Elastics… all you need to know
Elastics, or rubber bands, are often an important part of orthodontic treatment. They provide the forces needed to move teeth into their correct position.
To make sure your treatment runs as smoothly as possible, you must carefully follow the instructions you receive regarding attaching and using your elastics. The more you wear your elastics, the faster your treatment will progress. So it is important to wear them as often as possible.
To avoid making your treatment take longer, call our office immediately if you have any problem, such as elastics breaking frequently, a wire or bracket loosening, or a hook breaking off. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible, don’t leave them until your next scheduled appointment.
If your supply of elastics runs low, call our office and we can mail more to you. If you are unsure of placement of your elastics, please ask your orthodontist or one of our nurses for help.
Using your elastics
Elastics may cause your teeth to be uncomfortable at first. This is normal; it is because your teeth are moving, which is what we want them to do. Usually they’ll only be tender for a few days, but if you don’t wear your elastics as instructed, your teeth will probably be uncomfortable for longer, and your teeth will take more time to move.
You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Here are some top tips regarding wearing and looking after your braces:
- Wear your elastics full time. Remove them only to brush your teeth. If you like you can remove them for eating, as long as you put them back on immediately after finishing.
- Always carry a few spare elastics with you so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If you run low on elastics, you can always call us for more.
- Elastics get tired. When they lose their stretch, they no longer provide the proper pressure to move your teeth and jaws. It is important to change them as directed, at least every day, even when they’re not broken.
- If you forget to wear your elastics one day, don’t double up the next day, just continue to wear them as instructed.
- If you leave your elastics off for more than an hour each day, your teeth will move very slowly, if at all.