Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Braces and wearing rubber bands (elastics)

I would like to get the opinion of anyone who knows anything about the subject of TMJ and braces. I started my braces treatment about 5 months ago to correct my misaligned bite and teeth which was the cause of my TMJ, this past week I went to my orthodontist's appointment and was given rubber bands to wear on each side to pull in my top teeth. I was a bit wary of this given my past TMJ pain but I tried it for a couple days, wearing the rubber bands as much as possible. Finally today I had had enough and my entire face is in pain, my jaw is fatigued, my TMJ joints hurt and I have pain in different parts of my head and face, there is simply no way I can wear these given my past TMJ history. I am 23 years old and had been planning to move back out of my parent's house soon as the braces have finally had enough of an effect to where I am feeling a lot better but being made to wear these rubber bands is a major setback. The orthodontist isn't there until Tuesday when I will call to talk about this but I am wondering if anyone knows if there are alternatives to wearing these rubber bands or if you have had a similar experience I would be happy to hear from you.
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First Helper caliguy10
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replied July 13th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
well yo uhave to give your face a chance to be accustomed to it. its not gonna happen right away. start doing it for short periods of time then gradually lengthen the amount of time. remember that your doctor should approve of every thing you want to do.
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replied July 13th, 2008
I don't think this is something I can just get used to though, after wearing them for just 2 days I have all sorts of popping and clicking in my jaw, its not the teeth moving that bothers me but the other aspects its really making my TMJ worse and I don't think the orthodontist took this into account as he's always really busy and has like 5 people being treated at once. Has anyone who has had TMJ actually been able to wear rubber bands?
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replied July 13th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
yes i have---and you can get used to it----you have to go slow---like i said in my other post---dont wear them all the time at first---if you are gonna throw them in and leave them there, your jaw isnt used to it and yes you will have pain. you have to go slow.
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replied July 14th, 2008
Ok, that makes me feel better than that you've worn them too, I understand what you mean, for now I am going to try wearing them only in the evenings when I won't be talking and while I sleep, I figure this is definitely better than nothing and then I will see if I can increase the time at some point. I was thinking about it more and I think that if I just keep my mouth hardly moving at all while I wear them then its fine but when I open my mouth wider or talk this puts extra pressure on the joint and really messes things up.
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replied July 15th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
good good--if you have to start out with only half an hour--if you feel good still after a couple days--go for an hour and so on--you can do this!
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replied August 27th, 2010
TMJ for 8 months and now bands
I have just got my bands in today and my jaw has completely seized up. I can not talk or eat. i have to wait 3 or more months with TMJ, bands and braces for my maxi facial surgery. Do not really know how i am going to deal with these.
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replied April 25th, 2011
braces and rubber bands tmj
I had terrible pain once I started wearing braces after 30 years of TMJ, however it improved significantly with taking 2.5 to 5 mg valium at night, particularly after an adjustment. The rubber band thing has been the hardest, and I've had to take valium almost every night, (never increasing the dose more than 5 mg) and zomig for migraines caused by them, but in the end, I've adhered to the orthodontist's wishes
and worn them 24/7 just taking them out to eat. I don't want to increase the time I had to wear them, and now only have 2 weeks before I get them off. Definitely would not have been able to have them remain on without the valium to reduce muscle spasm. Be careful if you have an addictive personality. I don't think valium would be advisable.
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replied April 26th, 2011
Braces - Elastics
I have endured over 2 months of elastics on my braces (have them for my TMJ)! The first 2 days I didn't think I coudl take it either. So the first day I took them off from 2-8 pm. Then the next day I wore them longer, etc. My headaches were super nasty and decent face pain. It was horrible and I dread my next adjustment. My last appt she didn't change them much so it didn't set me off. You can do it! You ahve to trust your ortho! Good luck!
Oh - I don't wear them when i'm talking a lot - just not worth the pain. AND i'm getting TMJ massage 2x a week. I like the above valium suggestion!
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replied February 5th, 2012
Yes I have the same problem and I wear braces and the bands caused me much pain in my sinuses. I stopped wearing mine yesterday but today my jaw is locked and i can only open it half way because of it. They are not good for people with TMJ problems at all.
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replied February 5th, 2012
I worn mine for 5 days when i had the pain and then stopped and started back. After i started back it seemed better, but now my jaw locks up on me. I've been wearing them for about 2 weeks now. and i really don't think my orthodontist took that into account either.
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replied February 21st, 2012
My daughter has TMJ and is unable to wear the rubber bands, it was just too painful. She tried on many occastions, but it never got better. Her TMJ has become so severe that her dentist recommends immediate removal of the braces and her wisdom teeth pronto. However, her ortho says she can't open her mouth wide enough for impressions! What a mess!
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replied April 13th, 2012
Rubber bands
I started wearing my rubber bands and my teeth, jaw, ear, and head hurt extremely bad!!! I refused to wear it the first month because I the pain and when I went to my appointment my doctor told me not to take it off unless it's time to eat or brush my teeth. So I finally decided to put it on for the first time and I was able to eat with it. I actually think when I eat while I have the rubber bands on, it decreases the pain for awhile. Weird huh. But anyways the second day was all right, my jaw Hurt a little, and I never took off my rubber bands even when I ate food cuz that increases the pain because it hurts really bad when I put it back on but I did take it off when I flossed and brushed my teeth.. The third day was a pain in the ass! I woke up in so much pain... My ear and head throat everywhere is in pain!!! I couldn't fall asleep or anything!! My friends had braces and they told me not to take it off even when you eat so you can quickly take your braces off.
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