If metal braces have recently been placed on your teeth, then you may need to get used to the way they work and feel. This is especially true when your braces are fitted with extras like rubber bands. These bands are called elastics and they place additional pressure on the teeth so they move into place a bit quicker. There are some questions you may have about the elastics. Keep reading to learn about a few common questions and their answers.
How Often Are The Elastics Changed?
Your elastics are like small rubber bands that pull on the teeth to help force them into a better position. This helps to move teeth that have a long way to shift or that are a bit more stubborn and resist movement. And, like any other rubber band that is continually stretched, the elastic will lose its strength. You will notice that the elastic feels quite tight when it is first secured but it then it becomes looser throughout the day.
Due to the stretching of the elastic, you will need to change the band at least once a day. Do this in the morning or evening after you brush your teeth. To change the elastic, loop the band around the upper attachment and then stretch it out with your index finger to attach it to the bottom attachment.
You can also purchase an elastic placer or elastic stretcher tool. This small plastic device is made with a hook on one end that allows you to stretch and attach the elastic. This helps you to keep your hands free and it also stops you from twisting the band, if this is an issue you have.
Can You Eat With The Bands In?
It may seem awkward to eat with your rubber bands in your mouth, but this is exactly what you should be doing. The bands should not get in the way of your bite and they also should not prevent you from biting normally.
When it comes to wear, you want to keep your elastics in your mouth as long as possible. The longer you wear them, the quicker your teeth will move and the more orthodontic advancement you will see.
You may notice that your elastics catch some of your food. You can simply rinse your mouth out with water when you are done eating or you can replace the bands when you are finished with your meal. Your orthodontist will give you a large package of the bands so you can change them three times a day or more if you need to. Contact an orthodontist office for more help.