You will be required to wear elastics (rubber bands) as part of your orthodontic treatment. Consistent elastic wear is very important to complete your orthodontic treatment on time. Achieving successful orthodontic results is a team effort; Dr. Heiner will do his part and each patient is required to do his or her part by wearing the elastics as instructed. Without proper elastic wear, it is unlikely that the desired orthodontic results can be achieved.
You will be taught the proper way to attach your elastics to the brackets. If you have any questions about how to do this, contact our office right away. Do not wait until your next appointment or you may find out that the elastics have been moving teeth in the wrong direction!
Some types of elastics can be worn while eating, although it is not required. If you take them out before eating, be sure to replace them with fresh elastics right after your meal is over. Elastics lose their effectiveness if they are left in your mouth too long so they should be changed a minimum of five times each day:
- After breakfast
- After lunch
- After school
- After dinner
- At bedtime
Continuous elastic wear is a must. Partial wear (even up to 20 hours a day) is the same as not wearing them at all. Remember to always have a pack of replacement elastics with you at school, work, etc. If you run out of elastics, call the office right away. We can mail some to you or tape a pack to our door if you can’t come in during regular office hours. Waiting until your next appointment to get more elastics will delay your treatment.
You have been given a specific type of elastic to wear so only use the ones you’ve been prescribed. Do not “double up” the elastics as doing this will not accelerate your treatment or allow you to “catch up” if you have been negligent in wearing your elastics.
Elastics need to be worn 23 hours per day for maximum effect. In combination with braces and arch wires, elastics help position teeth for the great “Heiner Smile.”