What Are Ligatures and What Do They Do?

You may wonder why braces have elastic bands. I mean. it’s fairly obvious what the metal brackets and wires do to straighten your teeth, but what about those bands? Do they serve a purpose? To put it simply, yes they do. Read on to learn more about this important part of your orthodontic treatment. 

They Connect Your Wires To The Brackets

Braces are made up of solid metal (sometimes porcelain) brackets that are attached to the teeth, the metal wires connect the brackets together in order to straighten your teeth over time. The elastic bands that are part of your braces aren’t actually called rubber bands, they’re actually called ligatures. These ligatures apply the correct amount of force to shift your teeth into the correct place. Since they’re elastic, they may need to be adjusted or replaced over the course of your treatment. This is why sticking to your appointment schedule is important, so your orthodontist can see if your ligatures are still working correctly. 

They Correct Your Bite

There’s another type of elastic band that may be found on your braces. These bands connect the upper and lower jaw together and serve the purpose of correcting your bite. You can find these bands on your braces if you suffer from an overbite or underbite. These rubber bands are worn all the time except when brushing your teeth and flossing. These bands need to be replaced frequently to avoid bacterial growth. That, and also like all elastics, they wear out over time and lose their effectivity, so they need to be changed. These bands are ideally changed three times a day, preferably after every meal. 

They Are Important

These elastic bands are important for both bite alignment issues and straightening your teeth. They’re an essential part of your braces and should not be neglected. Forgetting to change them will lead to them wearing out and losing their elasticity, defeating the purpose of your treatment. More than that, not changing them when you should causes unnecessary bacterial growth which puts your oral health in jeopardy. Stick to your appointment schedule and change your bands regularly. 

For more information and to explore your treatment option, schedule a consultation with us here at mBrace. 


mBrace Frisco Orthodontics