At All About Braces, we are committed to making your orthodontic experience exceptional for all of our Denver area patients. Part of that exceptional experience means that we want you to reach your goal of transforming your teeth into that beautiful smile you’ve always wanted as quickly as possible. That’s where following your orthodontist’s instructions come into play, including proper wearing and care of your elastics.
What Are Elastics?
Elastics are the small rubber bands that attach to your braces, usually connecting with hooks to the upper and lower side teeth or front teeth. They can come in a variety of colors and are used as part of your overall braces treatment to help adjust the position of the teeth in your mouth and the position of the jaw.
What Braces Are Good At
Braces work by using several different appliances that work together to apply pressure to your teeth and jaw that, over time, moves your teeth into the correct positioning for a proper bite and a beautiful smile. The brackets are permanently affixed to your teeth and then an archwire is attached with ligatures, or tiny rubber bands. These all work to move teeth up, down, left right and even to rotate them or pull them in or out. Braces are good at moving teeth in all of these directions. However, that may not be enough.
Why We Need Elastics
If you have an open bite, where teeth are touching in back but not the front, or any other malocclusion such as a under or cross bite, your teeth may need more moving than braces alone can do. In these and some other instances, your Arvada orthodontist will prescribe elastics, or rubber bands, as part of the best orthodontic treatment. To get your teeth in proper position, we need a way to create enough force to move the entire jaw - these little rubber bands will do just that!
You may think that no little rubber band can move an entire jaw, but the truth is elastics are effective and fast when properly worn and prescribed. In only a few months, we can significantly affect your jaw movement in the correct direction.
The trick is, our patients must wear the rubber bands regularly, as directed. In some cases, we ask you wear them 24 hours, even when you eat. In other cases, you may remove them for full meals, but replace them immediately following and especially when you sleep. This will allow them to continually apply force to get that jaw moving into the correct position.
Tips for Wearing Elastics
- Understand Position. Make sure when you are at our Thornton, Aurora or other Denver area office that you understand which teeth you need to hook your elastics to.
- Wear them as directed. Try to wear them 24-hours a day, if instructed, even when you eat. The more time they are on, the faster.
- Treat discomfort. When you first put on new elastics, you may feel some discomfort as your teeth begin to feel the pressure. This is normal and should go away soon. Some patients find rinsing with warm salt water a way to ease the discomfort. If soreness persists, call our office.
- Replace Often. Elastics will get worn from use and soiled from eating. Change them after each meal and before bedtime. It may take some time to get good at changing them, but you will with practice.
- Breaking Elastics. Your elastics may break on occasion. If one breaks, be sure to replace both of them. If you run out, please give our office a call and we will get you more quickly.
Call All About Braces With Any Questions!
We hope you can see how important that wearing your elastics, or rubber bands is to your overall orthodontic treatment, especially the bite-fixing phase, which is usually the longest and most difficult part of the whole process. Whether you find rubber bands uncomfortable or annoying, this is definitely a time when it pays to “just do it!” and you'll be on your way to a beautiful smile and healthy bite without braces! If you have any questions about wearing elastics or want to get started with braces treatment, call the location most convenient to you or complete our online appointment request form. We look forward to beginning your orthodontic treatment in Aurora today!