Over the course of your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist may prescribe rubber band attachments to your brackets. Initially this may seem strange, but they are an important part of the treatment process. Braces alone may not be able to move the teeth exactly where they should be. Because of their strength, rubber bands can move the teeth and jaw quickly into proper alignment.
To apply a rubber band, an orthodontist will hook it to one upper bracket and one lower bracket, so the rubber band goes vertically or diagonally from one tooth to another. The tension of the rubber band produces pressure, which causes the teeth to move and straighten. There are multiple configurations that your orthodontist may use, depending on the type and severity of your misalignment.
In order to work effectively, rubber bands need to be worn at all times except when you are eating or brushing your teeth. You should use a new pair and continue to replicate your orthodontist's configuration every day.
Rubber bands can also present problems if the wearer stretches his mouth open too much, which may cause them to snap. If this happens, simply replace the band with a new one. As with braces, most wearers get used to the rubber bands quickly.
Not every patient with orthodontic braces will need rubber bands. An orthodontist can determine the necessity and duration of this type of treatment. If you have questions, concerns or are interested in seeking treatment for misaligned teeth, contact a New York City orthodontist today.