What Do Orthodontic Elastics Do?

Orthodontic elastics, the tiny rubber bands that you use on your braces, are an important component of teeth straightening with braces, as well as with clear aligner treatment in many cases. While it might seem like those small elastics aren’t big enough to make a difference in the straightness of your smile, they actually do a huge amount of work for you. Here’s what you need to know about orthodontic elastics and how they work.

The Role of Orthodontic Elastics: What Do They Do For You?

Orthodontic elastics help fix your bite, which essentially means that they help your upper and lower teeth and jaw fit together better. In fact, orthodontic elastics are one of the most crucial parts of fixing the bite. Braces on their own can help align the individual teeth, but they will not be nearly as effective if you’re not wearing orthodontic elastics to shift the bite properly.

Wearing Orthodontic Elastics

The schedule for orthodontic elastics is pretty straightforward: It is usually best to wear them at all times possible. The only time that it’s okay to remove your orthodontic elastics is to eat, brush, floss, or switch them out for new orthodontic elastics. Many patients ask if they can wear the elastics while they eat and for the most part the answer is, “yes.”  However, it does make eating more difficult, so it is not imperative. The orthodontic elastics are working hard to shift your bite and they can’t do their job unless you wear them full time. Soon, you’ll hardly even be aware of the elastics.

The schedule for changing your orthodontic elastics can vary, however. Dr. Reddick will instruct you on how much to wear your rubber bands.  You generally need to change out your orthodontic elastics a few times a day. If an elastic breaks, replace it right away. It’s a good idea to always have extra elastics with you in case you need to replace them while you’re away from home.

Positioning Your Orthodontic Elastics

If your orthodontic elastics are to do their job of shifting your bite, you’ll need to make certain that they’re in the proper positions. Before you leave the Melbourne Orthodontics office, Dr. Reddick will explain how to attach and wear your elastics. You’ll also get a card that shows you how to connect the orthodontic elastics. Be sure that you refer to this card consistently until you’re positive that the elastics are in the correct places.  Some people choose to take a selfie with their elastics in to remind them of their proper positions, should they forget.

If you position your orthodontic elastics in the wrong way, it can actually pull your teeth in the wrong direction, making matters even worse. You’ll typically have quick check-ups with Dr. Reddick about every 6 weeks. During these visits, Dr. Reddick can make any necessary adjustments and can evaluate how the orthodontic elastics are working for you.

What Do Orthodontic Elastics Feel Like?

As your teeth adjust to braces and orthodontic elastics, you may experience some soreness or minor discomfort. You can take over the counter pain relievers to help with this. Typically, any discomfort will pass quite quickly as long as you’re consistent about wearing your orthodontic elastics. Your mouth just needs a little bit of time to adjust to the braces and the orthodontic elastics. Soon, you won’t even notice that you’re wearing them.

If you have ongoing discomfort while wearing your orthodontic elastics, talk to Dr. Reddick about solutions. You don’t have to suffer to get straighter teeth, so there’s absolutely no reason to fear braces or elastics. As long as you stick with the schedule for wearing your orthodontic elastics and have your regular check-ups with Dr. Reddick, you’ll have a straight smile sooner than you think.

An Orthodontist Who Is Here For You

Melbourne Orthodontics is a Melbourne, Florida orthodontic practice owned by Dr. Chad Reddick. Dr. Reddick is a highly skilled and experienced orthodontic specialist who offers the full spectrum of orthodontics, including metal braces, ceramic braces, oral appliances, Invisalign clear aligners, early orthodontic intervention, adult orthodontic care, retainers, and night guards. Contact Melbourne Orthodontics anytime to arrange your appointment with Dr. Reddick.