Many people don’t realize the importance of the small rubber bands that work to straighten your smile throughout treatment. Though they are small, both ligatures and inter-arch elastics are key players in aligning your jaw and straightening teeth. Ligatures are the small elastics that are placed around each bracket and hold your arch wire in place. You can choose to make these ligatures almost any color and they work to push or pull teeth in a certain direction.
Rubber bands (inter-arch elastics) are somewhat larger and work to align your jaw by applying pressure to reduce an under or overbite. While your ligatures work to move teeth along your gum line, rubber bands pull your jaw forward or backward to align your jaw for a more comfortable bite. Brackets with hooks are used on the side of your mouth so you can hook your rubber bands to correct any malocclusion that exceeds the acceptable measurement.
Wearing your rubber bands as advised by your orthodontist is extremely important for keeping your treatment on schedule. Though they may cause discomfort initially, wearing them as often as advised will only make them more comfortable. If you have any questions about your orthodontic appliances or treatment, simply ask at your next appointment or give us a call to learn more.