What do rubber bands do on braces

Rubber bands are usually worn at the end of the orthodontic therapy. They can be worn in a variety of ways and always put them on the way your orthodontist has told and shown you.

Rubber bands are worn at night, during the day or constantly as determined by the orthodontist. Continuity of wearing rubber bands is also important. You can wear them for 5 days constantly, then accidentally forget to put on the 6th day and your teeth will return to their previous position. At this stage, the end of therapy depends significantly on your cooperation.

But what do rubber bands actually do on braces?

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What is the purpose of rubber bands on braces?

After aligning the teeth with a fixed appliance in the first part of orthodontic treatment, the ratio of the upper and lower dental arches is adjusted. So, the purpose of rubber bands on braces is to obtain a proper bite. When teeth begin to move in response to wearing gums, they move quickly and comfortably.

However, if the rubbers are not worn constantly, the teeth will be painful and their movement will be stopped. The cooperation of the patient then becomes crucial because we achieve progress by wearing elastic bands that the patient puts on and takes off himself following the instructions of the orthodontist.

 The rubber bands stretched between the hooks on the fixed appliance produce weak but continuous forces by which they move the teeth. The rubber grips can be in the same (intramaxillary) or opposite (intermaxillary) jaw.

The initial sensitivity of the teeth soon ceases with the consistent wearing of gums. It is important to wear rubber bands exactly according to the orthodontist’s instructions. Otherwise, the movement of the teeth slows down or stops completely, and the total wearing time of the device is extended, also, the teeth can move back to previous positions..

When do you start wearing rubber bands for braces?

Rubber bands and power chains on braces are usually worn at the end of the orthodontic therapy as the last step. This is the case if all the other corrections and tooth alignment are finished. However, you may also get the rubber bands in the early or middle phase of the treatment. In short, your orthodontist will determine when you have to start wearing elastics as it depends on each case individually.

How long do you wear rubber bands for braces?

The length of wearing rubber bands depends on your bite and the need for further corrections. It could range from one month up to 6-8 months. You have to wear rubber bands on braces for 24 hours every day so that they can do what they are meant to. You can occasionally take the elastics off, but try to do that only when you are brushing your teeth, when eating (if it’s necessary) and when replacing the rubbers one time daily.

Maintenance and care

Since you are supposed to wear rubber bands on braces 24/7, it may make you some difficulties at first. You may need a few days to get used to them. What rubber bands do on braces is making forces that move your teeth, and this can be painful at first. Don’t be worried if you feel pain, it is normal and it will stop soon. Here are some tips and trick for wearing your elastics more comfortable:

Change elastic bands on your braces daily –Since they are made of rubber, they tend to lose their tension and elasticity and also fill up with bacteria. Therefore, change your elastics every morning to keep your treatment plan on schedule and to maintain your teeth clean.

Hooking new rubber bands on your braces –  To put your elastics on your braces, use your thumb and pointer finger and hook them up. At first, you will probably need a mirror for that, but soon you will get used to the movement.

Can you eat with rubber bands on your braces? – Yes, you can eat with them. However, if you feel more comfortable, you can also take them off while eating. Make sure to put them back on immediately after you finish your meal and clan your teeth.

What when you don’t have any more rubber bands? – Don’t worry if you lost or used all your rubber bands. In that case, just contact your doctor to get more of them.


Now when you know what do rubber bands do on your braces, make sure to wear them constantly so you don’t have to prolong your treatment. It may be uncomfortable at first, but if you wear them according to instructions you will get rid of your braces sooner. Therefore, try to keep them on and maintain your oral hygiene flawlessly.

Also read: Dental implants and braces in orthodontics


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