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What do Rubber Bands do for Braces?

By November 21, 2023Blog
Rubber Bands

So you got the news that you’re a candidate for braces. Amazing! A stellar, straight smile is in your future. But did you know that braces are sometimes more than just brackets and wires? Sometimes braces treatment includes orthodontic rubber bands, too. Here, your Langley and Surrey orthodontic team covers what you need to know about these special orthodontic additions.

What Are Rubber Bands for Braces?

Orthodontic rubber bands are not the same elastics you’d use for, say, tying up hair or bundling newspapers. They’re not even the tiny colorful ones used on your braces brackets. (Those are called elastic ligatures and keep your archwire in the right place in relation to your brackets.)

The braces rubber bands we’re talking about here are the larger ones you put in and take out yourself — they hook onto tiny posts on your braces brackets. They’re made of a strong, medical-grade latex meant to put the right amount of pressure on your teeth and jaws to align and move them. Of course, if you have a latex allergy, your Aura orthodontist has non-latex braces elastics that are equally effective.

What Do Rubber Bands Do For Braces Treatment?

If Dr. Sharma, Dr. Lin, or Dr. Koo has indicated you need braces with rubber bands, it’s because we see that you have an underbite, overbite, crossbites, or gaps that need correction. Braces elastics come in a few different sizes and your Langley/Surrey orthodontist will select ones based on factors like how much your jaw needs to move and how far the elastics need to stretch. Different sizes of braces elastics apply different pressure and move your jaw in different ways.

Types of Braces Elastics

There are three types of braces rubber bands:

Class 1 Elastics: These close the gaps between your teeth. You attach them between the upper first or second molar to the upper cuspid (canine tooth).

Class 2 Elastics: If you have braces with these rubber bands, their purpose is to reduce an overbite or overjet by pulling the upper arch back and moving the lower arch forward.

Class 3 Elastics: These help bring an underbite into correct alignment by pulling the bottom arch backward while moving the upper arch forward. 

What About Maintaining My Rubber Bands?

Your Aura orthodontist will explain all the ins and outs of putting in and taking out your braces elastics. At first, you’ll likely need to wear them most of the time, taking them out only when eating or brushing and flossing. Depending on your personalized treatment plan and progress, your wear time might go down to night-time only.

Do Rubber Bands Hurt?

To be totally transparent, braces treatment — with or without rubber bands — can feel uncomfortable at times. Especially when you first get them or after adjustments. On the bright side? Braces and elastics pain should go away after a few days. If it doesn’t, contact your Fraser Valley orthodontist. We’re happy to take a look and make sure your braces treatment with rubber bands is progressing as it should.

A Few Dos and Don’t For Braces Treatment with Rubber Bands

Now that you can confidently answer questions like, “What are rubber bands for braces?” “What do rubber bands do for braces?” And “Do rubber bands hurt?” here are a few things to keep in mind when wearing them:


  • Have extras on hand when eating so you can replace the ones you took out with clean ones afterward.
  • Wear your rubber bands for the amount of time your Surrey/Langley orthodontist has prescribed.


  • Take them out because of discomfort. New elastics pain typically subsides in a few days.
  • Double up on your elastics hoping this’ll make them work faster. Doing so might create too much pressure and hurt your teeth and gums!
  • Don’t wait until you’re out to get new ones. Breaks without elastics can prolong your treatment time.

Start On A New Smile With Your Fraser Valley Orthodontist

Feeling well informed and ready to start on a new smile with braces? Aura Orthodontics is an expert team of certified specialists in orthodontics for braces and Invisalign in Surrey/Langley. We offer personalized patient care in a warm and friendly environment and embrace technology for efficient, effective treatment.

Contact us to schedule an appointment at our Langley, Scottsdale Surrey or Guildford Surrey orthodontic office.

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