Elastic Wear

How does elastic wear help my treatment?

If prescribed for you, elastics are essential for the progress of your treatment. They provide an additional force, or “pull,” needed to move your teeth into a proper alignment to achieve a good bite.

Before you leave our office, make sure you clearly understand where to place your elastics. You may need to use a mirror at first, but you will soon be able to change them without a mirror and with very little effort.

Are there rules for wearing my elastics?

Yes, if you have been instructed to wear them full time, they must be worn 23 hours a day to be effective. Constant wearing of your elastics is essential. If you forget to wear them one day, the progress you achieved by wearing them the two preceding days may be lost. Your final result may depend largely on how well you wear your elastics.

For maximum benefit, you need to change your elastics at least 1 time per day. You may do this more often, especially after your thorough brushing, but at least 1 time a day. You can remove them to eat and brush.

For the first few days of using elastics, your teeth may be sore. This is normal. As soon as your teeth get used to the new pressure, the soreness will disappear. The more you wear your elastics the sooner you will get adjusted to them and they will no longer cause discomfort.

As long as you continue to wear your elastics, your teeth will not be sore again. However, taking a break from your elastics may cause your teeth to become sore again.

Always make sure you have enough elastics before you leave the office. Usually, one or two packs is enough until your next visit. If you run out or lose them, don’t wait until your next appointment. Come in and pick some up.

By following the basic instructions we have given you and wearing your elastics as prescribed, your treatment will progress as planned and you will be on your way to a beautiful and healthy smile.

How do I attach my elastics?

If you are asked to wear elastics, they will be required to help align your bite. They are stretched from the upper teeth to the lower teeth in various directions depending on the tooth movement that is needed. It is very important that you wear the rubber bands as instructed. Your compliance will have a direct impact on your time in braces.

Below are some examples of typical rubber band prescriptions:

Class II Elastic

These elastics help move your upper teeth back and your lower teeth forward eliminating overjet.

4) 3-6 Elastic ( / \ )

Size: 4mm

The elastic is usually attached from the upper canine (1st hook) to the lower 1st molar hook.

4) 3-6 Under The Hook Elastic ( _/ \_ )

Size: 4mm

The elastic is run from the lower first molar stretching forward and under the lower first bicuspid (2nd hook from the midline) and stretched up to attach to the first canine (1st hook) on the upper.

Class III Elastic

This moves the upper teeth forward and lower teeth back, eliminating an underbite.

6) 6-3 Elastic ( \ / )

Size: 6mm

The elastic starts from the lower canine and goes to the upper first molar.

6) 6-3 Over The Hook Elastic ( ‾\ /‾ )

Size: 6mm

The elastic is run from the upper first molar stretching forward and over the upper first bicuspid (2nd hook from the midline) stretched down to attach to the first canine (1st hook) on the lower.

Finishing Elastic

Size: 8mm

This elastic is tricky. It hooks on 4 teeth making an “N” shape. Start at the 2nd hook on the top from the midline on the side/s instructed. It is best to work from back going forward. Then, giving a good stretch wrapping both sides around the second lower hook. Big stretch again, back up top, wrapping around the 1st hook then back to the bottom to hook on the 1st hook on the side of the midline. This is generally worn 12 hours p.m. to bring your bite together. This elastic does not allow you to open wide which is why you should wear it at night while you sleep plus a few hours daily to make up the 12 hours of wear.

Crossbite Elastic

Size: 4 mm

The elastic is attached from the inside of the lower or upper molar to the outside of the opposing molar to help correct a crossbite.

Anterior Diagonal Elastic

Size: 6 mm

Midline Elastic. This Elastic runs from the upper canine hook to the lower canine hook crossing the midline. The elastic helps line up the center (midline) of the upper and lower front teeth. This is generally worn 12 hours p.m..


Size: 4 mm

These elastics typically run from the upper canine (1st hook) hook to the lower canine (1st hook) hook forming the shape of a triangle. This elastic helps improve an open bite situation where your top front teeth do not touch the lower front teeth.

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