Wearing Orthodontic Elastics

What is the purpose of orthodontic elastics or rubber bands?

Elastics, also known as rubber bands, play a crucial role in the success of your orthodontic treatment. Although orthodontic braces alone can align your teeth, they cannot totally control how your upper and lower teeth fit together. In order to achieve a healthy and balanced bite, most orthodontic patients will be required to wear elastics.

What are the rules when it comes to wearing my rubber bands?

Most patients will be instructed to wear their elastics 24/7 or at night time only. If you are asked to wear your elastics 24/7, you will only want to take them out to eat and brush your teeth. For nighttime-only wear, you will put them in before you go to sleep and remove them in the morning when you brush your teeth. You will be given a couple of packages filled with approximately 100 elastics each, so you should have plenty to last until your next visit with your orthodontist. If you don’t have your package of elastics with you when you eat or brush, you can sit them down in a clean place and replace them immediately after you are finished. Some patients even wrap them around their pinky fingers as a reminder to replace them.

How do I know where to hook up my elastics?

Orthodontic brackets have small hooks that are used for placing your rubber bands. Your orthodontist will give you specific instructions as to which teeth the elastics will hook onto. At GoaLine Orthodontics in Frisco TX, we like to have our patients take a closeup photo with their cell phones when we originally hook up their rubber bands for them.

Common Orthodontic Elastic Configurations

class 2 orthodontic elastics rubber bands
Class 2 rubber bands are used to correct an overbite. They move the upper teeth back and the lower teeth forward.
Class 3 Orthodontic Elastics Rubber Bands
Class 3 elastics are used to correct an underbite. They move the upper teeth forward and the lower teeth back.
Triangle Orthodontic Elastics Rubber Bands
Triangle elastics are used to correct an open bite. They bring the upper teeth down and the lower teeth up in order to help the teeth meet vertically.