What is the purpose of braces Elastic bands?
Braces work by applying force to your teeth and moving them over time to their new positions in a better alignment. Braces elastics work by adding some additional force to specific teeth at specific times. They are attached to tiny posts or hooks on your brackets and they can be arranged in any number of ways. They might be used to correct different bite issues like overbites, underbites, or crossbites. They may also help close large gaps in your teeth or realign crooked teeth.
You probably have questions about braces with elastics, and they are quite valid. Before we get started looking at what braces elastics are for, let’s take a look at what the experts of orthodontic medicine have to say on the topic of orthodontics and why you need an orthodontic expert.
Every orthodontist needs to go through peer assessments so they can continually improve their skills (Piskorski D, 2003).
When you find a good orthodontist, you can actually help reduce any chances of unnecessary treatments or need to go back for additional treatments (Piskorski D, 2003).
Plus, when you partner with the right orthodontist, you can improve the success rate of your treatment which means better outcomes for you, the patient (Piskorski D, 2003).
What are the different types of elastics for braces?
There are a few different types of elastics or rubber bands that you may need to use while you have your braces on. Not everyone who wears braces will need to have elastics for braces. Those who do use them may be given bags of elastics of different colors or thicknesses indicating that these elastics will apply a stronger force on the teeth. Braces elastics generally come in light, medium, or heavy force categories. You will see the force that the elastics exert sometimes listed on the packages.
Elastic braces bands also come in a variety of sizes. The diameters will vary and that gives them varying degrees of stretchiness.
Braces rubber bands are made from either latex or for those who have latex allergies, synthetic materials. Latex braces bands are less expensive and they retain their stretchiness well and they are often able to exert more force and do so more consistently.
How to put elastics on your braces?
You may need to wear your elastic bands for braces differently than your friend because your unique treatment plan will require a custom wearing. Your braces elastics positions may be horizontally from one tooth to another on the same jaw. This is used to close large gaps in the teeth.
An overbite will be corrected by anchoring braces bands from teeth on the top jaw to your lower molars. The reverse will happen if you have an underbite, with your elastic band for braces connecting the lower front teeth to your upper molars.
Vertical elastics braces will connect the upper teeth to their match in the lower teeth to help correct an open bite. Lastly, you might even have some going across your front teeth from the top to the bottom that will correct a crossbite.
Generally, it is simple to install the elastic bands braces yourself. Just set one on one of the anchor posts, and loop it around the other anchor as directed by your orthodontist.
How long do you need to wear your elastic bands?
This question will be best answered by your orthodontist. He or she will let you know when in your treatment you will need to wear your elastics, and for how long. Some patients may wear them after only a few appointments, while others will end up using elastics on braces towards the end of their treatment plan to help finish setting the teeth. Some patients will wear them for most of their treatment, while others may just need to wear them for a short time.
The elastics will lose their stretch the longer you wear them, so they will need to be changed out periodically. You might need to do this a few times a day, or you might be able to change them each time you brush your teeth. Your orthodontist will provide you with your exact instructions.
Can you eat with elastics on your braces?
You may be told to wear your elastics all the time, or you might be told to wear them just at night. Most folks will find that wearing them while eating is awkward, so you will want to check with your orthodontist to see if it is ok to take out your elastics while you eat and brush your teeth. This is especially true if you have elastics that cross your mouth.
How to care for your braces elastics?
You may find that your jaw gets tired when you wear your elastics. This is normal, and while you might be tempted to remove your elastics, please don’t. It will set your treatment back. You may find relief by taking an over-the-counter analgesic or applying an ice pack to your jaw. You might also find that you fidget with your elastics with your tongue which can make the elastics break. Please refrain from doing so.
Keep your bag of elastics closed tightly and keep it safe – you don’t want to leave it on the dashboard of your car for instance where the UV light from the sun can damage your elastics.
Be sure that you brush your teeth every time you eat to get all of the food particles out of your brackets and this will also keep your elastic bands clean. You may need to have a special flosser to get your floss around the brackets, or you might use a water flosser to get between the teeth.
You should avoid any hard or sticky foods that can possibly damage your elastics – and maybe even your brackets or wires. If your elastics come off, you can just put a new one on. Your orthodontist will make sure you have plenty on hand.
You should change them out as often as your orthodontist recommends. You should also use them as your orthodontist directs, because DIY orthodontics using someone else’s elastics or using them in unapproved ways may damage your teeth, or even make it so you have to have a tooth extracted. Do not use two elastics when one is recommended because it can mess up your bite or even damage the teeth. When it comes to your oral health, be sure to leave it to the pros.
Piskorski D. (2003).Ocenaskutecznościleczeniaortodontycznegozapomocawskaźnika par (Peer Assessment Rating index) [Efficacy of orthodontic treatment according to the Peer Assessment Rating index].AnnalesAcademiaeMedicaeStetinensis, 49, 335–351.