Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

Elastics for Braces: Everything You Need to Know

This is not the kind of rubber band that should go in your mouth.What’s the deal with rubber bands – commonly called elastics – anyway? What are they for? Can you buy them at the store? What happens if one breaks?

There are many contributing factors to your braces treatment, and using elastics is one of them. 

What are Elastics?

Elastics are tiny rubber bands that move your teeth in a way that braces alone cannot by helping to improve your bite.

You’ll hook elastics into your braces. Once they’re in, they work with your braces to line up your teeth.

What You Can Expect

It may take a couple of days to get used to putting in your elastics. But after that, you’ll probably be able to hook them up with your eyes closed. Dr. Meyer will explain which brackets you should hook your elastics onto, and this will be adjusted with time.

For the first week, your mouth may be a little sore or you may have a slight headache. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help you feel better.

Elastics can break, and you might feel one snap in your mouth. We recommend carrying spares with you so you can replace the broken elastic with a new one.

When to Wear Elastics

You’ll probably wear your elastics nearly 24 hours a day – we’ll let you know what’s best for your treatment!

  • Sleeping – Wear elastics all night.
  • Eating – Some people keep elastics in while eating, but you can remove them if you prefer. Just make sure you replace them when you’re done.
  • Brushing and flossing – Take elastics out when cleaning your teeth and replace them with new ones when done.
  • Activities and sports – Keep elastics in unless you wear a mouthguard for sports. After removing your mouthguard, put the elastics back in.

Where to Get Elastics

Meyer Orthodontics will provide you with your elastics.

It’s important to know that these are not the same as the tiny rubber bands you can buy at the store; they have a size and weight specific to your treatment and the pressure needed to adjust your bite.

If you run out of elastics, let us know right away.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you’re considering braces for yourself or your child, contact us today to set up a free consultation. We look forward to meeting you and answering any questions you may have.