Why Do I Have to Wear Rubber Bands?

Why Do I Have to Wear Rubber Bands?
Posted on 11/01/2021

What? Why do I have to wear rubber bands? I hear this from patients when I am presenting a treatment plan that includes wearing elastics. How in the world can a little 4 ounce elastic change how your teeth fit together and how your face looks? Well, I am thrilled to answer those questions with examples of patients treated over my 30 year career in Orthodontics, but for this blog let's explain how the elastic works. There are two parts to “Orthodontics”, aligning the teeth with braces (or aligners) and correcting the bite or how the upper jaw fits with the lower jaw. This is why the speciality is really named “Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.” The bone around a tooth is able to slightly change its shape as pressure is applied from the elastic, but not only is the bone around the teeth able to change, but also the growing jaw bones. So, with a constant gentle force of an elastic we can move teeth and reshape jaws. I have been amazed how far we can go if the patient will just wear the elastics 24 hours a day. When used in conjunction with braces or aligners we can align teeth while the bite is corrected by the elastics.


I love it when I get to see before and after photos that “Wow you” with the changes a little elastic can bring.


Improving the World one Smile at a Time. 

Dr Jerry Smith