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What are Invisalign rubber bands, and how do they work?

Julia Willcox

Written by Julia Willcox

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Invisalign’s clear aligners are a popular choice for discreet orthodontic treatment. Many patients turn to this trusted brand when they are trying to achieve a straighter and better-aligned smile while keeping the process as unnoticeable as possible. However, the plastic Invisalign aligners are not always enough to achieve satisfactory results. Sometimes, orthodontists will recommend that Invisalign be used in conjunction with rubber bands, which can help apply more force to bring the teeth and bite into proper alignment. Most often used in cases involving a misaligned bite, Invisalign with rubber bands is a bit more visible than using Invisalign on its own.

What are Invisalign rubber bands?

invisalign rubber bands

How do rubber bands work with Invisalign? Invisalign rubber bands are small elastics that can be used alongside Invisalign to straighten a patient’s teeth and correct bite issues. They are typically anchored to the teeth via small buttons or hooks that are bonded to the teeth and can be removed and reattached by the patient on their own. These buttons and hooks are typically placed so that they will remain as invisible as possible, and in some cases, part of the Invisalign aligner itself can be used as the anchor for the rubber bands.

Why might you need Invisalign elastics?

Invisalign elastics are not usually needed in mild cases of teeth crowding or gap teeth. Where they typically come into play is when the bite is involved, as more force is often required to correct this type of problem. In some cases, the plastic Invisalign aligner trays cannot exert enough pressure on their own, and the rubber bands can help with this. But can Invisalign fix overbite? Below are a few common conditions that may require the extra assistance of Invisalign rubber bands:

Invisalign rubber bands overbite treatment, as well as treatment for other conditions, can be just as effective as treatment with traditional metal braces. An orthodontist who specializes in the use of Invisalign can provide helpful information about this, and they can be found at the Invisalign doctor site search tool.

Putting on the Invisalign rubber bands

Thankfully, using Invisalign rubber bands isn’t tricky. Wondering how to put rubber bands on Invisalign? The first step involves an orthodontist placing the buttons or hooks that will serve as the anchors for your rubber bands. Once these are bonded in the appropriate locations, the orthodontist will explain the specifics of how to put on and take off Invisalign rubber bands. Essentially, all you need to do is take one of the elastics that you were provided with, attach it to one of the anchors on your bottom row of teeth, and stretch it and secure it to the correct anchor on your upper set of teeth. To remove the rubber bands, carefully take off one end of the rubber bands from the anchor, and then do the same for the other side of the elastic. If the Invisalign attachments are on the aligner itself rather than on your teeth, try attaching the rubber bands with Invisalign before putting the aligners into your mouth. For some different ideas on how to attach rubber bands easily, try sifting through a few reviews of Invisalign.

How long should you wear Invisalign elastics?

The length of time you should be wearing your Invisalign elastics is up to the discretion of the Invisalign treatment team you are working with. You may be required to wear the elastics all day, or you might just have to make sure that you remember to wear them at night. You definitely do not need to be wearing your rubber bands while eating or brushing your teeth.

Caring for your oral health with Invisalign rubber bands

It is essential to maintain a regular dental hygiene routine when using any sort of dental appliance, including Invisalign. When using Invisalign with rubber bands, many of the regular rules of Invisalign apply:

In addition to these rules, you should also pay special attention when cleaning the areas of the mouth around where the buttons or hooks are attached. Make sure that you are gentle while cleaning around these, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid causing any damage. If hooks or buttons that were bonded to your teeth fall off or otherwise become damaged, make sure that you alert your orthodontist and pay them a visit rather than trying to fix the problem yourself.


Where to buy Invisalign rubber bands?

If rubber bands are a part of your treatment with Invisalign, you will likely be able to get these from the orthodontist that you will be following for your treatment. Although orthodontic elastics are sometimes available through several major retail stores, including Walmart, Walgreens, and Amazon, you should be mindful of making any purchases through these companies and ensure that you are buying the correct item.

Will Invisalign work without rubber bands?

For many patients, Invisalign will work just fine without rubber bands. It depends on the treatment plan that you are prescribed. With this being said, however, if your treatment plan requires you to use rubber bands, you do need to use them. Otherwise, the Invisalign aligners alone won’t have enough force to adjust your teeth and bite as needed.

Can you wear Invisalign rubber bands just at night?

Again, the answer to this question depends on your individual treatment plan. For some individuals, wearing the rubber bands only at night may be a viable option.

Do Invisalign rubber bands hurt?

Since Invisalign bands are meant to increase the amount of force on your teeth, you may feel some soreness and tenderness around your teeth and in your mouth when undergoing treatment. This is particularly common at the beginning of the treatment process.

Can an Invisalign rubber band hook fall off?

It is possible for an Invisalign rubber band anchor to fall off. Whether they were originally bonded directly to your teeth or built into the Invisalign aligner itself, the hooks and buttons that serve as anchors are subject to wear and tear over time. While they should be able to withstand regular use, sometimes things break down.

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