Dental Procedure Pain: Get the Facts

Pros and Cons of Using Rubber Bands to Close the Gap between Your Front Teeth

If you have a gap between your two front teeth, one method your dentist may suggest to close the gap is using rubber bands. By simply looping a special rubber band around your two front teeth, you can slowly draw them closer together, closing the gap within a couple of months. This method, while simple, is not right for everyone. Weigh these pros and cons (and also speak with your dentist) before deciding whether using bands to close the gap between your teeth is the right choice for you.

Pros of Closing a Tooth Gap with Rubber Bands

The process results in minimal discomfort. Since only your two front teeth will be moving, you're likely to experience less discomfort than you would if you were to have your teeth straightened with braces or invisible aligners. The little discomfort and pressure you do experience can generally be relieved with ice or over-the-counter pain relievers.

The rubber bands are barely noticeable. You won't have metal brackets on your teeth as you would if you were to get braces. You'll barely notice the rubber bands when you run your tongue along your teeth, so they don't take long to get used to.

The cost of rubber bands is quite low. Invisible aligners cost an average of $5.600 per patient. Of course, if it's only your front teeth that are out of alignment, yours may be cheaper than this average. However, they're unlikely to be as cheap as rubber bands. The only costs associated with using rubber bands to close the gap between your teeth are those of two or three dental checkups, plus about $19 to $40 for the bands themselves.

Cons of Closing a Tooth Gap with Rubber Bands

You may create gaps between other teeth. If there's not enough overlap between your front teeth and the ones next to them, closing the gap between your front teeth may simply result in creating gaps to the outside of your front teeth. If your orthodontist thinks this may be an issue for you, he or she will likely recommend using braces or aligners rather than rubber bands, since these methods can shift all of the teeth properly.

You will have to remember to change the tooth bands and put them in as recommended. Depending on the severity of your gap, your dentist may recommend wearing the tooth bands all of the time, or just for a few hours per day. If you don't follow these instructions, you're unlikely to get good results. Also, you'll have to change to different bands as your teeth come closer together. Forgetting to switch bands will slow your progress.

If your dentist, one like Valley Oak Dental Group Inc, thinks your gap can be closed by bands without exposing other gaps in your teeth, and if you think you're responsible enough to wear the bands as directed, go for it. This is a relatively painless, easy method of finally achieving a gap-free smile.