Orthodontic treatment can address a number of issues including teeth alignment, teeth grinding, bite issues, jaw alignment, TMJ, bad breath, and more. Because of this, one person’s treatment plan can look a little different from the next. For example, some people may be advised to wear headgear at night.
The same is true for elastics.
Elastics are the little rubber bands you’ve possibly seen attached to braces before. For those who require elastics, they serve a very important function. However, many people don’t have to worry about them. To understand why elastics are sometimes necessary, we first need to take a deeper look at how braces work.
The Different Parts of Braces
Braces begin with the brackets. These are little pieces of metal, plastic, or porcelain that are attached to each tooth individually. The brackets are then connected to a thin metal wire called an archwire. The brackets and the archwire are held together by small bands called ligatures.
All of these parts work together to slowly move your teeth into proper alignment. Though effective, there are some limitations to what they can do by themselves. For example, they don’t affect jaw alignment directly, which means they can’t remedy overbites or underbites by themselves.
For that, you’ll need elastics.
Elastics are small rubber bands that are hooked onto the sides of the brackets, connecting the upper teeth to the lower teeth. The actual connection points depend on the alignment of your jaw and teeth. If you have elastics, you should wear them as instructed by your orthodontist, except during meals and while cleaning your teeth.
These bands need to be replaced regularly, even if they don’t appear to be worn or broken. This is because they lose their elasticity over time, minimizing their effectiveness.
Do Elastics Work with Invisalign?
For those who want the most discreet orthodontic treatment possible, Invisalign is typically the preferred method. Those with bite issues are sometimes concerned that Invisalign isn’t an option for them since there aren’t brackets to anchor their elastics on.
The good news is Invisalign is still an option for most people. If you need elastics, your aligner trays will have small hooks or buttons on the sides. The elastic bands then attach to these points, providing the same function they would with traditional bracket braces.
Will I Need Elastics?
Elastics aren’t something that everyone needs. Ultimately, it depends on your bite and overall jaw alignment. The good news is, if you do need elastics, they’re minimally invasive. They might feel a little strange at first, but soon, you’ll forget they’re even there as you go about your day.
The only way to find out what your orthodontic treatment will actually look like is to meet with an orthodontist. At Dhingra Orthodontics, your first consultation is free. This will allow you to figure out what your options are so that you can make the choice that’s best for your needs.
For all of your orthodontic needs in Beavercreek, Bellefontaine, and Springfield, Ohio, contact Dhingra Orthodontics today!