If you are one of the many people in Los Angeles using Invisalign with rubber bands to achieve the perfect smile, you are on the right track!
However, it’s important to remember that some common mistakes people make when wearing Invisalign with rubber bands can impact the treatment’s success.
What Do Rubber Bands Do for Invisalign?
Before we get to that, let’s talk about why you might need these in the first place.
These elastics create a gentle force that guides your teeth and jaws into alignment. They work by pulling your upper and lower teeth in opposite directions to correct bite issues like overbite, underbite, and crossbite.
In some cases, they can also help close gaps between teeth!
We (or whoever your dentist is!) will provide custom size and placement of the rubber bands based on your specific needs. It’s essential to wear them as prescribed, typically for 22 hours a day, to ensure they effectively move your teeth.
3 Common Mistakes When Wearing Invisalign with Rubber Bands
If you and your dentist have decided to rock Invisalign with rubber bands, we’ve got some tips to help you avoid some common mistakes.
We know it can be a bit of a learning curve, but with a little know-how, you’ll be on your way to a perfect smile in no time. Let’s dive into the three most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
And don’t worry— we’ve got your back with more FAQs at the bottom!
Mistake #1: Not Wearing Rubber Bands as Prescribed
One of the most common mistakes people make when using Invisalign with rubber bands is not wearing them as prescribed. Wearing rubber bands for the prescribed time ensures your teeth move as intended. Failing to wear the rubber bands for the recommended amount of time can result in a longer treatment period and more appointments with your orthodontist.
According to a study conducted by NCBI, patients who wore their rubber bands for the recommended 22 hours per day had significantly better outcomes than those who wore them for less time.
Tip: Set a timer or reminder on your phone to help you remember to wear your rubber bands for the recommended amount of time.
Mistake #2: Not Changing Rubber Bands Often Enough
Another common mistake people make is not changing their rubber bands often enough. Over time, rubber bands can lose their elasticity, which means they won’t be as effective at moving your teeth. Failing to change your rubber bands as prescribed can lead to longer treatment times and less effective results.
According to a study published by NCBI, changing rubber bands every 12 hours can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum inflammation.
Tip: Change your rubber bands as your orthodontist prescribes, typically every 12 hours, to ensure they effectively move your teeth.
Mistake #3: Not Cleaning Invisalign Aligners and Rubber Bands Properly
Keeping your Invisalign aligners and rubber bands clean is vital to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Failing to clean your aligners and rubber bands properly can also result in discoloration, making them more noticeable when wearing them.
According to a study conducted by NCBI, patients who cleaned their aligners and rubber bands properly had significantly better outcomes than those who didn’t.
Tip: Clean your Invisalign aligners and rubber bands regularly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle soap. Avoid using hot water or harsh chemicals, which can damage the aligners and rubber bands.
Still, avoiding these common mistakes is essential to ensure your treatment is as successful (and quick) as possible. Remember to wear your rubber bands for the recommended time, change them as prescribed, and clean your aligners and rubber bands regularly.
Still have questions? We (probably) have answers!
Can Invisalign rubber bands fix my overbite?
Yes, you can use Invisalign rubber bands to fix an overbite.
The rubber bands work by applying pressure to the upper and lower jaws to correct the alignment of the teeth and the bite. We’ll have to assess your specific case and determine if rubber bands are necessary to correct your overbite.
How do rubber bands on Invisalign work?
Here is a brief explanation:
- Rubber bands are attached to hooks on the aligners and connected to other hooks on the upper and lower teeth.
- Over time, they create a gentle pressure that pulls the upper and lower teeth into alignment and corrects any bite issues.
- Every 4-6 weeks, your dentist will evaluate the progress of your treatment and make any necessary adjustments to your rubber bands and Invisalign aligners.
- Rubber bands are typically worn for 20 to 22 hours per day and are changed every 6-12 hours (so you’ll need to change them 4-6 times daily).
What are the hooks?
Hooks are small attachments that are placed on the aligners to allow for the use of rubber bands during the Invisalign treatment. The hooks are typically placed on the aligners towards the back of the mouth, near the molars.
They’re made from a tooth-colored composite material that blends in with the aligners, making them virtually invisible.
How to put rubber bands on Invisalign
Putting rubber bands on Invisalign aligners is a simple process you can do at home. Here are the steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your aligners.
- Take one rubber band and hook it onto the upper aligner’s hook.
- Stretch the rubber band over the lower aligner’s hook.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Wear the rubber bands for the prescribed amount of time.
Note: If you have difficulty putting rubber bands on, consult your orthodontist for assistance.