When you get braces at an orthodontist your treatment may also include wearing elastics. What are these elastics for and what do they accomplish in the orthodontic process? Bailey Orthodontics wants our patients to understand how their treatment helps fix issues with their teeth and how we work to improve their smiles.
Issues Elastics Help With
When you get braces oftentimes we are not only aligning your teeth but correcting your bite. This means we are making sure that when you bite down your teeth and jaw line up properly. Wearing your bands correctly can help pull your teeth and jaw into the correct position. Issues that are corrected by proper use of elastics are:
- Open bite
- Leaning teeth
Helping to fix these issues needs to be accomplished by shifting and moving the teeth. Elastics help to move the teeth gradually throughout the days and weeks that you wear them. Wearing the elastics consistently and following the direction of the orthodontist is imperative to correctly move the teeth.
Types Of Elastics
Class I: Used for closing gaps between teeth with a cuspid hook.
Class II: Used for reducing an overjet that moves and retracts upper teeth while pushing lower teeth forward.
Class III: Designed for those with an underbite and bands that retract the lower teeth and move the upper teeth forward.
Vertical Elastics: Used for linking upper teeth with lower teeth. Mostly used for those with an open bite.
Cross Elastics: Connect both upper and lower teeth, that cross over the front teeth. This usually corrects a crossbite.
Ligatures: Used for securing archwires or the flexible wires between the brackets. Ligature elastics are tiny and are applied as soon as you get braces. These are the ones that are replaced at each appointment because they weaken over time.
Inter-arch: These also keep wires in place but are slightly larger than Ligatures. They are placed in a different pattern than Ligatures and depend on the patient. They are hooked on the upper tooth going to the lower tooth.
The sizes and use of rubber bands and elastics depend on the needs of each patient and will be used differently at different points in your orthodontic treatment.
Tips For Elastics
For those with interchangeable elastics, there are some tips to make sure that your elastics are doing their job correctly. Wearing elastic bands can be uncomfortable but using shortcuts or not wearing the bands may actually make your orthodontic treatment longer.
Wearing your elastics correctly is the only way to improve your smile. Make sure to only remove your bands to eat, brush and floss or change them when they stretch out.
Changing bands out every 2-4 hours or as instructed by your orthodontist can keep your treatment on track and prevent prolonged treatment time.
Some patients may think that doubling rubber bands can make their treatment go faster, but doubling up on elastics can actually cause more problems in your mouth. Only use the number of elastics that are recommended to you. Carrying extra elastics with you ensures that you will never run out or have to let your teeth sit if a band breaks.
Treating patients with care and helping them be confident in their smiles is our top priority at Bailey Orthodontics. We are efficient with your time and keep your appointments as short as possible. With busy schedules, we know that patients have other responsibilities while they are seeking orthodontic treatment. Keeping your appointments informative and efficient is something we hold highly in our office.
While braces are helpful in creating the smile you want, they can be painful or uncomfortable. If you are having issues with your elastics or braces, talk to our orthodontists and voice your concerns. We work with each patient to help them feel comfortable and understood. Orthodontic treatment should work for you. You can visit our website to see other smiles that we have improved and contact our office staff to ask questions or schedule an appointment.