14 Feb Don’t Skip Those Rubber Bands
Austin, TX – At Pure Smiles Orthodontics, we work hard every day to help our patients meet their smile goals. But we can’t do all the work alone – most of our patients have to do a bit of work on their end, as well.
Patient compliance is different for every patient. For some, it means wearing their Invisalign aligners a minimum of 20 hours a day. For others, it means wearing their tiny rubber bands exactly as the orthodontist tells them to.
These elastics play a very important role in creating your final smile. Your braces work to create a straighter smile, but that isn’t our only goal during treatment – we also want to ensure a harmonious bite. Elastics can help us accomplish that.
Rubber bands help us to correct bite issues, such as overjet, overbites and ‘underbites’, by adjusting the way your teeth fit together. Some patients will be required to wear them full-time throughout the day and at night, only taking them out to eat, brush and floss, while others are only required to wear the elastic bands at nighttime. They should be changed during the day to ensure elasticity.
We know that rubber bands can be uncomfortable to wear, especially in the beginning. Discomfort typically subsides in a few days, as long as there is consistent wear. You can take an Tylenol pain reliever to help with any discomfort. Just like it took a bit of time to get used to the braces in your mouth, in no time you will be used to changing the elastics in and out, and you won’t even notice them anymore.
Inconsistent wear or forgetting to wear the elastics altogether can actually extend your treatment time. Your rubber bands help to correct your bite and ensure we are creating a stable, healthy bite that will last you a lifetime.
One of the most commonly asked questions orthodontists are asked is “how long will treatment take?” While your orthodontist can’t tell you exactly how long you’ll be in braces, they can offer an estimate – but this estimate takes into account ideal patient compliance. If you are required to wear your elastics 20+ hours a day, but you only wear them half that amount of time, you can see your time in treatment greatly extended.
If you ever have questions about your treatment or how treatment is progressing, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist. At Pure Smiles Orthodontics, we are always happy to discuss treatment progression and address any questions or concerns.