What are elastics for braces used for? Will I need elastics on my braces? How long should I wear elastics for braces? How often should I change my elastics?
These are just some of the many questions we often get from our perspective or current braces patients. If you’re an existing patient or are about to embark on your braces journey, you may be wondering some of these same questions! Check out some of the most common questions our doctors get and our answers below!
What are Orthodontic Elastics?
Orthodontic elastics, also commonly known as “rubber bands”, are just that; small rubber bands that orthodontists use to help your braces move your teeth and bite into the ideal placement.
Orthodontic elastics are typically made from a strong and stretchy medical-grade latex material of varying sizes and elasticity for particular needs.
Why do Orthodontists use Elastics?
The reason is simple. To help correct teeth alignment, your braces work by placing pressure slowly and gently on your teeth and jaw to move them gradually into place.
The point of elastics is to help provide an additional connective force to shift your teeth in specific directions.
If you look at braces closely, you will notice hooks on the brackets where these elastics are attached to move the teeth into a specific alignment.
Your orthodontist will create a pattern for you to follow depending on the movement they are trying to achieve!
How Frequently Should I Change My Elastics?
This varies across from one case to the next – but if you are asked to wear them “full time” you will need to replace them 3-4 times in a 24-hour period.
Why? Because elastic bands lose their elasticity over time as they get stretched out and can no longer apply the appropriate force to shift your teeth.
If you don’t change your elastics and continue using the loose bands, while it may feel more comfortable, it could hinder the progress of your treatment.
Do you Sleep with Elastics for Braces?
Yes! Elastics should be worn all day, every day during the prescribed correction period, with the only exceptions being:
- Brushing of teeth
- Replacing them with new bands
The reason is simple, the longer you keep the elastics on, the more time they have to ensure sufficient pressure on your teeth to move them into the desired alignment. This will help ensure your malocclusion (overbite, underbite, open bite, etc.) is corrected.
The less you wear them, the less effect there is, and the longer the treatment might take.
Can you wear Elastics with Invisalign?
At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, our doctors are experts in clear aligners and are able to correct any bite with either braces or Invisalign. For certain bites this necessitates using elastics while wearing your Invisalign clear aligners.
Want to Learn More?
Are you wondering if you will need elastics for your braces or Invisalign treatment or have any other questions about elastics for braces?
Schedule your complimentary consultation online with us at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics and we will help advise what would be the safest and most effective solution for you.