What Are Those Rubber Bands on Braces?

May 29, 2019 12:47 am
Blonde girl wearing braces smiles against bright green foliage

Braces are quite literally a mouthful. So what’s the deal with the rubber bands that some people have to put on top of their braces? As odd as they may look and feel, rubber bands actually play an important role in the wearer’s orthodontic progress. Read on to learn why certain kinds of rubber bands are needed on braces!

Orthodontic Rubber Bands 101

There are two types of rubber bands on braces: elastic ligatures and interarch rubber bands. Ligatures are the rubber bands that appear interwoven into each bracket; they come in all sorts of different colors and can be a fun form of self-expression. These work to keep the archwire in place through the bracket, but can also help move your teeth. Over time, they lose strength and must be replaced at every appointment.

But today, we want to talk more about interarch rubber bands. In a design prescribed by your orthodontist, interarch rubber bands usually connect a top tooth with a bottom tooth at various angles to apply specific forces on the teeth.

What Interarch Rubber Bands Do

Interarch rubber bands play a major role in shaping a patient’s bite alignment and jaw position. This ensures that all teeth will be properly aligned after the braces are taken off.

How to Maintain Your Interarch Rubber Bands

Interarch rubber bands are removable and disposable. Wear the correct pattern as instructed by your orthodontist, except during meals or teeth cleaning. Keep in mind that sometimes they break and pop out when opening your mouth very wide, such as when laughing, so keep a few extra in a purse or backpack so you can easily replace them.

Does Everyone Need Interarch Rubber Bands?

Not all patients need the correction provided by interarch rubber bands. If your existing bite and jaw alignment are correct, then there is no need to wear interarch rubber bands. Here at Summit Family Orthodontics, our expert orthodontist, Dr. Jack Allen, is trained to determine if and when you’ll need interarch rubber bands, along with where they should be placed.

Schedule a Consultation Today!

Do you or does one of your family members need to see an orthodontist? Look no further: Summit Family Orthodontics is here to help you through the entire process, from the first consultation to the exciting day when the braces finally come off. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask us any questions about our orthodontic services. Contact us today for more information.

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