Orthodontic Bands: What They Are and How They Work

Life Is Better With a Smile

Dental brace depicting oral care

An orthodontic band is made of stainless steel and wraps entirely around a tooth. Bands may be used only on back teeth or can part of a full set of metal braces. They provide a very durable and solid connection point for major corrections and headgear.

Bands are often used as part of orthodontic services for those who need to close significant gaps or re-align the bite. Other candidates for orthodontic bands include:

• Adults whose teeth move less easily
• Contact or team sports participants
• Children whose teeth are not fully grown
• People with large fillings

What Are the Advantages of Dental Bands for Braces?

Orthodontic bands are stronger than bonded brackets and have a lesser chance of becoming loose. They allow orthodontic treatment to progress faster and straighten teeth more effectively for some people. While clear ceramic brackets are less visible, they can be used in combination to keep an almost invisible appearance on the front teeth while leveraging strong support in the back.

The Band Fitting Process

The orthodontic care process for installing fitted bands consists of two appointments. A dental impression of your teeth might be made to determine sizing. At the first appointment, spacers are inserted to create a gap, which allows the bands to be fitted and secured at the second appointment.

The process goes like this:

• Your orthodontist will insert elastic separators between the teeth, which will receive bands and determine general sizing.
• A week or so between the appointments allows the teeth to move apart slightly. Avoid flossing and eating sticky foods during this time.
• The separators are removed at the next appointment. The bands are tested for size and adjusted as needed. When the fit is perfect, your teeth are polished and the bands are secured with dental adhesive.
• The bands stay in place for the duration of your orthodontic treatment, connected with wire and/or brackets, creating the gradual movement that straightens your teeth.

How to Care for Your Orthodontic Bands

Orthodontic bands on teeth are very secure, but they are not permanent. They can become loose if too much pressure is placed on the tooth. Because bands completely surround the tooth, brushing and flossing are especially important to prevent decay.

These tips will help keep your bands secure:

• Avoid biting down on ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy.
• Stop chewing pens and pencils.
• Stay away from sticky caramels, chewing gum, and toffee.
• Use a night guard if you grind your teeth at night.
• Avoid whitening toothpaste, which may leave dark spots on bands and brackets.
• Call your orthodontist immediately if a band becomes loose or slips off.

Banding Together for Better Smiles

When you need orthodontist information you can trust, visit with us at Labbe Family Orthodontics. Our caring team has expert experience and a compassionate touch. We treat you like one of the family, and we can’t wait to help you choose the best braces for you and your loved ones—because life is better with a smile!

Give us a call today in Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton, or Greenbelt, and let’s start banding together!