Metal braces have been used for hundreds of years to correct dental problems by gradually moving teeth into healthier positions. Depending on the nature and severity of your issues, you may need rubber bands that add pressure to your Invisalign braces to push things into place.
Invisalign®, a more advanced, more desirable orthodontic treatment system, uses rubber bands to correct more severe conditions requiring additional pressure. Let’s find out what rubber bands are, what they do, and how to use them.
The Invisalign® System
Among the orthodontic treatments we offer at Patuxent Orthodontics, Invisalign is the primary teeth straightening treatment for teens and adults. The transparent, plastic aligners that Invisalign creates for you gradually reposition your teeth to a healthier and more productive position than metal braces. As well as being more comfortable, the aligners are virtually invisible, and they can be temporarily removed to eat and clean.
If your bite is out of alignment, you need more pressure applied in different places, giving you an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite. Both Invisalign aligners and rubber bands may be necessary for your treatment.
Invisalign® Rubber Bands: What Are They?
Rubber bands are used as part of Invisalign to correct your bite. The Invisalign system requires you to wear two aligners at the same time. One aligner covers your top teeth, and one covers your bottom teeth. As your teeth are moved into place, they work independently of each other. If you have a bite issue, such as an overbite or underbite, independently functioning aligners alone will not fix it. Additional pressure must be applied between the top and bottom rows to achieve the desired result. The rubber bands in Invisalign provide that additional pressure.
Invisalign rubber bands are transparent, flexible elastic rings connecting the top and bottom teeth. One band on either side of your mouth exerts pressure to adjust your bite as the top, and bottom rows of teeth move into alignment with each other.
What Conditions Do Invisalign® Rubber Bands Treat?
Rather than moving teeth in either the top or bottom row, the rubber bands attached to each aligner adjust the top and bottom relative to each other. Overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bites can be treated with this combination of Invisalign aligners and rubber bands. Various band patterns are used to apply pressure to the right places depending on the condition being treated.
An overbite is caused when the back molars in the bottom row are farther back than those of the upper row. Invisalign rubber bands are placed from your upper canine teeth to your lower molars to move your lower jaw forward.
An underbite occurs when your bottom first molar is further forward than the upper first molar. The Invisalign rubber bands align the back molars on top with the canine teeth on the bottom to correct this problem.
An open bite occurs when your upper and lower teeth will not touch when your mouth is closed. Invisalign rubber bands are placed between the top and bottom of the front teeth to correct open bites.
An individual with a crossbite has their top teeth behind their bottom teeth. Many potential complications are associated with this condition, such as difficulty chewing, TMJ, or gum disease. Your orthodontist will recommend the placement of rubber bands based on your specific orthodontic condition.
Can Invisalign® Rubber Bands Be Seen?
Clear elastic bands make up the Invisalign rubber bands. If they are worn near the front of your mouth, they may be visible if someone looks closely. Despite this, the buttons holding the bands in place are close to your teeth’s color, so they will probably not be noticeable.
Do Invisalign Require Rubber Bands for All Users?
Invisalign rubber bands are probably unnecessary if you do not have any of the bite issues discussed above or other severe conditions. Instead, using your aligners will suffice.
Inserting and Removing Invisalign® Rubber Bands
Rubber bands are anchored to certain upper and lower teeth with the help of “buttons” placed on your aligners. This mechanism keeps the bands firmly in place. You will learn how to attach the rubber bands from your orthodontist.
The band is usually hooked on the bottom button of your aligners, stretched to the upper hook, and pushed into place. Alternatively, you can attach the rubber bands to the aligners before placing them in your mouth.
During the first couple of days after you begin using Invisalign rubber bands, you may feel some discomfort since the rubber bands create unfamiliar pressure in your mouth and cause things to move. It takes a little time to get used to the pressure.
If your orthodontist does not instruct otherwise, you should wear the rubber bands for the duration of your Invisalign treatment. They can be removed by unhooking each end from the button and throwing them away. They cannot be reused.
The Right Way to Use Invisalign® Rubber Bands
Invisalign rubber bands should be changed at least twice a day. Their elasticity and effectiveness will be compromised if they are worn too long. Never wear a pair for more than 24 hours. Bring a couple of extra pairs just in case.
Rubber bands do not need to be removed when you take out your aligners to eat. Some people even prefer that they stay in. Consult your orthodontist if you’re uncertain.
When Do You Need to Replace Invisalign® Rubber Bands?
The Invisalign system uses two aligners to treat many different dental issues. Despite their simplicity, these bands provide the extra force you need for an intensive correction.
Schedule Your Treatment with Patuxent Orthodontics!
Invisalign’s versatility is recognized at Patuxent Orthodontics. Please contact us for more information about Invisalign for yourself or a family member. It would be our pleasure to assist you. We will continue to update our blog with more information regarding orthodontic treatments.