What are Orthodontic Elastic Bands and How Do They Work?

Orthodontic elastics are essential to orthodontic treatment. They play an important role in straightening teeth and ensuring that they move into the correct position. Oftentimes, not wearing them can delay or even prevent your teeth from straightening.

We understand that having to wear braces is already a bit of an adjustment. Still, your orthodontist may give you rubber bands to wear as well. Each element plays a very important role in the straightening of your teeth. Read on to learn more about orthodontic elastics and what they do.

What Are Orthodontic Elastics?

In short, orthodontic elastics are tiny rubber bands that have two main roles in orthodontic treatment. The first role is to hold the archwire in place. They remain there only to be removed by your orthodontist during your appointment. These rubber bands, known as ligatures, are wrapped around each individual bracket of traditional braces.

The second type of elastic band, known as inter-arch rubber bands, focuses on fixing your bite and the alignment of your jaw. Let’s take a look at how these inter-arch bands work.

How Do Orthodontic Elastics Work?

The way they work is dependent on how they are used and where they are placed. Generally speaking, they are hooked onto a bracket attached to your top canine and then stretched to hook onto a bracket attached to one of your bottom molars. Additionally, the pressure that they exert repositions the jaw and improves the alignment of the upper and lower teeth over time.

Different Types of Orthodontic Elastic Bands

At some point, you may hear your orthodontist refer to the “class” of inter-arch elastics. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of elastic bands:

  • Class II Elastics. If braces are being used to correct an overbite, Class II elastics will help. This elastic moves the upper teeth back and the bottom teeth forward.
  • Class III Elastics. This type of elastics help correct an underbite by moving your upper teeth forwards and the bottom teeth back.
  • Anterior Triangle Elastics. These elastics typically run from the upper canine hook to the bottom canine and first premolar. Forming the shape of a triangle, this helps in open bite cases where the top front teeth don’t touch the bottom front teeth.
Tips for Wearing Elastics with Your Braces

Here are some tips for adjusting to wearing elastics and what to expect:

  • Your elastics should be worn at all times as instructed by your orthodontist.
  • The rubber bands come in a small bag and are easy to lose. Make sure they are kept in a secure spot.
  • Replace elastic bands daily as they frequently go through wear and tear throughout the day.
Importance of Orthodontic Elastics

In conclusion, wearing your rubber bands everyday is very important. Follow the instructions your orthodontist gives you so as not to compromise the final result.

If you would like more information on orthodontic elastics or would like to begin orthodontic treatment, then look no further than Moles & Ferri Orthodontics. We have locations in the Milwaukee, Racine, and Brookfield area. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about all of our orthodontic services.