All About Elastics: Why Rubber Bands Are An Important Part of Your Orthodontic Treatment

Have you been wearing your rubber bands?

If you're receiving orthodontic treatment, that's a phrase you might end up hearing over, and over, and over. We might sound like a broken record, but we're really trying to help you out! Those small, colorful little rubber bands might not seem like much (and it may not seem like a big deal to skip out on them), but they do a world of work inside your mouth that's critical to aligning your jaws properly and fixing your bite.

So, what's the big deal with rubber bands?

 Orthodontic treatment coupled with rubber-band wear, like this Class II elastic pattern, help align your jaws and correct your bite.

Orthodontic treatment coupled with rubber-band wear, like this Class II elastic pattern, help align your jaws and correct your bite.

Rubber bands do the one thing we can't do with our archwires: align your jaws! We do a lot at your appointments to adjust your braces and move your individual teeth into proper alignment, but we can't correct major bite issues without your help. When we instruct you to wear your rubber bands 24 hours a day (at school, at work, at home, sleeping, and eating!), we are putting that part of treatment in your hands. Prolonged wear of rubber bands is what corrects bite issues like overjet, overbite, crossbite, and more.

We know you are excited about your new smile - we are too! Accordingly, we want to ensure you have all that you need to cooperate during your orthodontic treatment. The reality is that not wearing your rubber bands can significantly delay your treatment. Inevitably, we've seen plenty of cases where patients don't take treatment seriously and neglect wearing their rubber bands - and end up adding years to their treatment in the process. If, however, you follow Dr. Land's simple instructions for your rubber bands, you can anticipate finishing your treatment on time and sporting a brand new smile before you know it!

  1. Wear your rubber bands 24 hours a day. As Dr. Land says, he wants to see you wearing them whenever you eat, drink, sleep, and kiss your mom and dad! The only time you should not be wearing your rubber bands is when you're brushing your teeth.
  2. Change out your rubber bands at least once per day. Over time, your rubber bands will lose their stretch and/or break. It's a good habit to switch them out periodically to ensure they're doing their job.
  3. If you run out of rubber bands, don't wait until your next appointment. Stop by our office to pick up
  4. Don't go it alone. Ask your friends, parents, spouse, or partner to hold you accountable. They can tell when you're not wearing your rubber bands - give them permission to remind you when they see you without them.

As Dr. Land always tells his patients, rubber bands are your passport out of braces!