Do I Have to Wear Elastics?
Unlike tooth cleanings and fillings, orthodontic treatments take a long time. They usually begin in childhood and last a few years until the teeth are fully aligned. If you want to align your teeth without having to wear traditional metallic braces, you will have to talk to your doctor about Invisalign or transparent braces.
These clear braces bring your teeth into position without affecting your life. You can eat and brush as usual and you won’t have to wear elastics while undergoing treatment. If you have a bad bite (malocclusion) you might have to use elastics to correct malocclusions.
Rubber bands or elastics are used to wrap the braces and hold the metallic wires in place. They come in various colours so it’s not hard to convince children to wear them. Rubber bands can also be used to connect the top and bottom teeth brackets. Depending on the way they’re fixed, they can solve many tooth problems like overbite, under bite, cross bite and open bite. Once fixed, they move teeth into the desired location and alter the look of your face.
Maintenance of Your Elastics
Like any other rubber band, elastics lose their strength after 5-6 hours and need to be replaced. Your orthodontist will ask you to exchange them at least 3-4 times a day. Elastics have to be removed before eating meals, but if it’s just a small snack you’re after, you can continue to leave them on.
You have to wear them close to 24 hours a day to benefit from their use, and they may be changed and configured differently at every check-up. Once your elastics and braces are removed, you will only need a set of retainers to hold your teeth in position so they don’t revert back to their previous condition.
Disadvantages of Elastics
One of the biggest drawbacks of metallic braces is that food gets trapped between the surface of the teeth and the braces, causing decay and cavities. Transparent braces, on the other hand, are removable so patients can brush and floss as usual, without having to worry about tooth decay. Elastics also cause soreness in the mouth when they’re fixed or re-configured.
If you stop wearing them to get rid of the soreness, you will again suffer from soreness once you put them back on. Rubber bands are not discreet, making it quite embarrassing for the patient at times. Since they push the jaw forwards or backwards they are, however, an integral part of a tooth alignment procedure. They also speed up the alignment of the teeth by holding the braces in position.
Not all patients require elastics, though. Your dentists will evaluate the progress you’ve made with your braces and determine whether you need elastics or not. If you do need elastics, remember to wear them as directed as this will reduce treatment time. If you’re ever in the need of braces or elastics in Brisbane drop by Tony Weir Orthodontics for a professional consultation. We offer you a wide range of high- quality orthodontic products at competitive prices. Book an appointment online or call us on 07 3054 6761 to learn more.