What are Elastics?

Elastics can be an essential part of your braces journey. Learn more about Orthodontic Elastics below.

What are Elastics?

When you have braces or Invisalign it’s possible that you may also need to wear orthodontic elastics. These apply extra pressure in a certain direction to help move individual teeth or to improve your bite. They are looped over small hooks on your top and bottom brackets, or if you have aligners, they can be attached to clear buttons attached to your teeth.

Why do I need them?

Each of our clients’ smile journeys are different, where one person may require elastics, another may not. It often depends on your jaw alignment. You could have your elastics on for any length of time, from a couple of months to a year, depending on your circumstance. Wearing your elastics all the time will ensure that your progress isn’t stalled. Try to wear your elastics even when eating, however, we understand that it can get a bit tricky sometimes, so taking them off for short periods is ok, so long as you are putting new elastics on as soon as you have finished eating.

What are the different types of Elastics?

There are a few different types of elastics.
Ligatures: The elastics that are placed on the brackets to secure the archwires in place.
Inter-arch Elastics: These are the elastics that assist in changing your bite. They are placed in different patterns between the top and bottom teeth. There are 3 classes of Inter-arch Elastics.

1. Close the gap between teeth, often connecting teeth on the same row.

2. Help adjust the lower teeth, moving them forward and retracting the upper teeth.

3. Correct an underbite by retracting lower teeth and shifting upper teeth forward.

How do I use Elastics?

Wearing elastics consistently will ensure that the best results are achieved in the timeliest manner. We will show you how to put your elastics on, this could change throughout your braces process, but we will ensure you feel comfortable with putting them on. It may be tempting to double up with the elastics in an attempt to “speed up” the process, however, this can cause more harm than good, potentially even damaging your roots. It’s also important to not overstretch the bands, even if they seem too tight to apply. Overstretching can cause the bands to lose their effectiveness. We will provide you with enough bands to last until your next appointment, however, we know that they can snap or get lost, so don’t hesitate to pop in to pick up some more! It’s crucial to get into the habit of carrying your elastics around so in the case of them snapping, you can put new ones on.

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