Wearing rubber bands improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth and/or jaws — the bite. Rubber bands align your bite and are very important for the bite-fixing phase of orthodontic treatment, which is usually the longest and most difficult part of the whole process. Our high-tech braces and wires will straighten your teeth relatively quickly — it is the aligning/fixing of the bite that usually takes longer and determines when you’re ready to get the braces off. Your full cooperation and commitment with the rubber bands is required and will lead to the best possible orthodontic result in the shortest amount of time. Yes, rubber band wear is vital to successful treatment, so always strictly follow the instructions and regimen we give you for wearing your elastics.
You should wear your elastics constantly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including when you eat a snack, play, and sleep, unless otherwise instructed, taking them out only to brush, floss, eat your main meals, and put new elastics in. Every morning, discard the previous day’s elastics and replace them with fresh elastics from the packet we have provided for you. If you play sports, keep your elastics in unless you need to wear a mouthguard. After removing your mouthguard, put the elastics back in.
You should change your elastics 2 times a day (at the very least, every 12 hours), even if they are not broken because, after a while, they lose their strength and elasticity. It usually takes a couple of days to get used to putting in your elastics. At first, you might need to use a mirror, but after a little practice, you’ll be able to hook them up with your eyes closed. If for any reason you run out or lose your supply of elastics, call or email the office, and we will have a new supply waiting for you at the reception desk.
Before you leave the office, be absolutely sure you understand where to hook the elastics.
Placing elastics incorrectly can be even worse than not wearing them at all because your teeth might move in the wrong/opposite direction. If you ever have any questions on how to wear your elastics, please do not hesitate to call, email, or stop by the office and ask us. Wearing rubber bands, especially at first, can be confusing! But in no time, if you do it consistently, you will be a pro!
This is an important phase of your therapy. Failure to wear your elastics full time or as instructed will lengthen your treatment time and will make it more difficult to achieve an optimal result. It’s normal for your mouth, teeth, and jaws to be a little sore for the first few days to a week of wear. Furthermore, if you wear your elastics only intermittently (NOT full time), you will have constant discomfort because your teeth don’t have a chance to get used to them, so be sure to keep the elastics in FULL TIME! Wearing your elastics for several hours and then taking them off for a while, then putting them back on, etc., will make your teeth more resistant to moving in the right direction and slow down or stop your treatment progress. In addition to NOT moving the teeth, this part-time wear will keep your teeth constantly sore. Just do the right thing and wear them 24/7!
NEVER DOUBLE UP ON YOUR ELASTICS, even if you skip a day of wear. It may seem to make sense, but this will actually SLOW DOWN tooth movement and your progress. If you have any questions about your elastics, what they do, or how to wear them, please be sure to ask us.
We want your orthodontic treatment to go as quickly and smoothly as it can with the best result obtainable. Proper rubber band wear is a big step toward successful completion.