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Why Do I Have to Wear Elastics on My Braces?

We all know that adding tension to workouts can boost your results. Did you know elastics (or rubber bands) can also help your orthodontic treatment? When elastics are added to your braces, they provide extra tension to help move teeth and correct jaw and bite alignment. Elastics are a common part of orthodontic therapy and work better than braces alone to get a good result. Here’s what to know about them and who they can help.

How Do Elastics Work?

Small latex rubber bands attach to little loops on your braces or, with invisible braces, affix to small buttons. Elastics are designed in a customized pattern and direction to get the best outcome that’s right for you. For example, rubber bands can stretch from a single tooth on your upper jaw to one on your lower jaw or one tooth on top to two on the bottom. Elastics may even be attached to teeth on the same jaw. This “stretch,” provided by the elastics helps to move your teeth into optimal position. Whatever the design – vertical, horizontal or diagonal – it is important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions on how to use them. Using elastics correctly will achieve the best result.

How Do I Use Elastics?

During an appointment, your orthodontist will show you how to apply rubber bands and provide you with a supply of elastics to take with you. Don’t hesitate to ask for another demonstration if you are unsure about how to apply them. Make sure you carry enough elastics with you when away from home. If you’re running low, you can always get more from the office.

How Long Should I Wear Elastics?

Rubber bands should be worn 24/7, but can be removed when eating, flossing and brushing your teeth. New rubber bands should be put on after these activities and changed daily. Of course, make sure to wash your hands before putting in your rubber bands.

Can I Sleep While Wearing Elastics?

Yes, you can wear them while asleep.

Are Rubber Bands Uncomfortable?

You may experience some soreness when first using rubber bands, but this will pass as you get used to them. The important thing is to keep using them according to your orthodontist’s instructions. If the soreness doesn’t go away, make sure to talk with your orthodontist.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about proper elastic use, read our elastics guide. If you have any questions or want to learn more about how you can transform your smile, contact Swan Orthodontics to make an appointment with our team. You can call our Caledonia office at 616-698-2323 or fill out our online contact form.