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As a board-certified orthodontist and top Invisalign provider, Dr. Rachel Feinstein has helped numerous patients achieve their dream smile with clear aligners. While many people choose Invisalign because of its comfort, removability, and almost invisible appearance, you may be surprised to learn that you may be recommended to use rubber bands and attachments in addition to your aligners.

In this post, we will cover the following: what are Invisalign attachments and rubber bands? Can Invisalign work without these attachments? And finally, is the use of rubber bands truly necessary?

Invisalign Attachments Explained

Invisalign attachments are tooth-colored “bumps” that are bonded to the teeth with dental composite.  They are small and barely noticeable but serve a big purpose. “I design and place specific attachments in order to achieve optimal results,” says Dr. Feinstein.  “Attachments allow me to achieve more complex tooth movements and increase the efficiency of tooth movements which results in a faster treatment time.”

Invisalign and Rubber Bands Explained

Some tooth movements cannot be accomplished with Invisalign aligners alone.  For example, if you need to align your bite, which is the way your upper and lower teeth come together, you will often need elastic rubber bands to shift both jaws and teeth into their ideal positions.

This is where Invisalign rubber bands come in! “Before you begin your Invisalign treatment, we’ll discuss with you if we think you will need to wear elastic rubber bands,” says Dr. Feinstein.  “These rubber bands in combination with aligners are extremely efficient at correcting overbites, openbites, underbites, and crossbites, when worn properly.”

How long should I wear my Invisalign elastics?

Your customized treatment plan will determine how long you wear your Invisalign elastics. Some patients wear them throughout their entire Invisalign treatment, while others use them only for a portion of the process. You will also be advised if nighttime wear or full time wear is recommended.  Just like with braces, your Invisalign rubber bands will stretch out as you talk, laugh and yawn so make sure to change them 3 times a day!

How do I wear my rubber bands, and what if they break?

The thought of wearing rubber bands with your Invisalign trays can be intimidating.  Fortunately, we will go over exactly how and when to wear them. During your consultation and then again when you are ready during treatment, Dr. Feinstein will provide you with detailed instructions on how to wear them. Dr. Feinstein’s rules for elastics are as follows:

  •  Never wear your rubber bands without your aligners in your mouth
  • If you forget your rubber bands at home, you can still wear your aligners without the rubber bands
  • Start with the hook or button on either the top or bottom aligner and then use your fingers to stretch the rubber band to the button or hook in the opposite arch
  • Repeat step 3 on the other side of your mouth if prescribed.
  • Switch your rubber bands 3 times a day
  • If your rubber bands break or pop, replace as needed – do not worry about running out since we will gladly give you replacement bags!
  • If your hook or button falls off your tooth call our office so we can put it back on.

Do I absolutely need attachments and elastics?

The short answer is no! Sometimes, if your smile just needs a few touch-ups, then attachments and rubber bands are not required.  “Every patient that walks into my office receives a personalized treatment plan,” says Dr. Feinstein.  “Attachments and rubber bands are great orthodontic tools, but I always feel it is important to listen to my patients and see what is important to them, focus on their esthetics, and what fits into their lifestyle.”

At Feinstein 360 Orthodontics, we understand that you may have additional questions or concerns about Invisalign, attachments, and rubber bands, and we are always here to help!

If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.  And if you haven’t started treatment yet but are interested in Invisalign in Chesterfield, Moseley, Chester, and Midlothian greater area, we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with us today!

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