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Everything You Need to Know About Rubber Bands for Braces

As any kid (or adult, for that matter) will tell you, orthodontia isn’t really something you fool around with. Braces can be very awkward despite the necessity of wearing them. They can be very bothersome and uncomfortable, and they can be painful too. And a lot of these problems have something to do with the rubber bands for braces.

rubber bands for braces

Parts of Your Braces

In order to fully explain the necessity of these braces with rubber bands, let’s first take a look at the various parts of a teeth brace.

  1. The square metal things on your teeth are called brackets.

2.The brackets are connected through the archwire, which is the force necessary to direct and move your teeth.

3.You have tiny rubber bands wrapped around individual braces, and these are called ligatures. These elastic ligatures can be very colorful. But their purpose is more than just mere decoration. Their main function is to hold the archwire in place. These ligatures stay in place until the next time you visit your orthodontist. You can have them in another color entirely when your orthodontist adjusts your braces or tightens the archwire.

4.Then you have another set of rubber bands called the interarch rubber bands. Their function is to adjust the position of your bite and jaw properly. You connect them to the brackets, usually by connecting a top tooth bracket with a bottom tooth bracket. This connection will help adjust the position of your jaw and the position of your teeth inside your mouth, so that the teeth line up correctly.

These rubber bands need to be replaced daily, since they endure a lot of wear and tear. You have to remove them when you eat, and when you are cleaning your teeth and your brackets.

Not everyone who wears braces need these interarch rubber bands. It all depends on how your jaw is currently aligned and what your orthodontist recommends regarding treatment and corrections.

Connecting the Interarch Rubber Bands

At some point your orthodontist will try to teach you how to connect the interarch rubber bands to the brackets, since you’ll do this every day. But a lot of orthodontists don’t really have much time or patience teaching patients how to do this properly, so you may have to figure it out all by yourself.

Generally, to connect rubber bands on braces you use the hook your orthodontist has given you. If they don’t give this hook to you, then ask them about it. But if you’re already home and you forgot to bring it with you then you can still connect the rubber band by hand.

At the beginning, a mirror would be very helpful. Attach the rubber band to the top bracket first, and then pull it down to connect it to the bottom bracket. After a few days, this should be second nature. But if you keep on having some difficulties then it may be because the rubber band is too small and you should ask for a bigger size.

Where Can You Get Orthodontic Rubber Bands?

If for whatever reason you are running low on orthodontic elastics and bands for braces, your first stop should be your own orthodontist. They will usually have a ready supply, and you can get them anytime. Besides, they’re usually free.

But of course, they may not always have the colors you want. If you want to have a particular look for your braces rubber bands colors then you can always go online and look for them. Orthodontic bands and braces elastics come in a huge variety of colors, and you can just take your pick.

Choosing a Color for Your Braces Bands

If you are a teen or a kid, then you can have a lot of fun picking out a color for your rubber band braces. You can have every rubber band for braces in a different color, or have them all look the same. You can have some specific color pattern in mind to make them look good or cool on you. You can even have them in your favorite colors, or to display the colors of your school’s sports team.

Since you’ll need to change these elastics for braces on regular basis, you can sport a different look every time you visit your orthodontist. You can even match the colors with the holidays, so that you look scary for Halloween or festive for the Christmas season.

braces rubber bands

If you are an adult, then you may want to go for more subtle colors than neon yellows, blues, and greens. It’s not unusual if you want to be more discreet about them, and you may instead opt for less exuberant hues. Some colors, such as gray or silver, won’t stain even when you eat certain foods or drink particular beverages. Nobody who sees them will mistakenly think that you have plaque or food particles in your mouth.

You may even opt for clear rubber bands if you want, although there are pros and cons to this choice. It’s true that rubber bands in this color aren’t as noticeable as even silver or gray and much less obvious than red and blue.

But clear rubber bands tend to show stains due to drinking coffee, tea, soda, or wine. Some dark colored food items may also contribute to stains.


All in all, what you need to understand is that rubber bands for your braces are important, so you need to wear them as often as your orthodontist tells you to. You can have some fun with them, but you can’t fool around. You need to make sure that you are wearing them correctly so that you don’t unnecessarily prolong the time you need to wear braces.

In the end, while rubber bands and braces may look good, nothing beats your appearance when you can take off your braces permanently and you can display a set of perfect teeth once and for all.

If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below to tell us about your experiences or ask any questions. Thanks!

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • lee

    i dont have ring on back of my teeth.does it have problem?

    • Hello, Lee!

      Perhaps you can help us out a bit. We need to know what you mean by “ring”. If it is a piece of your braces that is missing, you need to get to your dentist and have it fixed. Please explain us a little bit more. Thank you!

  • Ryan

    I have an overbite, what class of elastic should I wear, the orthadontist didn’t say, he just said to put them in at night

    • Susan

      Hey, Ryan! Thanks for stopping by!

      For the specifics of what bands to use, you’ll need to talk to the orthodontist who recommended them for you. There are several strengths of bands and using the wrong one could cause many more problems than they solve.

      You did very well with consulting an orthodontist prior to treatment. This way, you know what to do and how to do it safely and correctly.

  • Aileen Nunez

    There’s 2 weeks till my next appt. and I was wondering if I will get my braces off with rubber bands.My bottom teeth has about 1cm away from my bottom teeth.I usually wear my elastics and a few days that I forget to put on after every meal.Is there a possibility that I will get my braces off?

    • Susan

      Hey Aileen!

      I’m glad you asked.

