Braces or Invisalign treatment are often supplemented with rubberbands, or elastics, to help your course of orthodontic treatment achieve the perfect bite. They provide the additional force needed to nudge your teeth in the right direction, and can be a super helpful part of your treatment regimen to achieve perfectly aligned pearly whites! Rubberbands are typically worn for several months, and as with any other aspect of treatment, each patient is different and your elastics routine will be tailored to what is best for you. They are attached from one bracket to the next, and can initially cause teeth tenderness in some cases. Your orthodontist will instruct you how to attach elastics to your braces in a certain configuration or shape.
Elastics come in different shapes and sizes, and your orthodontist will determine the specifics, according to your individual needs. Latex is most commonly used because it is the strongest and longest lasting. However, there are non-latex varieties as well if the patient has an allergy. There are types that even glow-in-the-dark!
Typically patients should wear rubber bands all the time. Your orthodontist will instruct you if they should be worn only at night, or of any other special instructions. Again, everyone is different! They should be removed for eating and brushing & flossing, and they should be changed out each time you eat. The key is consistency because the elastics help keep your teeth from moving back to their original position. The more you wear them, the more effective they will be to get your to your goal of a perfect smile!