If you’ve known people with braces, you probably remember a few of them having what appeared to be rubber bands in their mouth. These bands, often referred to as elastics, serve an important part in the alignment process for those who need them.
But before we explain what they do, let’s break down the other parts of traditional bracket braces.
The Anatomy of Braces
First, you have the brackets. These are bonded to each tooth individually. The brackets are attached to an archwire by small bands called ligatures. These often come in varying colors, particularly on kids braces. Many adults choose clear ligatures.
The archwire is what helps move teeth into proper position, but they don’t do much for overbites, underbites, or general jaw alignment. That’s where elastics come into play.
Elastics are hooked onto the sides of brackets, connecting from the upper teeth to the lower teeth. Where they connect depends on the alignment of your jaw and teeth. If you have elastics, you should wear them as instructed by your orthodontist, except during meals and while cleaning your teeth.
These bands need to be replaced regularly, even if they’re not broken or worn. This is because they lose their elasticity which minimizes their effectiveness.
Elastics and Invisalign
If you choose Invisalign over traditional braces, you may be prescribed to wear elastics through the course of treatment. Elastics are hooked to small buttons that are attached to the teeth. Invisalign is a discreet alternative that allows for bite correction with the use of elastics.
Will I Need Elastics?
Not everyone needs elastics with their braces. Ultimately, it depends on whether you have bite issues or your jaw is misaligned. While elastics can feel a little strange at first, much like with the braces themselves, you’ll adjust quickly enough.
The best way to find out if you need elastics or not is to get a professional consultation by an orthodontist. If you’re looking for a Shakopee orthodontist, our Prior Lake office is right in your neighborhood.
Contact us today, and we can walk you through the steps to achieve the happiest mouth and the best smile you’ve ever had!