Successful orthodontic treatment primarily depends on two things: constant pressure and time. Sometimes it takes added force to move teeth and jaws into their correct positions. Elastics, also called rubber bands, have the pull to make that happen. But they won’t work without you. To achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you’re working for, you must carefully follow your orthodontist’s instructions about placing and using your rubber bands.
At first, the elastics may cause your teeth to be tender. That’s because your teeth are moving, which is the goal. Usually tenderness lasts only a day or two. Not wearing your rubber bands as instructed will only make the tenderness last longer, and make the tooth movement take more time.
To get the best results from your rubber bands, remember:
- You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces every day. Be sure to wear them as instructed.
- Always carry a few rubber bands with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply is low, call your orthodontist to get more.
- If you happen to forget to wear your elastics one day, don’t double up the next—just follow your regular instructions.
- Rubber bands get tired. When they lose their stretch, they don’t provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. So it’s very important to change them as directed, even when they’re not broken.
If you have any problems—like elastics breaking frequently, a loose wire or band, or a hook that’s broken—call our office. Don’t wait until your next scheduled appointment. These problems should be corrected as soon as possible.
Remember, faithfully wearing your rubber bands, following all instructions and keeping appointments is the quickest, easiest way to achieve your goal of a healthy, beautiful smile!
Article Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists