Can you eat with rubber bands on your braces?

Can you eat with rubber bands on your braces? This is an excellent question that many patients may ask when they learn they need to wear braces for 15 to 18 months to straighten their teeth. Braces work by gradually shifting your teeth into alignment over some time. But what is the purpose of the elastic bands? And do you still need to wear them while you eat? Creekview & McKinney Orthodontics in Texas has the answers you seek.

What role do elastic bands play in orthodontics?

Elastic bands are pieces of your braces hardware that work together to shift teeth into alignment. The bands specifically apply additional pressure if necessary and come in all different colors and sizes. Your rubber bands will be made to fit your braces and will stretch over the little loops on the upper and lower brackets. The bands are perfectly safe for your mouth because they are made using medical-grade latex.

When do you start wearing rubber bands with braces?

Patients typically begin wearing elastic bands about four to six months into their braces treatment, so you don’t have to worry about wearing them over the entire length of your treatment plan.

Does everyone wear rubber bands with their braces?

It’s entirely possible that you may not end up having to wear rubber bands with your braces because not everyone does. Some patients’ teeth do not need the extra pressure to shift their teeth. It just depends on how well your teeth are shifting and how the shift affects your bite.

Do rubber bands move your jaw or teeth?

Yes, rubber bands gradually move your teeth over time by working with brackets and wires to put pressure on them to move.

How fast do elastics move teeth?

Just like the braces and wires themselves, it takes time for teeth to move. You don’t want them to move too fast because it could damage the roots. That being said, it usually takes about five to eight months for the additional pressure from elastic bands to shift teeth into alignment.

Can rubber bands pull your teeth out?

It’s a very uncommon occurrence, but elastic bands could work their way under the gums and pull out a tooth. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your hardware and be careful when removing your elastic bands. Creekview & McKinney Orthodontics will show you how to apply and remove your elastics.

Can you eat with rubber bands on your braces?

You can eat small items while wearing your elastic bands. But if you are finding it difficult to eat, feel free to remove them and then put them back on after you are done. Wearing them while eating also poses the risk of damaging your braces or for more food to get stuck in your hardware. Certain foods, such as acidic foods, can also cause your elastic bands to deteriorate faster, which means you’ll run out of them sooner. Orthodontists recommend removing your elastic bands before eating.

Can you wear rubber bands while sleeping?

You must wear your elastic bands for at least 20 hours every day. That means you should wear them while you sleep. The only times you should remove them are before you eat and before you brush your teeth. Elastic bands are a crucial part of your braces treatment as the additional pressure on your teeth helps move them into place. Failure to wear them will result in a longer treatment time, which means more time in braces.

How will I know if the rubber bands are working?

Naturally, you want to know if your treatment is working. After all, it costs thousands of dollars and you’ve had to wear your braces for months. No worries! There are signs you can feel and see that will tell you that your hardware is hard at work shifting your teeth. Your teeth and jaws may feel sensitive or achy. You will also likely notice a difference in the appearance of your smile as your teeth shift. Take a photo of your smile before you get braces and try comparing it to your smile after a few months of wearing them. Your orthodontist can tell you if it is working during follow-up visits as well. Also, you can take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate any discomfort, but we promise your braces are working.

Will the rubber bands change the appearance of my face?

While the rubber bands by themselves won’t change your facial appearance, your braces may have a minor impact on your facial features. If you have a severe overbite or underbite, your features will change as your teeth and jaws shift to fix the misalignment. This is NOT a bad thing. Your appearance will slightly change for the better so you’ll have healthier teeth and jaws.

Can I double up my rubber bands?

If you are thinking that doubling up your rubber bands will make your teeth shift faster so your treatment ends sooner, stop with that line of thinking. Doubling up your rubber bands will apply more pressure and shift your teeth faster, but this is a bad thing. Shifting teeth too fast can damage the roots. The last thing you want to do is damage your teeth to the point where you lose them. Allow your braces and elastic bands to work normally. The result, while it takes time, is worth the wait.

What if I swallow or break my rubber bands?

If you break your rubber bands, replace them right away. If you run out, call your orthodontist as soon as possible to refill your supply. Should you swallow one of your elastic bands, remain calm. Elastic bands for braces are made to be safe if you swallow them so they are relatively harmless. The elastic band will simply pass through your digestive system. If you do feel any pain or discomfort or just want reassurance that it poses no threat to your health, see your medical doctor.

Contact us for a free smile consultation

Creekview & McKinney Orthodontics proudly serves Collin County and surrounding communities in Texas. For information about braces or to get braces treatment, schedule a free consultation online today!