appliances are used during braces treatment (and sometimes Invisalign® treatment) to correct overbites, underbites, midlines, crossbites and open bites.

Rubber bands may seem tricky to use at first, but they’re simple to apply once you understand how to attach them and where. That’s why we’re here!

How to Wear Rubber Bands on Braces

On your braces brackets, you’ll notice rubber band hooks on the top arch and the bottom arch. Your rubber band hooks will be located on a specific tooth or area, depending on your condition, but they’re generally located on the canine teeth (the pointy teeth in the corner of the mouth) and the molars (the big teeth toward the back of the mouth).

In some cases, rubber band hooks will also be prescribed on the bicuspid teeth (the premolars between the canines and molars).

Here’s how you’ll attach your elastics to your brackets:

  1. Wash your hands! This step is super important. Never touch your mouth with unwashed hands.
  2. Use one finger to place the rubber band over the hook on the top arch.
  3. Using two fingers, pull the rubber band across your teeth to the bottom hook.
  4. Hook the rubber band in place.

See? Super simple. We’ll show you how to do this in person when you start wearing your rubber bands too.

You can use a special little tool called a rubber band tool for braces to make it even easier. This tool is a small plastic hook that you can use to pull the rubber band down or up to the other bracket hook. If this “tool” is not available, tweezers should work just fine.

How do rubber bands work?

When you understand your orthodontic condition and the position of your bite, your rubber bands start to make a lot more sense.

If you have an overbite—meaning your upper jaw extends too far over your lower jaw—you would want to shift the upper jaw backward and the lower jaw forward to align them. In this case, your rubber bands will attach to a bracket on the bottom teeth, toward the back of your mouth, and a bracket on the top teeth, toward your canines. The rubber band tension will start to pull the upper jaw backward and the lower jaw forward, effectively treating an overbite.

If you have an underbite, then vice versa. You want your lower jaw to shift backward and your upper jaw to move forward, so your rubber bands will be attached the opposite way.

Your bands will be hooked on a top arch bracket and a lower arch bracket to create tension that accelerates the braces straightening process and aligns the jaw bones. Your specific condition will determine where your bands are hooked and how long throughout your treatment process you’ll be wearing them.

When do you start wearing rubber bands for braces?

It depends on your personalized treatment plan. Some patients may start wearing rubber bands toward the end of their braces treatment process, while others may start wearing them after only a few appointments. It all depends!

In most cases, you’ll be advised to wear your rubber bands through the day and night, removing them only to eat, brush your teeth and replace them with new rubber bands 1-3 times daily.

Where do you buy rubber bands for braces? While many stores such as Walmart carry orthodontic rubber bands, you shouldn’t have to worry about buying rubber bands for your braces! When you choose Dr. Jewett as your smile doctor, your rubber bands are included in your orthodontic treatment plan at no extra cost. We also have a variety of colors for rubber bands for braces. You can celebrate the changing seasons through your changing smile—or choose rubber band colors that vibe with your personality!

Get the Best Smile Results with Rubber Bands for Braces!

When you visit us for your complimentary consultation, we’ll explain everything you need to know! After Dr. Jewett examines your condition, takes diagnostic photos and x-rays and discusses your smile goals with you. We’ll discuss your personalized treatment plan in full detail.

Educating our patients is extremely important to us! We want you to be informed throughout your entire treatment process, because that’s how the greatest results are created.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Johnson City, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.