What do rubber bands really do for your braces? There are many different pieces that work together to perfect your orthodontic treatment process. Rubber bands work together with your brackets and wires to move your teeth and jaw into proper alignment.

Here’s a breakdown of each piece in your braces:

  • Brackets: the tiny pieces of metal bonded directly onto your teeth
  • Archwire: the wire that runs through each bracket and provides the force needed to actually move your teeth
  • Ligatures: the smaller rubber bands wrapped around each individual bracket to hold your archwire in place – they come in fun colors and stay on your teeth at all times

The interarch rubber bands, which look and feel more like a traditional rubber band you may find in an office supply store, are used to adjust bite and jaw position. These rubber bands can hook around your brackets to connect a top and bottom tooth to help fix a bite issue.

The interarch rubber bands are removable and should be changed daily due to wear and tear that they endure. They should also be removed temporarily anytime you are eating or sleeping.

Not every case of orthodontic treatment requires interach rubber bands since they are more for jaw alignment than for the alignment of your teeth. Your orthodontist will determine whether your bite needs correcting during your first consultation.