I’m trying to find an affordable and fairly quick way to fix the gap between my front teeth. Braces will take too long and I’m not in at a point in my life where I want make the time commitment. Another option my dentist recommended was porcelain veneers, but they cost an outrageous amount of money and there’s no way I can afford them. I recently read about something called orthodontic bands and I think they might be a great option for me. They fit my budget and it’s not a long-term thing because I would just wear some rubber bands around the teeth I want to move. Why hasn’t my dentist offered this? I’m afraid if I ask him, thinking he’ll brush it off because he wants more money. Are these bands a viable alternative to fix my gap? — Sharna
There are several things to think about when it comes to these type of orthodontic bands. First and foremost, the companies that are marketing these products don’t have FDA approval. Second, it’s really not the best way to move teeth and could cause more damage than good.
Braces are designed to move your teeth in a slow, gentle and consistent manner until they are aligned perfectly. That means there will be no strange looking gaps. They do use bands, but they are metal and fit around the teeth or rubber bands are also used. Porcelain veneers don’t change the position of the teeth, but rather bond directly to the front of them to change the look.
The orthodontic bands you are asking about wrap around teeth and essentially pull them together. It can actually loosen the teeth in the process, align them incorrectly or even damage them. The gap between the two teeth wrapped in the band will look smaller, but it will increase the gap on either side. There’s also no long-term way to keep the teeth in their new position (like retainers after braces) so eventually the teeth will just move back. You should think twice about these orthodontic bands. While they may fit your budget, spending less now will likely mean spending more later to fix an even more serious issue.