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Elastics, also referred to as rubber bands, are small stretchy loops of latex that help move teeth into proper alignment during orthodontic treatment. Elastics are used to create additional force for teeth movement that would be more difficult to achieve using only braces.

Do I Need Elastics?

The only time that your orthodontist would recommend elastics is if you already have braces installed and require extra pressure to shift your teeth. Elastics are not commonly used with any other orthodontic treatments.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Carry extra elastics with you at all times in case one breaks or gets lost
  • If you run out of elastics, don’t wait until your next appointment to get more; stop in to the office right away
  • Remove elastics for eating or brushing your teeth and then put fresh ones on after
  • Wash your hands before putting in or taking out elastics

How Do Elastics Work?

Elastics are tiny rubber bands that apply extra force to a tooth or teeth in ways that braces alone cannot. Tiny hooks on selected upper and lower brackets are used as attachment points. The configuration of the elastics can be vertical or diagonal, depending on the individual’s need. They may be placed going from your upper jaw to lower jaw or may connect to different teeth. Your orthodontist carefully chooses the connection points based on the desired movement for individual or groups of teeth while preventing other teeth from moving out of proper alignment.

Patients are responsible for placing and removing their elastics and they should be worn as prescribed by your orthodontist. It’s important not to wear more elastics than prescribed. Doing so places excessive force on the teeth and can be harmful to your jaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Browse our list of frequently asked questions about elastics. If you can’t find an answer to your question, contact us and we will supply you with an answer and any other information you may need.