We may ask you to wear elastics of various configurations on braces. Elastics are a force that makes the teeth move backwards and forwards and up and down. It is a REALLY important part of the treatment and success depends on your cooperation. You are in total control of this part of the treatment. See the sample photos below for your elastic wear...
Why are they used? They add an extra force to the braces to help move the teeth. For example, if the upper teeth are too far forward and the lower teeth are too far back, rubber bands may be stretched from the upper front teeth to the lower back teeth.
When are they worn? Dr. Brown will determine when, where they attach and how long they are to be worn. They are worn usually at all times (24/7) except when brushing. It is important to be consistent; the elastics will not work as well if they are not in place each day.
When are they changed? Elastics are replaced after every meal. Remove the elastics, brush your teeth and put a new set on. Be sure to pick up plenty at the office. Carry a supply of the elastics with you at all times so you can replace on immediately if it breaks. A few days without them can cause a serious set back.
Are there different sizes? There are many sizes, each designed for a specific purpose. Wear only the size provided. Each size is labeled with a different name or color to make it easy to remember.
What can be expected? The teeth may become sore when elastics are first used. This soreness will be gone in a few days. The teeth may become loose; that is a normal reaction to the elastic force. Expect to see progress; look for it carefully.
Why is it important to be consistent? They have to be worn if the treatment is to be successful. You must help with this part of treatment in a substantial way if there is to be progress. It requires hard work, even though elastics are not comfortable. If elastics are worn one day and left off the next, your teeth will set up resistance that will slow or even stop your progress.... And discomfort in your mouth will increase. If elastics are worn one week and left off one day, your teeth could shift back to their original position.
What is your responsibility at each appointment? At each appointment please check that you have enough elastics to last until the next appointment. If you run out of elastics call or phone immediately, never wait until the next appointment. We will mail them to you if it is impossible to pick them up at the office. Always be sure you understand exactly where to hook your elastics in the mouth. Call the office if you are unsure.
Most common ways to wear elastics:
Class II Elastics (Bummer/Green) are worn from the upper canine and the lower first molar.
Class III Elastics (Bummer/Green) are worn from the lower canine and the upper first molar.
Vertical Elastics (Dave/Purple) are worn from the top canine to the bottom canine tooth.
Triangle Elastics (Bummer/Green) are worn from the top canine to the bottom canine and the bottom premolar tooth right behind it.
Shoe Lace Elastics (Guatemala/Paul) are usually worn just at bedtime for 10 days. Lace 2 elasics together to make one long band. Begin by hooking the elastic on the upper canine and lace down to the lower canine and back up and around the hook on the lateral incisor and down around the hook on the lower lateral incisor etc. ending at the lower canine on the other side.