Braces and wires (or clear aligners) are the magic behind straightening your teeth but it’s really elastics that are the unsung heroes of your orthodontic treatment. These tiny but mighty elastic bands can be used in different ways depending on the bite correction we’re trying to achieve.
They can be worn:
- To help overbites and underbites to help move teeth forwards or backwards
- To help close spaces if teeth have been removed due to severe crowding
- To help bring openbites together and improve tooth contacts
- To correct crossbites of back teeth by wearing an elastic from the inside of one tooth to the outside of another tooth
- To improve your midlines
It’s so important to remember that consistency is KEY! Be sure to follow your elastic instructions to make sure your treatment stays on track. Remember, if you’re asked to wear them full time (meaning day and night and only removing them to eat and brush your teeth) and you’re only wearing them at night (and you’re lucky enough to get 8 hours of sleep) that’s only a third of the day. Less than 50%! Your teeth will move in the right direction but then relax back to where you started which can prolong your treatment time.
We recommend changing your elastics regularly – after every meal is a good rule of thumb and having them placed in several areas of your house (lunchboxes and backpacks are great too). If you find you’re having trouble remembering to put them back in try setting reminders on your phone, placing them somewhere visible when you take them out, or even on your pinky finger when you’re eating for a physical reminder to wear them again.
If you find your elastics painful to wear it may be that you’re not wearing them consistently enough. Just like when you first started orthodontic treatment it took time for your teeth to adjust to these new forces but with the wires or aligners consistently working, they quickly adapted. The same goes for elastics. If you constantly take them out your teeth don’t have a chance to adapt to these new forces and it may feel more painful.
These rubber bands are made with latex so please be sure to let us know if you have a latex allergy as we do have non-latex elastics as well.