Why Do Braces Rubber Bands Hurt So Much [How To Relieve Pain]

When your orthodontist suggests rubber bands for braces treatment, you may be afraid and ask, “Do rubber bands on braces hurt?”

Usually, the rubber bands on braces hurt after you get them because of the extra pressure applied to teeth and the changes that occur inside the bones and periodontal tissue. However, the pain goes away soon as your teeth get used to them.

But, if you don’t wear the elastic bands regularly, they will keep hurting your teeth and there will also be a delay in tooth movement.

There are some other questions regarding getting hurt from rubber bands. In this article, we’ll answer all the questions including why do rubber bands on braces hurt so much, and how to prevent and relieve pain from rubber bands?

When do you feel pain from rubber bands on braces?

Why Do Rubber Bands On Braces Hurt So Much

Some people are so afraid that they think it may hurt during attaching the rubber band. But, it doesn’t happen. You may feel a slight pressure at that time.

But, what happens after the attachment. Let’s take a look at the situation when you feel pain for the elastics.

1. After attachment of the rubber bands

You start feeling pressure and pain when you go back to your home after your appointment with an orthodontist of getting rubber bands.

Orthodontic Braces care - Welcome
Orthodontic Braces care - Welcome

Soreness or pain may remain for the first few days, especially for 2 to 3 days after getting the elastics. But, over time you get used to it and there may not be any discomfort.

2. Not wearing rubber bands regularly

It’s one of the common mistakes made by braces wear. If you take a break from wearing the elastic or don’t wear it continuously as your orthodontist instructed, the pain will remain for weeks.

Moreover, the purpose of using the elastic will be failed and there will be a delay in treatment.

Check out my other article on what happens if you don’t elastic bands.

If your rubber band keeps falling off for some reason, it may also cause issues.

3. Doubling the rubber band elastics

It’s another mistake sometimes made by braces wearers. When someone doesn’t wear it regularly for any reason, he or she may try to overcome the effect and add more elastics to put more pressure.

Never do that because it will damage your teeth permanently and make the situation worst. The reason for that is teeth can’t bear the excess pressure. Moreover, you will feel unbearable pain.

So, always consult with your orthodontist before doing anything.

4. Wearing a rubber band without the orthodontist’s advice

The orthodontist gives you rubber bands that are perfect for your teeth and their movement. All rubber bands aren’t the same. So, when you buy from a dental store without his or her advice, you do a big mistake. Those bands not only can damage your teeth but also hurt you more.

5. Not changing the elastic every day

One elastic doesn’t work very long. So, if you don’t change it from time to time, it will lose effectiveness and make the process slower. This has the same effect as not wearing or, taking a break. So, you will experience more pain.

6. From elastic hook

Your mouth also gets hurt from rubber band hooks. The hook may poke or tear the cheek.

Check out reasons and solutions for braces hooks hurting.

Why do rubber bands on braces hurt so much?

Rubber bands on braces can hurt so much due to the additional pressure they put on your teeth and jaw to move your teeth in a certain position.

Let’s know about it in detail.

A rubber band puts a force on the tooth. Because of the force, you feel pressure on your teeth. Moreover, the pressure is also provided to the bone that holds the tooth. As a result, a chemical reaction occurs inside the structure of the bone.

On the site of pressure, which is on the bone behind the tooth, bone gets dissolved and on the opposite side, new bone formation occurs. This process pushes the tooth to the pressure site and tooth movement occurs.

During the mechanism, some chemicals (e. g. prostaglandins) get released at the site of pressure. These chemicals cause pain and discomfort.

Components of elastic bands like the hook can also hurt your gums or cheek. It may cut inside your mouth, sometimes.

How long do rubber bands on braces hurt?

Normally you feel sore or pain for 2 to 3 days, as the teeth feel pressure for the first time by the rubber bands. Sometimes it may persist for the first week, But, after that, it may not hurt you.

In case you are not using the elastic regularly, you will feel the pain for a longer duration. If you double the elastics, you may feel excessive pain. This also damages your teeth.

You can also learn how long you have to wear them.

However, you can also know about some other important things from our other article on – Are rubber bands the last steps to braces.

How to relieve pain from rubber bands on braces?

Follow these to prevent or relieve pain from rubber bands for braces

1. Wear rubber bands regularly to prevent pain.

You may wonder but even if it hurts you have to keep wearing it. The reason for that there are several changes that take place inside the structures that hold your teeth.

You have to favor the rubber band and the mechanism. This will also favor you. By doing that, the pain goes away with time and you also get used to it.

Usually, we suggest wearing about 22 hours a day. That excludes the time for eating and cleaning.

However, if you take a break sometimes because of pain, it’ll continuously hurt you. Pain may persist even after weeks. So, be careful.

2. Take the over-the-counter pain relievers

If rubber bands hurt you badly, you can take over-the-counter pain killers. However, always consult with your orthodontist before taking any medicine.

If you have other health problems or take other meditation, follow your doctor’s advice. Usually, you don’t have to take meditation for rubber bands.

3. Don’t use extra bands

Sometimes people think if they increase the number of the band, it’ll work more quickly. But, it’s totally wrong.

Tooth movement works best when we use an optimum force. It means that providing more or less force causes less or no teeth movement.

Moreover, putting excess force destroys teeth as well as their supporting tissue and bones. As a result, you have to face serious problems. So, don’t try to double the number of bands.

4. Use the rubber bands for braces that the orthodontist provided

As we mentioned earlier, an orthodontist gives the elastics which are appropriate for you. If you buy rubber bands from a dental store, they won’t work properly. You may feel pain and it may damage your teeth as well.

But, what if you are planning to leave town for some time? In that case, take rubber bands as much as possible from your orthodontist.

Even if you are out of stock for some reason and can’t visit your orthodontist, don’t panic. You still shouldn’t buy it from the outside.

5. Change the elastics regularly.

Change the elastics at the right time. You have to change rubber bands 3 to 4 times a day, especially after every meal, as they lose their elasticity fast.

6. Maintain oral hygiene.

Keep your mouth clean so that the rubber bands don’t get damaged quickly and lose effectiveness.

7. Use dental wax.

Orthodontic wax can solve any kind of problem with braces, and even help relieve pain.

If you think any part of the brackets or wire gets broken after getting rubber bands, you can use dental wax to fix the issue. This may relieve pain and discomfort.

However, if you see, you need to repair it, consult your orthodontist, and make an appointment. Till then use the wax to solve the issue temporarily.


Due to the pressure applied by rubber bands to teeth, you feel sore or mild pain for the first few days after getting rubber bands for braces. You have to keep wearing them continuously and follow the instructions of your orthodontists to get rid of the pain. However, if you have any serious problems regarding it, consult with your orthodontist.