When you start orthodontic treatment your orthodontist, Dr. Shaw or Dr. Wirig, will work with you to achieve not only straight teeth and a good looking smile but also a stable and healthy bite. Most patients will need to wear rubber bands with their braces or aligners at some point to correct the bite. When needed, rubber bands are a critical part of the treatment. The better you wear the rubber bands as prescribed the better the result you will achieve and the quicker those results will come!
Rubber bands can be worn in a variety of configurations depending on the movement needed to correct overbites, underbites, crossbites, openbites, and centering the midlines of your top and bottom teeth. During your treatment Dr. Shaw or Dr. Wirig might have you wear the rubber bands a couple of different ways. Rubber bands work by placing a continuous, light force on the teeth and they need to be used 22-24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Rubber bands work very well at correcting bite problems, but they rely 100% on patient cooperation. Our instructions to patients are to wear your rubber bands 24/7 except when eating a meal or brushing your teeth. For patients that frequently snack we will instruct them to keep the rubber bands placed for a small snack to ensure they are not removing the rubber bands too frequently. Patients that wear them just at night rarely see much change or improvement.
Patients that wear them around half the time (around 12 hours per day) will see some change but it is slow and usually does not achieve full correction. Patients that wear the rubber bands all the time except to eat a meal or brush their teeth will see quicker and better results!
We will let you know if, when, and how rubber bands need to be worn to help you achieve your best smile, and we’ll be here to encourage you and cheer you on as you wear them!