Getting braces is an exciting process because it means that you are on your way to an incredible smile. Actually having them, however, takes a small amount of work on your part to ensure that everything is going as planned. For example, if your orthodontist has instructed you to wear elastics, you’ll need to make sure you follow that direction. Here’s why it’s so important to heed their advice.
How Do They Work?
When a patient has an underbite or an overbite, their orthodontic treatment will need to be adjusted accordingly. Braces on their own can straighten teeth, but they need elastics in order to correct the malocclusion. Those elastics will effectively allow better contact between the upper and lower arches of a patient’s mouth.
How Often Should They Be On?
The length of time required for elastics to be effective will be entirely dependent on your individual case. That being said, if your orthodontist suggests you wear your rubber bands 24/7, you better wear your bands 24/7. In some instances, you will only be required to wear them at night. Either way, be sure to never double up or change the orientation of the elastics unless instructed by your orthodontist.
Won’t They Hurt?
Just like braces, your elastics will require an adjustment period, resulting in a sore jaw for a couple of days. Be wary, however, that just because you can take them off doesn’t mean you should. What you may see as “giving your mouth a break” can actually set back your progress. The more you wear them, the more you will get used to them. Some patients find it helpful to take a mild painkiller for the first day.
Any orthodontic treatment is a team effort, requiring the skills of an orthodontist and the compliance of the patient. Together we can help you achieve your best smile! If you have any questions about your orthodontic appliance or elastics, don’t hesitate to contact us today.