Why Are Elastics Used In Braces?
Braces are an investment to your health and appearance. An open and confident smile draws people to you, and that is an important first step towards success in all areas of your life.
Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, correct your teeth’s position by applying gentle pressure to the teeth. Sometimes however, elastics are also used. Elastics are basically small rubber bands that you attach to the brackets. They not only apply additional pressure to move the teeth better and help close spaces, but more importantly, they are very effective in adjusting your bite if you have a problem with an overbite, an underbite, or a crossbite.
What Are The Benefits Of Elastics?
Braces and wires will straighten your teeth, but fixing the bite is often a more difficult part of the orthodontic treatment. Elastics help speed up the bite aligning/fixing process, and help you get the braces off that much sooner.
How And Where Are Elastics Placed?
The placement of the rubber bands is decided by your orthodontist, and dictated by how your teeth and jaw needs to be adjusted. Usually the placement is between upper and lower or back and front teeth. Only your orthodontist can determine the positioning, length, and strength of your elastics. It’s important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions properly. For the best results, elastics should be worn at all times, with the exception of eating, brushing and flossing.
What Can You Expect When You Start Wearing Elastics?
It usually takes a couple of days to get used to putting in your elastics and initially you might have to use a mirror, but after a little practice you’ll be able to hook them up anytime and anywhere.
Your teeth and jaw may be a little sore at first, but this will disappear in a week.
You will need to wear the elastics all the time, except when eating and brushing. This is quite important. If you wear them in an “off and on” fashion, your teeth will be slipping back to their original position and the treatment will slow down. Teeth begin to respond to the elastics only after they’ve been worn for 6-8 hours. If you remove them within that period, you will stall the aligning process. You will also prolong the discomfort of wearing the elastics because your teeth won’t have a chance to get used to them.
And now for the good news!
Once the correction has occurred, you won’t have to wear the elastics as much. At the end of the treatment, not only will your teeth be nice and straight — your jaw will fit together perfectly, which will make eating a lot easier and smiling that much more enjoyable.