Having to live with a set of overlapping, overcrowded or misaligned teeth is a misfortune no one wants to experience. Such sets of teeth can cause more harm than good to say the least. Not only do they lower the quality of life we lead, they affect us psychologically. Simple tasks like brushing of teeth and biting into foods become a nightmare. Your self-confidence and esteem at large is dented. Thanks to the ingenuity of man though, there is a solution to almost every problem we face today. It is this invention and ingenuity of man that saw him come up a viable solution to combat orthodontic problems. Braces have been a lifesaver since their inception and it is easy to see why.

In a little over or under a year, these pieces of metal brackets conjoined together by a wire, can help your teeth get the desired shape. They will align your teeth and position them so meticulously that nobody will even realize that you once suffered from a dental problem- the power of invention! Unless you have had to endure the use of these braces, you will never quite understand or appreciate how good they are. I personally have had to use them at one stage of my life and it is the only reason I can afford a smile today. Braces on their own were not enough though, there was something else that my dentist recommended that I believe played a very vital role in my recovery- elastics. Elastic bands played a very important role in ensuring that my teeth not only attained the desired shape but did so in record time. In this article, I want to explain about the use of elastics in orthodontics and tell you why you may or may not need them. So, what are elastics? Where do braces elastics go?

Elastics are used to apply additional pressure needed to correctly move your misaligned teeth. They typically stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets specially placed to anchor the rubber bands. When properly used, they help apply steady pressure that is required to move the teeth to the desired correct position. Made from medical-grade latex, they are safe to be worn in the mouth at all times and will not cause any irritation. Although they are sometimes referred to as rubber bands, they are not like your ordinary hair bands or the elastic bands commonly used. They are specially manufactured, given a certain elasticity and ability to withstand tear and wear.

Owing to the rapid mouth movement, these rubber bands ought to be changed daily. They also need to be replaced during meal times because they make it hard to open your mouth wide enough for food entry and chewing. You need to make sure that at all times, you have spare rubber bands with you. In case one snaps, you need to replace the entire pair. Simultaneously using a pair of bands with the same elasticity ensures that there is even balance in your jaws. Using rubber bands of uneven elasticity will cause more harm than good. One jaw will be getting balance at a quicker rate than the other. This can cause problems with your jaw bones. It also goes without saying that you should ensure that your hands are clean every time you handle the bands.

Where to put the elastics

Most people find it hard to properly put the elastics into their desired position. If you orthodontist finds it necessary that you need elastics, he/she will strategically place hooks at the top and bottom braces where these elastics will anchor unto. You will then be provided with a separate hook to help you attach the elastics to the hooks. I personally found this challenging and it took me a few weeks to master the skill. With time, you will be able to even fit them into position without the help of the hook.

As time goes by, you will need to get a bigger size of rubber bands from your orthodontist. As you jaws and teeth get back into position, you will need to get more flexible bands. Look, they are free and are normally offered as an extra service in most institutions. The moment you realize that your supply is running short, never hesitate to give your orthodontist a call and ask for more.

You additionally have a range of colours to choose from. The bands come in a variety of colours and it all depends with your needs. Most people normally prefer to get elastics matching the colour of their ligatures while others opt for the less conspicuous colors to conceal them from the masses. They are however not things meant to shame you, they will help your teeth and jaws attain the desired position rapidly. For more information about dental elastics, contact your orthodontist today.