For decades, metal braces have been used to correct dental issues by gradually moving teeth into new, more healthy positions. Depending on the nature and severity of your issues, an orthodontist may add to your Invisalign braces rubber bands that add increased pressure and push things into place.
The Invisalign® system, a more advanced, more desirable orthodontic treatment method, also uses rubber bands to correct more severe conditions requiring additional pressure. Let’s see what these rubber bands are, what they do, and how to use them.
At Loudoun Orthodontics, Invisalign is our primary teeth straightening treatment for teens and adults. Superior to traditional metal braces, Invisalign’s transparent, plastic, custom-fit aligners gradually move your teeth into more effective and healthy positions. The aligners are more comfortable, their near invisibility makes them more aesthetically pleasing, and they can be temporarily removed for eating and cleaning.
If your bite is out of alignment, giving you an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite, you need additional pressure applied in different places. You may need the support of both Invisalign aligners and rubber bands.
What Are Invisalign Rubber Bands?
Invisalign rubber bands are used to correct your bite. With the Invisalign system, you wear two aligners, one on your top teeth and one on the bottom. They work independently of each other as they move your teeth into place. However, if you have issues with your bite, such as an overbite or underbite, the independently functioning aligners alone will not fix the problem. This solution requires additional pressure between the top and bottom rows. Invisalign rubber bands provide that needed force.
Invisalign rubber bands are transparent, flexible rings of elastic that connect the top and bottom teeth. The bands, one on each side of your mouth, produce added pressure that gradually moves the top and bottom rows of teeth into alignment with each other, correcting your bite.
What Conditions Do Invisalign Rubber Bands Treat?
While each aligner moves teeth in either the top or bottom row, Invisalign rubber bands adjust the top and bottom relative to each other. This combination of Invisalign aligners and rubber bands treats such conditions as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. Depending on the condition being treated, the bands are placed in various patterns to apply pressure in the right places.
When the back molars in the bottom row are farther back than those of the upper teeth, your upper row is pushed forward, causing an overbite. Invisalign rubber bands are placed from upper canine teeth to lower molars to move your lower jaw forward.
With an underbite, your bottom first molar is further forward than the upper first molar. To correct this, the Invisalign rubber bands connect the back molars on top with the canine teeth on the bottom.
In this case, your upper and lower teeth won’t touch when your mouth Is closed. Invisalign rubber bands for overbite are placed between the top and bottom front teeth.
When your top teeth land on the inside of your bottom teeth, you have a crossbite. This condition can bring about a long list of potential complications, such as difficulty chewing, TMJ, or gum disease. Your orthodontist will recommend rubber band placement according to your specific condition.
Maintaining Your New Bite
Once everything is in place, your orthodontist may instruct you to continue using the Invisalign rubber bands in a vertical position. Here, the same teeth at the top and bottom are used. The reason for this is similar to that of a retainer: to keep things in place while your mouth adjusts to having your teeth in new positions.
Will they be visible?
The Invisalign rubber bands are made of clear elastic. If you are wearing them at or near the front of your mouth, they will be visible if someone looks closely enough. However, the buttons holding the bands in place are close to the color of your teeth, so they will probably not be noticeable.
Do All Invisalign Users Need Rubber Bands?
If you don’t have any of the bite issues discussed above or other severe conditions, you probably don’t need Invisalign rubber bands. Your aligners will be enough for your orthodontic needs.
How to Insert and Remove Invisalign Rubber Bands
You have “buttons” placed on certain upper and lower teeth or your aligners to anchor the rubber bands. These small hooks hold the bands in place. Your orthodontist will teach you how to attach the rubber bands.
Generally, with your aligners in place, you hook the band on the bottom button, then stretch it to the upper hook and push it into place. Another option is to connect the rubber bands on the aligners before you put them in your mouth.
You may feel some discomfort the first day or so after you start using the rubber bands since the Invisalign rubber bands are creating more unfamiliar pressure in your mouth and making things move. It takes a little time to get used to the pressure.
Unless your orthodontist instructs otherwise, wear the rubber bands for the duration of your Invisalign treatment. To remove them, unhook each end from the buttons and throw them away. They are not reusable.
Using Your Invisalign Rubber Bands the Right Way
It’s essential to know how often to change Invisalign rubber bands—at least twice a day. If you wear them for too long, they will lose elasticity and effectiveness. You should never wear a pair for more than 24 hours. You can carry some extras with you just in case.
When you take out your aligners to eat, you do not have to remove the rubber bands. In fact, some users prefer to leave them in. However, check with your orthodontist to be sure.
Schedule your COMPLIMENTARY Consultation!
How Often Do You Need To Change Invisalign Rubber Bands?
Invisalign offers a wide range of treatments using two aligners. Its possibilities widen further with the addition of Invisalign rubber bands. These seemingly simple bands bring the additional force you may need for more intensive correction.
At Loudoun Orthodontics, we recognize Invisalign’s versatility. Please contact us if you would like to talk to us about Invisalign for yourself or a family member. We will be delighted to help you. In the meantime, make sure to check out our blog for more information on orthodontic treatments!