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Why We Use Orthodontic Elastics (Rubber Bands)

Orthodontic Treatments in Grand Rapids, MI

What purpose do those little orthodontic rubber bands have? (Besides popping up in random spots throughout your house years after treatment?) If you or your child has recently started wearing rubber bands, this blog post will help you understand the latest development in your orthodontic treatment. We will also explain what orthodontic elastics are and how they work to move teeth into optimal alignment and bite.

Not every person with braces will need orthodontic elastics. However, elastics are commonly used for patients with bite or jaw alignment issues. To learn if orthodontic elastics will be part of you or your child’s treatment, we recommend reaching out to your Grandville orthodontist.

Corrects Misaligned Bite

Correcting a misaligned bite is always what takes the longest during orthodontic treatment, which is why many of our patients end up wearing rubber bands. Rubber bands can correct a wide variety of bite issues, such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Since the elastics are secured to the upper and lower jaw, they force your jaws to move together into optimal alignment and bite.

Stretchy and Flexible

Rubber bands stretch as you talk or take lion-sized yawns. These little orthodontic rubber bands are also flexible enough that they aren’t going to snap and break. Since orthodontic elastics are stretchy, they don’t limit your jaw’s range of motion.

Easy to Remove and Replace

Many of our patients struggle with following braces care instructions that will help them maintain healthy oral hygiene habits while wearing braces. Trying to brush around brackets and wires is tough enough without adding rubber bands to the mix. Thankfully, orthodontic rubber bands are easy for patients to remove when brushing teeth. You are also able to remove elastics so you can eat normally.

These rubber bands are also easy enough to replace so that you are always wearing a fresh clean pair. Any buildup of food particles or bacteria on the rubber bands is thrown into the trash by the end of the day, which helps you maintain good oral health.

The flip side of elastics being easily removed is that their effectiveness depends on how often patients wear them. To get the full benefits of orthodontic treatment so you aren’t wasting money and time, you’ll need to wear elastics about 23 hours a day. Only take out your elastics to eat and brush your teeth.

Subtler Than Other Orthodontic Tactics

Believe it or not, rubber bands are a lot more subtle than other orthodontic tactics. For example, orthodontic headgear is an appliance that straps around your face. Orthodontic rubber bands, on the other hand, discretely hook around specific brackets designed for this purpose. Orthodontic elastics also come in a color that matches natural tooth enamel, unless you want fun bright colors (we have those too).

The Grandville orthodontists at Armbrecht & Wierenga Orthodontics are dedicated to helping patients straighten teeth for beautiful smiles. If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of our orthodontic services, give us a call at (616) 455-4800.