How to look after your elastics

Elastics are small rubber bands that are connected to part of your braces. They help with tooth movement. However, if they are to be effective, you need to know how to insert them and look after them. 

Why do I have to wear elastics?

Using elastics with braces means that certain types of tooth movements can be achieved that would otherwise never happen with braces alone.Usually there is an ideal window of opportunity for elastics to have the best outcome and so better results are achieved if you follow instructions. 

How will I know where to put them?

On the day you start wearing elastics you will be shown where to place them. We will also get you to practice inserting and removing them before you leave the clinic to ensure you have no problems with them. Most people are a little slow and awkward at first, but the majority are experts by the time the next visit comes around.Your elastic packet will also have a diagram to remind you of how they should look in case you forget.

How often do I have to wear elastics?

Elastics should be worn 24 hours a day unless otherwise instructed. They should only be removed for tooth brushing or if you need to wear a mouthguard for sport.If you don’t wear elastics, your treatment is guaranteed to be much slower and the final result may be compromised. If you do wear them, you will normally get out of your braces much quicker... it's your choice! 

Do elastics hurt?

When you first wear the elastics, they will feel a little uncomfortable for a few days. This is similar to when you first had your braces placed. 

Are they noticeable?

We can provide natural colours that are hardly seen as well as colours if you want to liven your braces up - the choice is yours. 

What if they break?

We recommend you carry some spares with you so that you can replace broken elastics immediately. Remember they only work when they are in your mouth, and while they are working your treatment is progressing more quickly! 

Why are the elastics different on both sides?

The way you wear your elastics is determined by the tooth movements that are required. Sometimes this means that the shapes look slightly different between sides. This is nothing to worry about; however, if you are concerned we are more than happy to clarify this with you. 

What happens if I run out of elastics before my next appointment?

If this happens, make a note of the type of elastics you have; this is on the front of the packet (eg rabbits, foxes, impalas). You may then come in personally or send a representative into the surgery to pick up some spares if you are in the shopping centre.

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