Are Rubber Bands Really Last Step To Braces

When the orthodontist suggests you to wear rubber bands for braces, you may be curious to know, “Are Rubber Bands Really Last Step To Braces?”

In short, the rubber bands can be the last step to braces, if all other corrections and tooth alignment are done. But, you may also get the elastics in the early or mid-stage of treatment sometimes. As all cases aren’t the same, it may vary in individuals.

Factors that determine the timing of its use are types of bites, the complexity of the case, and treatment planning.

But, how can you find out on your own when your orthodontist can use these in the last stage of braces treatment?

To do that, you have to know a few more important things. So, we will take a look at the variation of time to get rubber bands on braces so that you can compare it with your condition.

In this article, we’ll answer your questions-

  • How long after rubber bands’ braces come off?
  • After getting a rubber band, How can I get my braces off sooner?

Before we start, one thing we want to make clear. Rubber bands can be of many types. Don’t get confused with power chains which are also made of elastics. Power chains can also be the last step to braces.

When do you start wearing rubber bands for braces?

Rubber Bands Last Step To Braces
Orthodontic Braces care - Welcome
Orthodontic Braces care - Welcome

Rubber bands on braces are used to fix an overbite, underbite, and open bites to help straighten teeth and give you beautiful smile. Usually, you may have them on either side of the jaw. Sometimes, you may have on one side.

It’s not everyone who gets a rubber band. Sometimes, you may get springs and other types of equipment with braces to move teeth. But, overall, the rubber band is commonly used in orthodontic treatment.

There are various types of rubber bands such as – class 2, class 3, box, triangle, and more.

In orthodontics, we call them class 2 and class 3 elastic for a reason.

In class 2 case you have an increased overbite and in class 3 you have an underbite.

According to this, the rubber band is named class 2 and class 3 elastic.

Other types are box and triangle elastics. If you have an open bite, you may need them.

Your orthodontist will decide which types of braces you need. You can only choose the color of the rubber band.

In class 2 case, he or she will put one end of the rubber band on the bracket of the upper canine tooth and another end on the bracket of lower molars. In class 3, it’s the opposite.

So, how do these elastics work? Do rubber bands move your jaw or teeth?

Yes, just like the archwire rubber band puts a force on the tooth and bone through brackets and helps move the tooth or jaw in the desired position.

For example, class 2 elastics bring the lower jaw forward whereas class 3 elastics bring it backward.

Now, you know, how important they are for your treatment. But, are these elastic last stages of braces?

Stages of Braces and Rubber Band

If you know how many stages of braces there are, you may guess the answer to the question, whether the rubber band is going to be the last step to your braces treatment.

We need to complete orthodontic treatment has treatment in two phases – active and retention.

The active phase is the time when you visit your orthodontist frequently and various procedures are done. You have to wear braces in this phase.

And, the retention phase starts after braces coming off. You have to wear a retainer in this phase.

Rubber band falls in the active treatment phase. Let’s take a look at the active phase or stages of braces treatment and check out When you start wearing rubber bands for braces-

1. Planing and extraction or arch expansion

Your orthodontist do all measurements and plan the treatment. Planning depends on the type of case. Which equipment or appliances you need also depends on the case.

If you have crowding or lack of space in the jaw for teeth, you may need a tooth extraction. Check out when you need tooth removal from my other article.

Sometimes to gain space, your orthodontist may suggest an arch expansion procedure.

If you have a lot of space between teeth, it may need to fix early.

The rubber band has no use in this stage, as it acts only with braces.

2. Getting braces and teeth alignment

This is the time when you get braces. Your orthodontist places brackets on your teeth and uses various types of equipment according to need. He or she uses archwires to apply a force on the tooth through brackets to move it. He or she may also use an elastic chain or power chain and springs.

In this stage, the misalignment of the individual arch is corrected. It’s unlikely that you get a rubber band at this stage.

3. Bite correction

After the individual arch is properly aligned, your orthodontist tries to establish a proper relationship between both arches so that you can bite nicely. So, to correct it, he or she has to check out if you have an overbite, underbite, or open bite.

As we discussed rubber band is used to correct the open bite, overbite, or underbite, you may get rubber bands in this stage.

But, sometimes, the orthodontist may use springs for bite correction.

Now, the question is, are rubber bands the last stage of braces?

If you see, all teeth are almost aligned properly and overbite or underbite is going to be corrected, you can celebrate as you are close to the end of braces treatment.

In this situation, rubber bands are the last step to braces.

After the rubber band completes its work, your orthodontist may remove braces and give you a retainer.

But, in some cases, braces may not be the last step. If your orthodontist feels there is more work needed to be done, he or she may place other types of equipment for that.

So, only your orthodontist may tell you when your braces are going to come off.

Before the removal of braces, you may have to wear other types of elastic, called power chain.

4. Removal of braces

Next, it’s the time you waited for so long. Your orthodontist will take off your braces and you’ll have a beautiful smile.

But, you may be curious to know-

How long after rubber bands do braces come off?

Your orthodontist may take off braces after 6 to 8 months of getting rubber bands. However, it varies from person to person and depends on the type and severity of the case.

Moreover, there are some important factors that determine how long you have to wear rubber bands for braces.

Check my other article to know in detail.

Now, as you know, the rubber band can be the last step to braces, you may ask-

How can I get my braces off sooner, after getting a rubber band?

Follow all instructions given by your orthodontist and wear rubber bands regularly, if you want to get the braces off sooner.

You should also know what happens if you don’t wear rubber bands with braces.

But, never double up your rubber band. Otherwise, it may damage your teeth and you’ll lose progress.

The only thing you have to do is wear rubber bands all the time except for brushing, and sometimes during eating.

You should eat with a rubber band and then replace it with the new one after that.

But, how often do you have to change rubber bands for braces?

You can change the rubber band 3 to 4 times a day. Change it after waking up in the morning and after meals.

To get maximum benefit, you may need to wear the elastic for 22 to 24 hours, if it’s possible. But, always consult with your orthodontist and follow his or her advice.

But, what happens if you don’t wear your rubber bands?

The answer is simple, it won’t work properly and you won’t get the best outcome. Treatment time will be prolonged and you have to keep wearing braces for a longer duration.

I think you have got the answer to the question, “Can I just wear my rubber bands at night, Should I wear elastics while sleeping?”

Of course, you have to wear a rubber band while sleeping. If you don’t, treatment progress will be slow.

You might become curious to know, How long you have to wear rubber bands? You can also check it out.

You can also check our recommended braces care kit with the price.


Though braces can be removed within a few weeks after the removal of the rubber bands, it can be used early in many cases. Whether rubber bands are the last step to braces depends on the planning of the orthodontist and the types of cases.