Why Do Orthodontists Use Rubber, Bands? The dentist I Spring, Texas
Over the years, rubber bands have proven to be an indispensable part of braces as they improve functionality and accelerate treatment. That said, most people still don’t understand why their orthodontists have to use rubber bands in the first place.
What are Rubber, Bands?
Thus, to understand what rubber bands are, it is essential first to understand the structure of braces. Braces are made up of three components:
- The first component is the brackets. Brackets are square-shaped metal pieces that are bonded directly to the teeth.
- The second component is the archwire. This wire runs through the brackets and provides the force that is needed to move the teeth into proper position.
- The third component of brackets is the ligature. Ligatures are small rubber bands that are wrapped around the braces to reinforce the archwire. However, these are not the rubber bands in question although they have a striking resemblance to them.
The rubber bands in question are the final (and added) components of braces. These rubber bands are connected to each bracket using hooks. They run through both the top and bottom teeth brackets to combine them and hold them firmly in place. Their primary use is aligning the teeth to ensure that they are correctly positioned for a proper bite.
Types of Rubber Bands
There are three types of rubber bands (ligatures):
- Single Elastic Ligatures
These are perhaps the most common type of rubber bands. They are tied to the braces to increase or decrease the force exerted on the teeth. They are only temporary and have to be changed after every six weeks or so as they lose strength and elasticity with time. They come in various colours, and most people don’t mind having them on.
- Connected Elastic Ligatures
As the name suggests, these ligatures run over several teeth at once. Their primary purpose is to exert enough pressure on two or more teeth to influence their growth in a particular direction. They are also known as power chain ligatures and come in various colours and strength.
- Stainless Steel Wire Ligatures
These ligatures are not made of rubber, as is the case with the former two types of rubber bands. They are stainless steel and come with more force and less elasticity. They are used in dire circumstances, such as when the teeth are twisted far out of place since they have more strength and are more secure.
Guidelines for Wearing and Using Rubber Bands
Your orthodontist will choose the ideal rubber bands for you depending on the condition of your teeth. He/she will fasten them in place after putting the braces on, and they may be changed after every visit to the orthodontist. That said, you will need to care for your rubber bands on a daily basis to ensure that they are useful.
For starters, it is vital to ensure that you always have your rubber bands on at all times to ensure that your teeth align quickly. That said, you will be forced to take them off once in a while, especially when you are taking your meals and brushing your teeth. As such, take them off when making main meals including breakfast, lunch, and supper – they can stay on when eating small snacks provided that they are not chewy.
Rubber bands are elastic – except in the case of stainless steel wire ligatures – and, as such, tend to lose their strength over time. Usually, it takes around six hours for these ligatures to lose their strength. As such, it is crucial to replace them at least four times a day with newer and stronger ligatures.
Your teeth will feel a bit sore the first time you have rubber bands installed, but this feeling will subside after the first day. Additionally, you may find it difficult to fit your rubber bands without your orthodontist’s help, but you should get it after several trials. Your orthodontist will explain how to go about it, and you may even ask for help from your family and friends if it proves to be too much for you.
Vita Dental – For all Your Braces Needs
Are your teeth out of line? Do you have trouble biting down on food or showing your smile in public? If so, then you need braces installed as soon as possible.
Vita Dental is the leading dental practice in Spring, Texas. Our orthodontists have a lot of experience with braces, and we utilize the best materials, including the best rubber bands. Visit our offices to consult with any of our dentists and schedule an appointment to have braces and rubber bands installed – we will issue you with flawless rubber bands that feel not only comfortable but also look good on you.