Elastics are used during the bite alignment phase of orthodontics. This phase is the longest and often most difficult phase of treatment. Not all patients need elastics; it depends on your bite. During your consultation, we will let you know if we anticipate using elastics during treatment. Most patients will need to wear elastics at some point during treatment, at least for a couple of months.
Often we instruct that elastics be worn full-time (only taken out to eat and to brush your teeth), but sometimes they only need to be worn at night. There are also different ways to hook up the elastics. It is important that you follow the specific wear instructions given by your orthodontist. Failing to wear elastics will stop your progress, and wearing them incorrectly can make your bite worse. Following directions is very important! Elastic compliance can make or break finishing treatment on time.
After eating or brushing, make sure to put in new elastics. Do not use the same elastics over and over because they lose their elasticity over time and will not be effective. You should change your elastics 3-4 times per day. We provide baggies of 300 elastics at each appointment. If you run out of elastics before your next appointment, please let our office know. You can stop by our office and pick up more, or we can mail them to your house.