      Usually, they will take the braces off with the rubber bands when it’s time to fully remove your braces.

      Since we don’t know how long you had your braces on, we can’t know if you will get your braces off. This is a question you need to ask your dentist. Usually, you should be able to call in and they would be able to answer the question over the phone before you.

  • Marissa

    Hi! So i’m currently wearing interarch bands to help my over bite and my orthodontist gave me two sets of bands to alternate between for sleep and day. Will the bigger sized bands show more of a difference over time or will the smaller ones show more?

    • Susan

      Hi Marissa!

      I’m glad you asked. This is really a question for your orthodontist.

      Generally, when an orthodontist has you changing things for the day and for the evening, it is because the stronger adjustments happen while you sleep. Now, with the different size bands, your orthodontist could have various reasons for using the two different sizes. One could be because he or she wants a specific change overnight. Another could be for your comfort.

      In addition, when you use a stronger band, the changes happen faster. They can also unto themselves quickly. Small changes over time typically stick longer. It could be that your orthodontist wants the best of both sides. So, you really need to ask him or her exactly what they want to achieve when you wear the different bands.

  • Tiara

    Hello! My two top front teeth are crooked ; one is a bite lower and facing the wrong way. I’m a teenager, is there any way I can fix this and fast?

    • Susan

      Hi Tiara!

      I’m glad you asked.

      We’re sorry to hear that your teeth are crooked. And we know that as a teenager you want this fixed fast.

      We cautioned against home fixes, however. They can cause more problems in the long run. We really do recommend you see a dentist so you know what your options are.

      Today, for smaller problems,you don’t need braces at all. A retainer can work well. As a teenager, you have more options than adults. Since your mouth is still growing, many techniques will work. You just need to see a dentist to know what your options are.

  • cindy

    Hi!i have a friend who installed a braces because his teeth has overlapped at the lower anterior and the lateral and he has periodontitis,and the affected of the perio is the anterior ,does the ortho give a good result?or what is the possible problem he might have??

    • Susan

      Hey Cindy!

      Interesting question.

      Did your friend install the braces himself or did the dentist do it? There a lot of factors that go into this.

      Periodontitis has many causes and can affect the teeth in many ways.This is definitely one thing you want to make sure an orthodontist looks into, because as the inflammation progresses, the teeth could become weak and even fall out.

      We’re not quite sure what is going on with your friend, so you do want to get a professional to have a hands-on approach working with your friend.

  • Britt

    I have 4 sets of interarch bands on either side of my mouth that overlap each other/ share the same bracket hook. I’m having trouble being able to put on all 4 bands. It seems like the hooks aren’t long enough for the bands to overlap. Is there anything I can do?

    • Susan

      Hi Britt!

      That’s a tough question.

      If you’re not able to get the bands on, it may be the hooks are truly not long enough or the bands might be too small.

      This is an issue your dentist will have to remedy.

      Your dentist will also be able to watch you use the bands and recommend any adjustments in your technique that will help you get the bands on.

  • Natalie

    Hi! I have two different sets of rubber bands on each side of my mouth. One is a triangle and one is a Class II elastic. After wearing them for a while it made my teeth asymmetrical and it looks strange. So then I’ve kind of been changing the bands around by myself to see if it could make it more even but it hasn’t. Is there a reason for this or anything I can do to fix it? And why did my ortho say to make them different?

    • Susan

      Hey Natalie!

      We’re not quite sure why your orthodontist uses two different bands. We can only assume there was a reason.

      But, if your teeth are not lining up symmetrically, this is a problem. We recommend talking to your orthodontist about what’s happening and how to fix it.

      Changing the bands on your own could cause further problems. We recommend that you stop doing that.

      It may be possible that on one side of your mouth your teeth have reached their final destination before the other side. If this is the case, changing things on your own could set you back months or even years, which would make wearing your braces all the longer.

  • Brandon

    Is it safe to double up on my rubberbands?

    • Susan

      Hey Brandon!

      We don’t recommend doubling up on your bands without the direct instruction of your dentist.

      Too much pressure and you could literally rip your teeth from your gums.

  • dottie

    i been had braces on my teeth for over 2 year cause i had a crooked tooth at the top ( it was really crooked push way back ) is it normal that teeth still sore especially when i go to get my band tighten like i said it’s been 2 year and when my teeth shift it get sore

    • Susan

      Hey Dottie!

      It is perfectly normal to have irritation and soreness whenever you get your band’s tightened, even after years of having braces.

      You’re still moving your teeth and still creating a strain on your gums.

      Anytime your teeth shift or move it can cause pain.

      It would be a good thing to talk this over with your orthodontist to make sure there’s nothing going on that may cause damage.

  • Caitlin Mitchell

    The last orthadontist appt I went to they said my next appoitnment would be to take off my braces for sure. They gave me rubber bands to wear until then, but they caused a slight gap in my teeth. I’m wondering if I should even continue to wear them because my bite is ok, it’s just extra help. Also I’m wondering if they’ll still take them off or if they’ll even notice this gap, it is so slight.

    • Susan

      Hey Caitlin,

      We recommend following the advice of your orthodontist.

      If you discovered the rubber bands are causing a gap, you should contact them immediately in order to stop any further damage.

      We do not recommend you stop wearing the bands, retainer, or any braces without your orthodontist recommendation.

      Fortunately, the small gap you notice may close on its own once your braces are removed.

      It is likely your orthodontist will still take off the braces on schedule and even more likely that they’ll notice the gap the bands created.

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