If you have chosen Invisalign treatment to correct overcrowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, or a cross/overbite then you will know that rubber bands work with the Invisalign aligners to aid the Invisalign process by creating additional pressure in places the dentist deems necessary. An Invisalign rubber band is similar to the rubber bands used in braces and can also be referred to as elastics. They are tiny but immensely powerful transparent bands that improve the efficiency of Invisalign treatment and can fast track the entire jaw alignment process.
The bands come in various sizes and the ones assigned to you will match your specific conditions and the severity of your case. Many patients need a few tips on how best to put rubber bands on Invisalign aligners, so in this blog, we focus on how they work and how best to use and attach them.
How Invisalign rubber bands work
Invisalign rubber bands help connect your upper teeth and your lower teeth. This is done through one end of the rubber band being stretched from a hook on your upper Invisalign aligners, while the other end is attached to the hook of the lower Invisalign aligners. The rubber band will either be hooked to a metal button which has been bonded to the aligner, or a tooth-coloured hook that has been bonded to the aligner.
The transparent Invisalign hook is essential in holding the rubber band in place and ensuring the process is efficient. The positioning of the hook on the Invisalign aligners will be directly correlated on the particular issues you have and your personalised treatment plan. The rubber bands will help create resistance between the upper and lower teeth. As long as the rubber bands are used constantly, then the pressure should help align the jaw bones and deal with any potential overbite, underbite, open bite or crossbite.
How to put rubber bands on your Invisalign aligners
Putting rubber bands on your Invisalign aligners is very simple and you should not worry too much about the procedure. The dentist will also show you how to put them on before giving them to you to ensure there is no confusion. You may use a mirror to help guide you at first while you are getting use to the process. However, after a few tries the process will be quickly ingrained in your memory, and it will be natural.
The key steps are:
- Firstly, place the Invisalign aligners into your mouth.
- Hook the rubber band onto one of the hooks, usually starting with the upper aligner, however, either one is fine.
- Finally, use two fingers to stretch the rubber band, either up or down based on what you chose in step two, and hook it in place.
How often should I change Invisalign rubber bands?
In the majority of scenarios, Invisalign rubber bands will be replaced every day although the dentist may give you more specific time frames which you should follow. It is essential that the elastics are used at all times that the Invisalign aligners are used in order to maximise effectiveness, this is usually a minimum of 22 hours a day.
The Invisalign rubber bands should be replaced each time that aligners are removed to eat. This will ensure the rubber bands remain fresh which will help to retain their optimal strength. When talking or just generally opening your mouth, the rubber bands will lose some resistance and thus not exert as much pressure as before. Consequently, to ensure they are most effective they should be changed whenever they become significantly loose, which may be sooner than 24 hours in some cases.