There’s more to orthodontic elastics than meets the eye.

Here’s our go-to guide with everything you need to know:Elastics, sometimes called ‘rubber bands’, are used to correct the bite. Worn between the upper and lower teeth, elastics are designed to ‘pull’ the teeth forwards, backwards or sideways to improve the way in which the upper and lower teeth fit together.Braces are great for straightening teeth, but to gain a perfect result elastics are sometimes required to ensure the bite is fitting together correctly.

How are elastics worn?

Elastics are worn in many different ways, depending on the individual and their orthodontic needs. Dr Sarah will provide instruction on exactly how to wear YOUR elastics and it’s important to adhere to these instructions. If you forget how to wear them, call the surgery and one of the team will check your file for details.Wearing your elastics incorrectly or inconsistently (or not at all), or wearing the wrong elastic altogether, will delay the completion of your treatment and compromise outcomes.

What issues might I have with elastics?

Elastics bring with them their own set of challenges. You might experience sore teeth or jaws presenting as an ache as a result of the extra forces brought about by the elastics. Rather than not wearing the elastics, it’s best to adhere to the advice given by Dr Sarah. We recommend taking pain relief if required as you will find pressure subsides after a few days as teeth begin to move.It’s common for patients to let their supply of elastics run low (or even run out completely). If this happens to you, either come into the office to collect additional supplies or phone us and we’ll post them to you. Try to do this BEFORE you run out of elastics to prevent any impact on your treatment.Although we’re careful to communicate how you need to wear your elastics, with so much going on in life, it’s easy to forget. If you are struggling to recall Dr Sarah’s instructions, simply call us so that we can direct you over the phone. We’re only too happy to help!Broken hooks or brackets require immediate attention so make sure you advise us immediately and we’ll schedule an appointment to fix this. Remember any unforeseen delays can slow the progress to finishing treatment.And some final tips:

  • Change elastics as least twice daily. Elastics get tired and won’t endure over-use.
  • Remove plastics to eat and brush teeth, but replace immediately afterwards (try placing elastics around your little finger while brushing or eating to help you remember to replace them)
  • Wearing elastics intermittently (rather than consistently as instructed) has the effect of ‘confusing’ teeth, which end up wriggling back and forth within the mouth as a result of inconsistency.