Elastics are essentially rubber bands that are used during the appropriate stage of orthodontic treatment to apply tension, which causes teeth to move in the desired direction. They are attached by the patient as directed to specific brackets, usually between the upper and lower front or back teeth. They can be used in many ways depending on the treatment goals established.

Elastics move the teeth in directions that cannot be accomplished with braces alone. Your teeth and jaws may be tender during the first few days of wearing the elastics. This is normal and the tenderness should begin to disappear within a week. If it persists longer, please call our office. Rinsing with warm salt water will help relieve the tenderness.

Elastics may seem difficult to put on at first, but this will become easier with practice. You may remove the elastics only when eating your meals or brushing your teeth. Leave them in when you are snacking. Be sure to replace the elastics with new ones at least every 24 hours. Part-time wear does NOT move teeth but it can cause them to be constantly sore.

Carry extra elastics with you at all times. If you don't have enough to last until your next appointment, please stop by our office and pick up more or call us and we can mail them to you. We don't want you to run out.

Before you leave the office, be absolutely sure you understand exactly where to hook the elastics. Placing them incorrectly can result in extending your time in treatment. If you ever have any questions about how to wear your elastics, please do not hesitate to ask.

Elastic wear is important in helping to determine the speed of your treatment, as well as the final results. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns. Good luck with your elastics!