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Improving Oral Health: The Purpose of Rubber Bands on Braces

Published on May 3rd, 2021

Imperfect teeth often lead people to feel insecure about their smiles and can negatively impact oral health. But many of the people who have beautiful smiles with perfectly straight teeth weren’t born with them. The dentistry of today provides patients of all ages with solutions to common dental problems, improving both the form and function of their teeth.

Dental implants can fill the gaps left by missing teeth. The discoloration of stained teeth can be bleached clean or covered with permanent caps called Veneers. And you can straighten crooked or misaligned teeth with braces.

Braces work by applying slight pressure to your teeth over a long period of time. To apply this pressure, your orthodontist attaches a bracket to the surface of each tooth and uses wire archways to connect neighboring brackets. As the pressure moves your teeth into place, your orthodontist will periodically tighten the wires. In some cases, they’ll also supplement these wires with rubber bands.

What Do Rubber Bands Do for Braces?

Rubber bands help to align your bite in the same way that the wires straighten your smile. Typically used near the end of your treatment time, rubber bands are an essential part of your orthodontic treatment. Because no matter how straight your teeth are, they won’t function as well as they should if your bite is misaligned.

Unlike the wires used to connect your braces’ brackets, rubber bands can and should be replaced 3-4 times a day. That’s because, over time, the elasticity of the rubber bands wears down, reducing their strength. The bands connect to tiny hooks on your braces brackets and can be easily removed and replaced as needed.

However, you should wear your rubber bands 24 hours a day, removing them only to brush, floss, or put in a new set. Failing to wear your rubber bands full time will slow down your treatment time AND increase your discomfort.

It may seem counterintuitive that removing the bands could increase discomfort. But doing so prevents your teeth and jaws from growing accustomed to them. As a result, they’ll resist the movement that the bands are meant to stimulate. And this resistance will leave your teeth perpetually sore.

There are many different sizes, classes, and types of rubber bands used in conjunction with braces. But your orthodontist will determine which varieties will be most effective in correcting your smile. All you need to worry about is the most important part: wearing your rubber bands at all times.

Straighten Your Smile at Oakbrook Orthodontics

If you are searching for a reliable orthodontist near Westmont, Oakbrook Orthodontics could be the perfect match. We understand that many people have reservations about beginning treatment. But modern orthodontics offers a variety of ways to improve your smile without calling attention to the treatment. In fact, treatments with Invisalign in Westmont are increasingly popular.

So contact us today at (630) 705-7900 to schedule a consultation and we’ll get to work giving you the smile you deserve.

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