Invisalign Elastics Explained
Invisalign elastics, also known as rubber bands, play a major role in teeth straightening treatments. Although they were mostly associated with braces in the past, these tiny orthodontic accessories can be equally as effective with Invisalign treatment.
What are Invisalign elastics?
Normally, Invisalign aligners exert constant pressure, which gently but steadily moves your teeth and jaws into the desired position. But since they straighten the top and bottom teeth and jaws separately, they may not be able to correct a bite issue. In most cases, achieving the perfect bite between the upper and lower jaw calls for the connective force of Invisalign elastics.
Invisalign elastics are small, translucent rubber bands that connect to the upper and lower arches. They provide that extra force needed to move your teeth and align the jaw so you can achieve a beautiful smile and a properly functioning bite at the end of your treatment.
If you have any Invisalign treatment-related questions, you can book an appointment online or contact us directly on (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport), or (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo). For international patients, it is recommended to request a free e-consultation where we can discuss your individual case and treatment options.
How elastics work with Invisalign
On their own, Invisalign aligners exert pressure against the teeth, moving them in one direction whereas Invisalign elastics improve the way your upper and lower teeth or jaws fit together. These elastics are connected to your top and bottom teeth. One end of the elastic is stretched from a hook on one aligner in one jaw to another hook in the aligner in the opposite jaw or a button on a tooth in the opposite jaw. The rubber bands create resistance between the top teeth and the bottom teeth. By wearing them consistently, the pressure they create helps align the jawbones to treat overbites, underbites, crossbites or open bites.
The purpose of Invisalign elastics
While Invisalign elastics play a significant role in straightening your smile, their main purpose is to ensure an ideally functioning bite at the end of the treatment. As such, they help to correct:
Invisalign elastics can be used to correct an overbite that is related to jaw position. They work to align the overbite, creating a perfect bite.
In conjunction with Invisalign aligners, Invisalign rubber bands also help to shift teeth into their right position while simultaneously correcting an underbite.
Invisalign elastics can be used to treat a crossbite that requires more than simply pushing a tooth into place. The connective force of elastics can help bring a crossbite that is a bit more complicated together.
Anterior open bites
An anterior open bite occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not meet at all. Invisalign rubber bands can help the upper and lower jaw to fit together.
Usually, teeth that are crowded overlap, shift and twist forward or backwards in an effort to fit the small space in the jaw. Invisalign elastics not only help to move your teeth but also fix any rotation or other issues that require a little more force.
How to put on your Invisalign rubber bands
Putting on rubber bands on your Invisalign aligners is quite simple. Before giving you the rubber bands, your orthodontist will first attach buttons or hooks (small plastic or metal brackets) to your teeth. Hooks can also be built into the aligner (same plastic material) An upper canine and a lower first molar are usually the teeth of choice and the rubber band will run from the top hook to the bottom one. Buttons are premade from Invisalign and are designed to adhere to your teeth. Once your hooks or buttons are on, here is how to wear your elastics:
- Place your aligners in your mouth
- Hook the rubber band onto one of the hooks on either your top or bottom aligner
- Stretch the rubber band down to the bottom or up to the hook on your upper aligner
Over time, you will be able to wear your Invisalign elastics fast and easily.
How to remove Invisalign elastics
When the time comes to remove your Invisalign elastics, simply unhook your rubber band on either the top or bottom aligner first, then remove the rubber band from your mouth. Dispose off the rubber band.
What to do if an elastic hook or button falls off
Your Invisalign hook may fall off when eating, brushing or flossing. Sometimes, it may fall off because it has not bonded well to your tooth. Should your Invisalign hook or button fall off, stop wearing the rubber band on that side, contact your orthodontist to reattach the hook or give you a replacement aligner. With your orthodontist’s advice, you can also sometimes opt to wait until your next appointment.
How to take care of Invisalign elastics
Taking care of your Invisalign rubber bands is easy. First, you must replace the rubber bands once or twice a day depending on your dental needs. If the bands break or pop off, simply replace them with a new one.
Does everyone with Invisalign need elastic bands?
No. Not everyone with Invisalign needs rubber bands. If the condition you are treating is relatively minor like small gaps between teeth or your teeth are mildly overcrowded, you very often will not need elastics. Invisalign elastics are only necessary when you have misalignments of your top and bottom teeth like an overbite or an underbite.
How long should you wear Invisalign elastics?
Generally, the elastics should be worn 22 hours per day, the same duration as the aligners themselves. Just make sure to change the elastics twice a day to ensure they don’t lose too much elasticity and to ensure the necessary force is always being elicited to the teeth.
Note that your mouth may feel sore during the first couple of days. But as you get used to them, that pain should go away.
Invisalign elastics help to apply additional force to certain areas of your mouth. They are often used to correct misaligned jaws and teeth. However, not everyone will need rubber bands with their Invisalign. If your orthodontist prescribes rubber bands with your Invisalign, be sure to carefully follow their instructions on how to wear them. Doing this will ensure your treatment proceeds as planned.
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