What Are Elastics for Braces?

elastics for braces

Elastics can be an essential part of your braces treatment. When elastics, or also known as rubber bands, are used for your braces, they help treat misaligned teeth including an overbite, underbite, open bite, and crossbite. Elastics apply force to some regions of the mouth to help the teeth move into the desired position. Wearing elastics may reduce treatment time. Do you know the importance of elastics for braces?

Wearing Your Elastics

The elastics for your braces align your bite and are very important for the bite-fixing phase of orthodontic treatment. 

Most times you will wear your elastics twenty-four hours a day, unless directed otherwise by your orthodontist, including when you are eating a snack, playing, and sleeping. You only take out your elastics to brush your teeth and floss, unless otherwise instructed. Every morning you should discard the previous day’s elastics and replace them with fresh elastics from the packet that has been provided to you. If you are playing sports you should keep your elastics in, unless you wear a mouth guard. 

This may take some adjustment, but change your elastics 3-4 times a day even if they are not broken. After they are in your mouth for some time they begin to lose their strength and elasticity. It’ll take a few days to get used to putting in the elastics, and at first, you may need a mirror to help, but after some practice, you’ll be able to hook them with no problem! 

Importance of Elastics For Braces

Wearing your elastics is an important phase of your braces treatment, wearing them as instructed will help achieve the desired result you are looking for. In the first few days it’s completely normal for your mouth, teeth, and jaws to be a little sore – they are working hard! If you are consistent with your elastics, your soreness will disperse as your mouth will get used to the tension. However, if you are intermittent with wearing your elastics, your mouth will never have the chance to get used to them. 

What Do Elastics Do For Braces?

Elastics are used to increase the force that’s applied to a specific area of your mouth, you may also see them referred to as rubber bands. 

There are different types of elastics that are used and can be categorized in different ways.

  • Force
  • Size
  • Material
  • Use

Force – elastics are classified by the amount of force that they can exert. There are three force categories:

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Size – elastics also come in different sizes. The size is measured in diameter and it depends on how far it needs to stretch in order to work effectively. 

Material – they can be made of two different materials: latex and synthetic. Latex elastics are highly flexible. Synthetic bands can be used for people that have a latex allergy. 

Use – based on what they are used for, there are different classifications for elastics. Some of those common uses are: Class I, Class II, Class III, Vertical, and Cross. 

Elastics For Braces

If you have any questions about your elastics, what they do, or how to wear them, we’re happy to answer them! We want your orthodontic treatment to go as quickly, and smoothly, as it can. 

Interested in starting your braces journey? We’d love to chat! Schedule your free consultation at any of our 15 offices across Southeastern Wisconsin. We are proud to provide high-quality orthodontics at an affordable cost