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The Importance of Braces Elastics

By Kellyn Hodges on November 17, 2014

A girl with bracesAt Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics, our team understands that getting braces can be a source of worry for some patients. While getting braces helps streaighten teeth and improves your overall dental health, the function of the braces themselves may seem complicated. That's why we're here to answer all questions and address concerns.

One aspect of braces that many of our patients have questions about are orthodontic rubber band and elastics. Let's focus on this right now.

The Role That Elastics Play with Braces Treatment

When many people think of braces, the main component that comes to mind are the actual metal brackets and wires that are applied to the teeth. However, one of the more common features associated with wearing braces are elastics, which are a set of small rubber bands that are stretched over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets of your braces.

These braces elastics play a huge role in applying the right amount of pressure to your teeth to guide them into the correct position. Additionally, these elastics also play a part in accelerating the straightening your teeth.

Why doesn’t everyone need elastics for braces?

Typically, your orthodontist will prescribe elastics in the event of an extreme overbite. When your overbite is around 2-3 millimeters, you may be a candidate to use braces elastics.

Your orthodontist has two common uses for elastics. The most common use applies force to the teeth at varying degrees to facilitate realignment. You may also be given what’s referred to as a “power chain,” which involves linking specific groups of teeth together using bands to compress and reduce the spaces in between.

Are the elastics painful?

A little.

Soreness of your teeth and jaw may occur after having your elastics installed. However, as your mouth begins to adjust to your braces elastics, the pain will gradually decrease with time. While you may be tempted to try and adjust these elastics on your own to avoid the soreness they may cause, your elastics should generally be worn the entire day and should only be adjusted by your orthodontist.

How to Get The Most Out of Your Orthodontic Elastics

Your orthodontist will give you very specific instructions on how to care for and use your elastics. These instructions should not be taken lightly and should be followed closely. Your orthodontist will likely advise that you can remove your elastics any time you eat to avoid any difficulties with chewing.

Removing and Replacing Your Orthodontic Elastics

When you do remove your elastics for any reason, it is best to replace them with a brand new set. This ensures that you will consistently apply the right amount of tension to your teeth, as an older set may stretch out after long periods of use. With meals in mind, you may find yourself having to change your elastics around 3 to 4 times each day, so it is best to have a pack of them with you at all times.

Your orthodontist will also provide thorough instructions on how to carefully remove and replace your elastics. Before you know it, this will become second nature to you as you continue using them regularly.

Learn More About Orthodontic Care

For more information about all of your options for tooth straightening and improving the overall beauty of your smile, be sure to contact our orthodontic treatment centers today. We at Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics look forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent dental health and wellness.

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