Having a gap between any two adjacent teeth or diastema definitely affects one’s self-confidence. This is why it is not uncommon to see teenagers or adults wearing braces in an attempt to close the gap. While braces are a go-to option by many, they can be expensive and uncomfortable to wear. As a result, more people are resorting to using teeth bands, otherwise known as ortho bands, as they are a more comfortable and inexpensive option.
Dental bands have been proven to help deliver favorable results among many dental patients. Needless to say, they are not a one-for-all solution and have its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll present to you both sides of the coin to help you decide whether to get them or not.
What do ortho bands do?
Orthodontic bands are small elastic bands designed to close gapped teeth. This can be worn day or night without anyone noticing it. Still, orthodontists recommend that they are used during the night to avoid too much discomfort on the patient’s part. When worn during the night, they can be removed in the morning, and the patients will already see distinguishable results. However, they should be used for at least 30 more days for the best results.
These oral bands are preferred over braces because it is less expensive and causes less pain on the patients. They could also be worn in a shorter period of time while achieving similar results. Thus, patients who are bothered by the cost and hassle of braces are recommended to try them.
It is necessary to understand, however, that the dental bands are an alternative solution to treating minor teeth gaps. Patients trying out their own DIY methods are also discouraged to do so because of possible health issues that they may incur. You should always consult a professional and licensed orthodontist should you prefer to have one.
Advantages of Teeth Bands
As already mentioned, these bands are proven effective in treating minor gaps between any two teeth. Also, the difference can be observed only a few hours after usage. Although it may take a longer time for others, good results await without any unwanted side effects. They can also be easily applied without anyone noticing its presence on your teeth.
Patients who have gums that are easily moved–usually younger ones– get results more quickly. However, age does not have much to do with its efficiency. The teeth’s condition has a stronger effect on it. Teeth bands help straighten the teeth which, in turn, helps the gums properly hold them in their positions. Overall, a healthier oral health can be achieved with teeth bands.
Another advantage of oral bands is their affordability. They are considerably cheaper compared to other dental treatments, costing anywhere between $20 and $60. When you compare this to the $3000 to $6000 you have to spend on dental braces, you can immediately see a huge difference.
Disadvantages of Teeth Bands
Although there are many good reasons why you should opt for orthodontic bands, they are not a solution for everyone. In fact, if you are not careful, you can even have worse problems than having teeth gap.
First of all, the DIY method of using them is highly discouraged by orthodontists. If you have not had your teeth examined, you may experience severe teeth damage, or worse, teeth loss. This is usually the case for people with cavities, history of periodontal disease, or any other major and minor teeth issues. Truthfully, even if you have consulted with the experts, they may rule out this option until the problems are addressed. Thus, it is always best to have a consultation with the experts first.
While ortho bands are more convenient to wear, you may still experience some discomfort when wearing them. For instance, they may slide under your gum or move up your teeth while sleeping. In some cases, it may become difficult to remove or reposition them. This happens because the teeth are not plain square. If not handled correctly, you may develop some gum disease, nerve damage, or teeth loss.
Another issue that with this DIY method is the possible misalignment of your other teeth. In an attempt to close one gap, there is a possibility that more gaps will be opened. If this happens, there will be more misalignment issue for the patient. Once the teeth do not fit together anymore, more pressure will be placed on your jaw causing it pain or other ortho problems.
Other minor issues you may face with these dental bands are the following:
- Restrictions on food consumption: You will be advised to consume softer foods like bread, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy. Hard, sticky and crunchy foods such as nuts, candies, ice, and chips are to be avoided while you are on treatment.
- Tooth sensitivity: Because your teeth and gums are repositioning themselves, tooth sensitivity is not unlikely to happen. The feeling will, however, depreciate as you move to the final phase.
- Difficulty in pronouncing words: You will have to be mindful of the proper positioning of the bands. Thus, you may not be able to utter words or sounds correctly.
- Regular orthodontist visits: Until you get your desired result, you will need to pay a visit to your orthodontist several more times. This will obviously take time and effort on your part which can be an inconvenience for busy individuals.
- Difficulty in brushing or flossing: Once again, now that you have your bands, you have to be more mindful of what you do with your mouth. Brushing and flossing are not an exemption. Just try not to move the bands significantly.
- Anxiety in waiting: While the process is different for each patient, you may get anxious about waiting for the treatment to take effect. Try to redirect your attention without forgetting the do’s and don’ts.
Who Should Get Teeth Bands?
Teeth bands are specifically designed to treat diastema or gapped teeth, but not everybody can benefit from it. Just like any other treatment methods, it is most appropriate for certain types of conditions. You can benefit from teeth bands if you:
- Have gapped teeth smaller than 3.5mm.
- Don’t have multiple gaps.
- Aren’t suffering from any gum or teeth problems such as the periodontal disease.
- Feel comfortable wearing it on for 12 hours straight.
- Can dedicate at least 30 days of consecutively using it so the gaps will actually close.
- Are willing to undertake the discomfort of wearing one.
- Could follow your orthodontist’s instructions.
- Are trying to save on the bucks.
Having perfectly aligned teeth is not just about achieving the perfect smile; it can also point to having a perfect oral health. People with distorted or misaligned teeth are more prone to periodontal disease and other gum or teeth problems. Worse, it can complicate and lead to more life-threatening conditions such as heart problems.
One of the most favored ways to deal with misaligned or gapped teeth are the teeth bands or ortho bands. The treatment helps in creating perfectly aligned teeth in a more efficient and cost-efficient manner. However, just like other orthodontic methods, it has its shortcomings too. We hope that patients become more aware of both of its pros and cons before attempting to try teeth bands.
Savannah Wiegand is a content writer for Orthofill with her expertise, she understands the essence and importance of such.