When your orthodontist attaches the rubber bands, whatever the reason is you may be curious to know, how long do you have to wear rubber bands for braces?
You have to wear rubber bands for braces for 6 to 8 months. However, the duration can be more or less depending on the bite and complexity of the case. Orthodontists recommend wearing the inter-arch elastics 24 hours a day to get the best result.
Here are several factors on which the duration of it depends-
- age and compliance of the patient.
- the complexity of cases.
- the types of rubber bands used and their response to treatment by the patient’s body.
You may be excited that you have come to the last stage of treatment. Or, you may feel so uncomfortable that you want to take it off as early as possible.
But, how’ll you know, what is the exact duration of use? You can find out on your own after you know everything we have discussed here.
In this article, you’ll know how long you need to wear the rubber band with braces or Invisalign depending upon various situations and how the duration can be reduced.
How do you know how long you need to wear rubber bands for braces?
Your orthodontist can tell you the actual time taken to wear a rubber band with braces because it is more practical than theoretical.
First of all your orthodontist will diagnose the case and then plan treatment. Depending upon that he or she will give an idea of how much time it may take to complete treatment with a rubber band as well as braces.
After a rubber band is attached to braces, the duration of it can’t be measured immediately.
It can be guessed based on your prognosis when you go to your orthodontist for follow-up. Also, it depends on whether you follow your orthodontist’s advice properly or not.
There are other important factors such as age and severity of the case which affect the time.
Factors that determine the duration of wearing the rubber band with braces
The duration of using elastic bands for braces depends on the following factors:
Types of rubber band that is used
The first variety is the ligature. It’s a small piece of a rubber band or elastic that is encircled your bracket. It aids in holding braces and wires in position and provides pressure on teeth to shift the position if it’s required.
You may have to wear it till your braces are removed from your teeth.
Your orthodontist changes these rubber bands when he/she tightened the wire in each visit.
This type of elastic is essential for all who need treatment with braces.
The second variety is the one that I have discussed in this article. And, you are probably worried about this one, called inter-arch rubber band or elastic. Everyone doesn’t need this.
During orthodontic treatment, braces are placed on your teeth, and wire is placed into them to provide force to your teeth.
Because of that tooth can move to the desired position. In this case, braces and wires work on one arch separately.
That means braces and wires of one arch don’t have any direct relationship to another arch to move the teeth.
But, sometimes, it requires a direct relationship and an extra force called counter-force between the arch to make proper alignment of teeth.
The rubber band helps fulfill this purpose. It produces counter force. So, one end of elastic is placed on a certain bracket of one arch and another end is placed on a certain bracket of another arch. It helps correct your bite.
Generally, you may have to wear inter-arch rubber bands for 6-8 months to 1 year.
Moreover, these inter-arch elastics can be divided into different types according to the types of bite problems they correct. This also influences the duration.
Time to start wearing rubber bands for braces
In some cases, the rubber band is the last step of treatment. But, it takes a long time to complete the procedure.
Orthodontists may also use it in the middle of treatment sometimes according to requirements.
In other cases, after removing your 1st rubber band, you may need another variety.
Here, the last step means after the step your braces should be removed. But, if you are talking about a full treatment procedure, then a retainer is the last phase of orthodontic treatment.
The severity of the case
The inter-arch rubber band is used to correct overbite, underbite, and crossbite. The duration of the rubber band also depends on which type of bite problem it needs to be treated for.
However, all cases are not the same. Some take more time to correct, some take less.
Check out the duration of elastic bands to fix an overbite.
The reason for that is their growth of jaw and teeth is completed. Teeth are placed in a fixed position for a long time which is more difficult to move and needs more time.
The duration of using a rubber band is much shorter in growing children.
Jaw bone and teeth can be moved easily, as they haven’t completed their development and movements.
But, keep in mind that, some treatments need to be done after growth completion and others in growing age.
Your orthodontist will decide this.
This is one of the most important factors. If you don’t follow your orthodontist’s instructions and don’t use the rubber band properly, it will need more time to remove the rubber band from your teeth. Let’s discuss this in detail.
You can also check out why the rubber bands come off and what to do.
How to reduce the duration of treatment with the rubber band and increase effectiveness?
- To use reduced duration, you have to wear the rubber band 22 to 24 hr a day. Only don’t wear it during brushing and flossing.
You may have to wear it even during eating. It is thought that the rubber band may work more in that of eating.
But, you can’t use it if it interferes with your eating. Follow your orthodontist’s advice on whether you should wear it during eating or not.
You must use this during sleep. Keep in mind that if you reduce the duration of wearing a rubber band, it will increase the duration of treatment.
You should change the band 3 to 4 times a day. At least try to replace it every 12 hours. Remove it after meal and sleep and put a new one. Otherwise, it won’t work properly because it loses effectiveness quickly.
- But, that doesn’t mean you will give some extra effort to boost the effectiveness like doubling up or giving extra pressure. This could be harmful to your teeth and decrease the effectiveness of the rubber band.
- Only use a rubber band that is provided by your orthodontist. There are different types of rubber bands that may not match the one you are using. So, don’t buy even try it or buy it without his or her advice.
- It may feel painful and uncomfortable for the first few days after the application of the rubber band. So, you would like to remove it when you feel pain and put it again after it is relieved.
Never do that. Again it will decrease effectiveness. You will also feel pain again and again. But, if you wear it regularly, within a few days there won’t be any discomfort or pain. Don’t worry, it won’t harm your teeth.
Learn more about rubber band pain.
So, your goal is to wear a rubber band regularly according to your orthodontist’s instructions so that you can get the best and fastest result.
Also, know how to get braces off quicker.
How long do you need to wear a rubber band with Invisalign?
First of all, you should ask do Invisalign needs a rubber band?
It doesn’t depend on Invisalign. It depends on the condition of your dentition and treatment requirements.
Invisalign users may need rubber bands. Indications are the same as braces users. The purpose is to provide extra force for your teeth to move so that proper alignment between the teeth of both arches is achieved.
It may take the same duration as braces if you wear a rubber band with Invisalign. The average time maybe 6 to 8 months, sometimes a year.
Just like braces, the duration also depends on the factors that I discussed above. Use it regularly to speed up the process.
But, when do you need a rubber band in the case of Invisalign?
Your orthodontist will evaluate your overall dentition and oral condition. After that, he or she will inform you whether you need them or not and when.
Now you may wonder how can rubber band be attached to Invisalign?
Yout orthodontist places a small button or bracket on a tooth of the upper jaw and another on a tooth of the lower jaw. He or she attaches the rubber band to these buttons.
Another way is by customizing your aligner and creating a hook so that the rubber band can be attached to it. As the aligner helps attach the rubber band, you don’t need buttons in this case.
But, in the case of treatment with a rubber band, traditional braces are more effective than Invisalign. Let your orthodontist decide and follow the treatment plan.
Depending upon several factors, you may have to wear a rubber band for braces or Invisalign for 6 to 8 months, even more than a year.
Young age, less complex cases, and patient’s cooperation during the treatment period speed up the process and reduce the duration of rubber band treatment.
On the other hand, older age, severe cases and not wearing the band properly increase the duration.
So, always follow your orthodontist’s instructions and use the rubber band regularly, if you want it to be removed fast.