Rubber bands are used with braces to correct the bite or help close the spacing between teeth. While bands are a very effective way of correcting dental problems, they do cause some hassle for the patient. First, the individual must put them on constantly (as they snap easily). Secondly, they must find a quick and effective way to remove them when they get old.
Things You'll Need
- Set of rubber bands
Locate the hooks on your two top and bottom braces. The dentist probably already pointed these out to you, but when you are first dealing with rubber bands it's easy to forget where these hooks are. You can either spread your lips open and search with a mirror or feel for the hooks with your fingers. Try locating the hooks with your fingers, as this is much easier.
Keep your mouth open, but not fully open. This is important, as when you fully stretch your mouth open the tension on the rubber bands is much stronger. Instead, crack the mouth half-open (or enough to fit your fingers comfortably inside). Feel for the rubber band and then use it as a guide to the hook at the top of your mouth.
Slide your pointer finger inside the band to gain leverage. Use your thumb to grip the outside of the rubber band. The hook should point up, so carefully slide the band up until you feel it drastically release tension. Make sure you have a firm grip on the band, as it could shoot back into your mouth or throat if you remove it too fast or with too much tension. The band should now be off the top hook.
The band will either immediately fall off the bottom hook (once you release tension from the top) or with a couple light tugs it will come off. Once you have removed it from the bottom hook, take the band out of your mouth and dispose of it properly.
Start with the bottom hook if that feels more comfortable to you. Some individuals with braces will remove the band from the lower hook and then the top hook. That's completely optional and up to the wearer.