You've probably noticed that people who are undergoing orthodontic treatment have small rubber bands worn around their brackets. The main reason orthodontists use these is because they aid in the movement of teeth. Often, they are woven around the hooks of the braces in certain shapes. These ligatures are available in latex and non-latex. In most cases, the former is used unless the patient is allergic. New York City orthodontists tend to use latex ligatures because they usually last longer than non-latex varieties. Child and adolescent patients may be amused to see that some of these rubber bands even glow in the dark.
There are three factors that oral healthcare professionals use to differentiate one type of elastic from another:
- Diameter – Usually listed in fraction-of-an-inch measurements
- Strength – Stronger elastics are needed when sturdier wires are used
- Name – This helps the patient reference what type of rubber band he or she is wearing, but many orthodontists' offices use their own internal naming system
Keep in mind that though orthodontic rubber bands can be bought over the internet, please refrain from buying them online. Wearing the incorrect elastics can extend your treatment time. Only use those provided by your New York orthodontist.
Patients often want to know if elastics can really help move their teeth to the correct position, and the answer is yes, they absolutely can. However, far too often, individuals decide not to wear them. Like buying elastics on the Web, failing to wear your rubber bands can prevent you getting the final results you want: a gorgeous, perfectly aligned smile.