If you had or have braces you may have heard from your orthodontist about elastics and you know what these little bands do. If you have not heard about them, then that is probably why you are here reading this. The main reason for elastics to be placed on your top and bottom braces is to align your bottom jaw with the top one. These elastics cause your jaw to have tension on your teeth, and they can be uncomfortable until your teeth get used to them. Another reason your dentist may use rubber bands for braces is to fix your overbite.
What You Need to Do to Keep an Elastic Clean and Your Jaw Straight?
If you have braces and you have been given elastics by your dentist to straighten your overbite you will need to keep the elastics in place 24\7 including when you are eating a snack, and when you sleep. The only time you need to remove these rubber bands for braces is when you are brushing flossing or rinsing your mouth. When you eat a meal make sure you replace your elastics after you eat as well and brush and floss, this is to ensure you do not get plaque tartar in between your braces or on the elastics.
Every morning, when you wake up you also need to remove and replace your elastics. For kids, teens and adults who play sports, you need to keep the elastics in unless you wear a mouth guard. If this is your case, make sure you put new elastics back in after your done.
Many Different Shapes and Uses for Rubber Bands for Braces
There are many different types and sizes of elastics. They are generally classified according to the correction they perform. For example, elastics made for a Class II overbite will be specifically used to help people who have a Class II overbite.
There are elastics made for different shapes and directions of teeth and this requires different sizes. So if you wear a long elastic and your dentist changes it to a very small, tight elastic, you will feel some pain and probably wont be able to open your mouth very well, at least for a while because the elatics place too much force on your teeth. In this case, your orthodontist will show you which bands to wear at what point in your treatment and he will decide on whether you need full-time or night-time wear.