When choosing Invisalign clear aligners for smile alignment, many questions may come to mind, which you can ask your dentist or orthodontist. If you have ever seen anybody with braces, you have also likely noticed that they must wear rubber bands at certain stages of the procedure. You may wonder if such attachments are required when you choose Invisalign over traditional braces.
Dr. Paige Woods and the team at Brighton Dental in San Diego, California, are here to answer questions you may have about rubber bands, attachments, and Invisalign. This is not always the case, but some patients who need more force to shift their teeth into proper alignment may need rubber bands, also called dental elastics.
Before you receive your elastics, a “button” will be placed. These buttons are tiny plastic hooks or brackets. They must be placed on your upper and lower teeth so the rubber band can run from one hook to the other. The aligner itself can sometimes be the anchor for one of the rubber bands. If this is the case, your aligner will be trimmed into the shape of a hook for the rubber band to connect to. These “buttons” are pre-fabricated from Invisalign and are simple to adhere to your teeth.
The buttons you will receive from Invisalign are generally crafted in a color incredibly close to the shade of your teeth so that they are less visible. When your dentist places them on your teeth, they will be placed very close to your gumline, which also helps cut back their visibility. Unfortunately, not much can be done about the visibility of the elastics that you will have to wear.
Your elastics will need to be worn daily for the same amount of time you wear your Invisalign aligners – 20 to 22 hours. You can speak with your dentist or orthodontist about whether you need to wear them even when eating or drinking. Many patients like to keep them on so they can perform their function faster and because it takes away any risk of forgetting to put them back on following a meal. Your dentist will provide specifics, but a general rule of thumb is that you should change out your elastics twice daily so they do not lose their elasticity. Also, do not forget to brush and floss as usual.
A good communication line with your dentist will be crucial throughout your Invisalign procedure. They will be able to inform you at the beginning about whether you will need to wear elastics or not. Make sure you are seeing a dentist you can trust and who has your best interest at heart. This will ensure they are open and truthful about each detail regarding your procedure.
When you first get your elastics attached, you may feel slight discomfort and soreness as extra pressure is exerted on your teeth from the rubber bands. This should be temporary. As your mouth adjusts to this extra pressure, the discomfort should fade. This is similar to the temporary discomfort you experience when you put on a new aligner.