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Are Rubber Bands for Braces Necessary?

November 27, 2022
Are Rubber Bands for Braces Necessary?

Not all adolescents and adults undergoing orthodontic treatment need to use rubber bands with their braces. Rubber bands are only used to correct specific alignment and bite issues. Your orthodontist will inform you if elastics are needed to correct your alignment or bite issues. Read on for what to know about the role rubber bands play in orthodontic treatment. 

What Role Do Rubber Bands Play in Orthodontic Treatment?

Rubber bands (also referred to as elastics) are used to exert extra force. This may be necessary to correct bite problems (malocclusions) such as:

  • Class II malocclusion (upper jaw too far forward or lower jaw too far back) 
  • Class III malocclusion (lower jaw too far forward or upper jaw too far back creating an “underbite”)
  • Open bite (top and bottom teeth don’t meet when the mouth is closed)
  • Crossbite (teeth do not come together correctly, often because bottom teeth are inside top teeth)

Rubber bands in orthodontic treatment are used in a variety of ways, including:

  • From top teeth to molars of the lower jaw to correct a class II malocclusion
  • From lower teeth to molars of the upper jaw to correct a class III malocclusion
  • From upper teeth to teeth below them to correct an open bite
  • Elastics may cross in front of the teeth to align the center of the top and lower arch (known as midline elastics)


Rubber bands may also be used to correct gapped teeth when placed horizontally across the teeth linking brackets. 

How Long Will I Need to Wear Rubber Bands?

All orthodontic treatments are custom-designed, so the duration you’ll need to wear elastics will depend upon the current position of your jaw and the alignment of your teeth. It’s common for patients to require elastics for at least six months. However, in some cases, you may only be required to wear the elastics at night while you sleep. Your orthodontist will explain precisely when you need to wear the elastics and will be able to estimate the length of time you’ll need to wear them as your teeth and jaw come into alignment. 

What Happens if I Don’t Wear My Rubber Bands With My Braces?

There will be no fooling your orthodontist. They will know if you don’t wear your rubber bands as instructed. This is because the teeth will not move the way they need to without the rubber bands. Also, you can’t reduce how often you wear the elastics without preventing necessary movement. If your orthodontist instructs you to wear rubber bands daily, you can’t wear them twice a week and expect the same results. Not wearing your rubber bands as instructed will only prolong your orthodontic treatment. 

Get Started with Orthodontic Treatment in Las Cruces Today

At Legacy Smiles in Las Cruces, Dr. Coombs knows that patients are often excited to complete orthodontic treatment as soon as possible. He is committed to helping you enjoy your newly aligned teeth and jaw as quickly and safely as possible. Following all instructions, including wearing rubber bands as instructed, will ensure that your orthodontic treatment is successful and swift. To get started with orthodontic treatment in Las Cruces, call 575-522-1500.  

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Legacy Smiles Orthodontic Specialists
2701 Missouri Ave Suite D
Las Cruces, NM 88011
Tel: 575-522-1500 | Fax: 575-521-1529
Monday | 8:00am-4:00pm
Tuesday | 8:00am-4:00pm
Wednesday | 8:00am-4:00pm
Thursday | 8:00am-12:00pm
Friday | 8:00am-4:00pm
Saturday | Closed
Sunday | Closed

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2701 Missouri Ave Suite D Las Cruces, NM 88011
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