How does elastic wear help my treatment?
Elastics are essential for the progress of your treatment. They provide an additional force, or “pull,” needed to move your teeth into a proper alignment to achieve a good bite.
Before you leave our office, make sure you clearly understand where to place your elastics. You may need to use a mirror at first, but you will soon be able to change them without a mirror and with very little effort.
What are the rules for wearing my elastics?
For elastics to be effective, they have to be worn 24 hours a day unless you are instructed otherwise. Constant wear of your elastics is essential. If you forget to wear them one day, the progress you achieved for the preceding two days may be lost.
Night-time elastic wear alone will not move your teeth. You must be true to yourself about wearing elastics so your elastics will be true to you. Remember, this is ultimately your responsibility; we are here to coach you through this process. Your final result largely depends on how well you wear your elastics.
For maximum benefit, elastics are also to be changed four times per day: morning, noon, afternoon, and at night before you go to bed.
You should take off your elastics only to eat and to brush your teeth. When you remove them, put them on your little finger as a reminder to put them back on. Some patients choose to eat with their elastics on and are rewarded by getting their braces off sooner.
For the first few days of using elastics, your teeth will probably be sore. This is normal. As soon as your teeth get used to the new pressure, the soreness will disappear. A pain reliever such as Tylenol, Aleve, or Motrin might be helpful.
As long as you continue to wear your elastics, your teeth will not be sore again. However, if you take a long break from your elastics, you may go through days of soreness again.
Make sure you have enough elastics before you leave the office. Usually, one or two packs is enough until your next visit. If you run out or lose them, come in and pick some up; or call our office and we will drop some in the mail.
If you follow the basic instructions we have given you and wear your elastics all day and all night, your treatment will progress as planned and you will be on your way to a beautiful and healthy smile.
Beginning of Treatment
Common elastics worn during the “beginning” of your treatment. This stage is “Leveling your Teeth.”
Middle of Treatment
Common elastics worn during the “middle” of your treatment. This stage is “Correcting your Bite.”
Class II 35
Class II 36
Class II vertical
Class III 63
Class III 64
Class III vertical
End of Treatment
Common elastics worn during the “end” of your treatment. This stage is “Stabilizing your Bite and Finishing your Case.”