Orthodontic elastics are small special "rubber bands" that are attached to your braces. They come in different sizes depending on what they are needed to do.
What do they do?
The purpose of elastics is to move your teeth into their proper places. In doing so, elastics can correct an overbite, make room for crowded teeth or help speed the settling process to achieve an ideal fit or "mesh" of your teeth. Because of the neat things they do for your teeth, orthodontic "rubber bands" are a great help to your treatment, especially since they can greatly reduce the time you spend in braces!!
What happens if I take them off?
Teeth move only when pressure is being placed on them. Because of this orthodontic rule, we find that when "rubber bands" are removed, even for a short time, the teeth stop moving and will even backtrack. For this reason, part time wear will usually result in little to no tooth movement at all and increase the amount of time that braces are on the teeth. Therefore, it is essential that your elastics are worn all the time. This includes eating. If an elastic breaks, replace it immediately. You will want to keep your pack of "rubber bands" with you at all times.
When do I change out my bands?
After your last meal of the day, remove your "rubber bands" and brush and floss, your teeth very thoroughly. Afterwards, place new elastics just the way you were shown at the office. Leave them on until the next evening when you will repeat the above process. Since your elastics will be worn during meals, you will want to rinse thoroughly after daytime meals and even give a quick brush if possible while leaving your elastics in place.
How long will they make my teeth sore?
You may have some sensitivity to your teeth as they first get used to the pressure, this will usually last several days, then go away completely as you continue to wear them as instructed.
What do I do if I am running out of bands?
If you notice that you are getting low on your supply of "rubber bands", please stop by the office to pick up some more. If you can't stop by, we'd be happy to mail you some. Just make sure you don't run out.
When patients use their elastics according to our recommendations, we have had excellent success. Our best wishes to you as you begin an exciting journey towards a super smile!! Also remember that we're here for you. If you or a family member have any questions along the way, just ask!