Most people think of orthodontic treatment in terms of making crooked teeth straight or aligning the teeth. This is an important part of braces or Invisalign and the part of treatment that most patients get very excited about. However, most patients need more than just alignment of the teeth in order to achieve an ideal result and the most esthetic, healthiest smile possible. This is the role that orthodontic elastics or rubber bands play in orthodontic treatment. Elastics correct the bite and braces or Invisalign straighten the teeth. Well-aligned teeth look much better than crooked teeth, but this change alone will leave the teeth not fitting together very well in most cases. Poorly fitting teeth or “bad bites” can contribute to dental decay, periodontal disease, and temporomandibular joint problems over the course of time.
Elastics are the most common bite-corrector used in orthodontic treatment. They can be used to create a similar effect to headgear or other appliances, but are a lot more comfortable and simple to wear. Most patients will need to wear elastics full-time (22 hours/day) to create the desired effect in a timely manner. The elastics are removed and a fresh set of elastics is placed four times per day. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime.) You simply remove them to eat and put new elastics into your mouth after you are done eating.
Elastics will change the way your bite fits together, which highlights the importance of who you choose to help you with your orthodontic treatment. Elastics worn incorrectly can cause a number of dental problems including tooth loss. Orthodontists are specifically trained in this type of treatment. Only 6% of dentists are actually trained orthodontists, so make sure the doctor helping you with your treatment is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. Give Budd Orthodontics a call today if we can be of service to you.