What are Elastics?
Patients who get braces are often overwhelmed by the number of accessories and instructions which come along with the popular orthodontic treatment. One of the most commonly used accessories to help braces work more effectively are called Elastics. These are simply small rubber bands which are used to help further guide your teeth into place.
Why Elastics Help
Elastics are called elastic ligatures and are used to keep the archwire of your braces held into a particular slot or to help guide your teeth into a specific direction. These ligatures are available in two different forms, depending on the needs of the patient.
Single elastic ligatures are uniform in size and most dentists give their patients the options of choosing their own color. These Elastics will be changed at each appointment as part of the overall exam. These Elastics will lose strength over time, so it is important to keep all scheduled appointments so that the doctor can adjust the elastics as needed as well as to check progress with the braces themselves.
Connected elastic ligatures are also elastics but they are used to close spaces between teeth. These Elastics are sometimes called Power Chain or C-Chain Ligatures. These Elastics may also be changed at appointments, but this is not always the case. Connected Elastics also come in a variety of colors and orthodontists will offer a variety for patients to choose from.
The orthodontist may discuss what needs to be accomplished, which will dictate the type of Elastic to use with your braces. If your teeth need help to shift into place then the commonly used Single Elastics will be used. If the case has more to do with closing gaps between the teeth then Connected Elastics will offer the most benefit. When choosing a color, patients can go for something bright, or even rainbow colored. Additionally, Elastics often come in more discrete colors or even clear.
Elastics are used to further help the orthodontic treatment and are routinely used for many patients. The orthodontist and dental care team will offer hands on demonstrations on how to handle cleaning around the elastics as well as covering what to do should one some off. Using a bright or bold color can also help younger patients who want their smile to make a statement while older children and adults can opt for discrete or even clear elastics in order to have them blend in.