What Are Orthodontic Elastics & Why Are They Important?

Post by: / July 15, 2019

If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you’ll soon realize that there are several elements that contribute to your overall success. Most of our patients will need to use elastics as a supplement to their braces or Invisalign aligners. In this week’s article, we are going to discuss what exactly those little rubber bands are for and how you can get the most out of your treatment!


Jimmy Your Jaw

In most cases, orthodontic treatment aims to correct not just your teeth, but your bite as well. Braces and Invisalign on their own are designed to alter your teeth. Elastics are used if your jaw needs adjusting. Think about it, you could have the straightest teeth in the world, but if your bite is misaligned, you will still have the same troubles as before. Headaches, trouble chewing, and aesthetic appearance are all elements affected by your jaw position. Used in different configurations, elastics are usually stretched across tiny hooks on your top and bottom braces. Over time, this helps to encourage your top and bottom jaw to come together at the proper angle. 


Proper Elastic Etiquette

Your elastics may not feel the most comfortable, especially at first, but over time you will forget that you’re even wearing them! Many of our patients find that an over-the-counter pain reliever will eliminate the discomfort they feel when they first begin wearing elastics. That being said, make sure you take them out when eating, brushing, and flossing. You don’t want to accidentally swallow your rubber bands. When you take them out, don’t put in the same ones. Elastics lose elasticity pretty quickly, so make sure to replace them with fresh ones after each meal. 


Custom Consistency

Your jaw is a little bit tougher to move than your teeth, that’s why being consistent with wearing your elastics is so important! Talk with your orthodontist about how often they want you to wear them. In some cases, you may only need to wear them at night, in others it will be required at least 22 hours a day. Regardless of your orthodontist’s advice, follow it! The more you listen, the more likely you’ll be able to complete your treatment on time. 


Orthodontic elastics may look small and unassuming, but they are actually an integral part of your smile’s success! For expert advice and treatment, call the experts today at (403) 287-0746.