Elastic Wear in Orthodontics
Rubber band elastics are used very often in orthodontic treatment in our office. Elastics are extremely versatile and can be used to help the teeth and bite align into ideal vertical and front-to-back relationships. The best thing about the elastics for our patients is that they are small and comfortable to use and get great results when used correctly! This post will explain orthodontic elastics and provide some tips if you are currently using elastics during treatment.
If you’ve had braces or know someone who has, you have probably seen the small circular rubber bands used to align the bite. These elastic bands are used for a portion of the total treatment time while a patient is in braces. Generally, once the decision to use elastic bands is made, Dr. Hoffman will prescribe rubber bands to be worn full time day and night (as well as while sleeping) except for eating and brushing until the bite improves. The reason for this has to do with the physiology of tooth movement and the desire we have to finish orthodontic treatment in a timely manner. The elastics may also change size or placement during treatment depending on the position of your teeth. It is fine to remove the rubber bands for other activities such as sports, however they should be replaced as soon as possible.
Elastics should be changed regularly, generally 2-3 times a day as instructed. An easy way to remember to change your elastics is to place a new pair at morning, noon, and at night. When changed frequently, the force produced by the elastics is optimal for moving teeth and can make all the difference in fixing a bad bite or getting stubborn teeth to move. Make sure you get a new pack of rubber bands each visit so you can be sure you are getting the most out of the time you are wearing them. If the elastics are left in the car or a backpack during the Summer there is a chance that the rubber bands could lose their elasticity considering how hot it gets in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Also, if the rubber bands go through the washing machine they should be discarded. If you need extra elastics for any reason, don’t hesitate to come to our office or give us a call!
Sometimes, rubber bands can make the teeth sore during the first few days after they are placed after your appointment. This is completely normal and any discomfort will improve after about a week of continuous wear. Occasional wear will likely prolong the temporary discomfort caused by elastics. If needed, extra strength tylenol is the best for relieving this type of tooth pain. If discomfort persists for more than a week after continuous wear ( 22 hours/day) , please call our office so we can evaluate the problem.
We hope you enjoyed this post and found it informative! Read our other posts in the Quick Bites section!