Elastics are used with both braces and clear aligners (Invisalign) to help your upper and lower teeth fit together. Braces and clear aligners can do a great job of straightening your upper and lower teeth but it’s the elastics that helps the relationship between the two (this is called the ‘bite’).
How do I know if my teeth will need braces elastics?
When you have an orthodontic assessment your Orthodontist will be looking at your ‘bite’. The perfect ‘bite’ is when your top teeth are slightly forwards of your bottom teeth (the overjet) and the top teeth also slightly cover the bottom teeth by about 10% (the overbite). The perfect bite is called a Class 1. If your top teeth are too far forward of your bottom teeth, or conversely your bottom teeth are too far forward of you top teeth, then it’s likely that your bite is not in a Class 1 position. If this is the case you’ll probably need to wear elastic bands during your braces or clear aligner treatment. When your bite is in the optimal position, the upper and lower teeth fit snugly together and there is less risk of your teeth clashing or wearing away.
How do braces elastics work?
Braces elastics are spread across your upper and lower teeth in a pattern specific to what the Orthodontist is trying to achieve. Diagonal, box and triangle shaped elastic patterns can be used to improve the way your teeth meet together. Braces elastics, just like rubber bands, have shape memory and want to revert back to their original shape after being stretched. This force guides your teeth into the optimal position.
How often do I need to wear my braces elastics?
Consistency is the key to wearing your braces elastics. You may need to wear braces elastics full time, only taking them out to eat and brush your teeth, or you may only need to wear your elastics at night time. Follow your Orthodontist’s instructions to get the best smile and healthiest bite!