Elastic bands for Orthodontic treatment
While undergoing orthodontic treatment via braces, you may have to wear rubber bands in order to correct the alignment of their teeth. The rubber bands are used to apply pressure to guide your teeth into the correct position, such as to pull the jaw forward if you have an overbite. They can also be used to speed up or slow down the process of straightening ones teeth as well as the growth of the jaws. Rubber bands should not be confused with brackets, arch wires or ligatures, which focus on moving teeth along the gum line.
These rubber bands are made from medical-grade latex, so they are completely safe for contact with the insides of your mouth. They are usually stretched over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets of the teeth. In fact, there are many different ways to use these elastic bands to correct various problems.
Cross elastics are used to correct cross-bite, which is when two teeth are jutting out in opposite directions. For this procedure, one end of the elastic band is hooked to the tooth on the upper section of the jaw, on the side that makes contact with ones tongue. The other end of the band is then hooked onto the lower section of your braces, and this can straighten out the misalignment of the teeth.
Vertical elastics can close up gaps between teeth, as well as correct overbites and underbites. They are worn with one end hooked on the upper section of the teeth, and the other hooked on the lower section of the teeth. Front box elastics are used to correct openbite, which is where the jaws do not come in contact with each other even though the mouth is closed. Elastic bands are hooked from both top incisors to both bottom incisors, like a box shape.
Elastic bands are worn almost 24×7, and are only taken out when the client is eating or brushing their teeth. Since a large amount of pressure is needed to correct the position of ones jaws, the elastic bands are worn out within 6 hours. Therefore, the bands have to be changed 3 to 4 times a day. For the first few days, it is normal for client to experience soreness in the jaws and teeth. To reduce the soreness one feels, it is recommended to eat soft foods and to clean your mouth by rinsing it with a cup of cool water.