So you’ve gotten your braces installed. Your mouth is full of brackets and wires, and now your orthodontist is asking you to wear rubber bands. What purpose do these elastics serve, and how important are they to your treatment? In fact, elastics are an essential part of correcting your bite, and your diligence in wearing them determines how long your treatment will last.

What are the advantages of orthodontic elastics?

The primary purpose of orthodontic elastics is to properly align the upper and lower sets of teeth. Using rubber bands eliminates the need for bulky and unsightly headgear. They can be colored to blend in with the teeth, their flexibility allows for a full range of motion while talking, yawning, etc, and they are easy to remove while eating or brushing. Rubber bands are cheap and correct most types of bite problems. The pressure exerted by the rubber band pulls the teeth together in certain ways prescribed by your orthodontist. While your braces are doing the work of straightening your teeth, elastics ensure that your sets of teeth align perfectly.

How important is it to wear my elastics?

Unlike your brackets and wires, which stay attached to your teeth for the whole treatment, the effectiveness of elastics depends totally on your cooperation. If you wear your elastics as prescribed all day, only removing them to eat or brush, your treatment will go much faster and you’ll see better results. If you forget to wear your elastics or slack off, your teeth will remain misaligned and you may need to wear your braces for much longer. Follow your orthodontist’s instructions precisely to maximize your results.

Pacific Dental Care offers the full range of orthodontic treatments for children, teens, and adults. If you have a question about your orthodontic elastics or need to pick up new ones, don’t hesitate to call. With elastics, your treatment is entirely in your hands.