When you first get braces, you’re sure to have a lot of questions. Specifically, you may wonder how to take care of your teeth and gums, as well as the various parts of the braces. Elastics are commonly used for braces, and many of our patients want to know more about these interesting little rubber bands. Here are some of the most common questions about how to care for elastics with braces.
How Often Should I Change My Elastics?
One of the first questions that we hear from our patients is, “How often should I change my elastics?” Ideally, you should change out the elastics every 7-8 hours. A good way to remember when to change out your elastics is to put in fresh elastics when you get up in the morning. Change them out after lunch and dinner, as well as right before you go to bed. At a minimum, change them every 8 hours.
What to Do If Elastics Break
If one of your elastics breaks, simply remove it, and put in a fresh elastic. If part of the elastic is stuck on your braces, don’t try to pry it off. Just give us a call, and we will schedule a time when you can come into our office. If possible, put a fresh elastic over the broken one until we can see you.
What To Do If I Run Out of Elastics
We always have elastics on hand, and you don’t need an appointment to pick up more. Wear the ones that you have in, and stop by our office to pick up more. If necessary we can mail you additional elastics. Try not to wait for more than one day or a weekend before getting more elastics. Elastics are specially designed to fit your braces, so don’t try to find an alternative, such as standard rubber bands or elastics at a drug store. It’s best to get the elastics from us.
When Should I Wear My Elastics?
Elastics are part of your orthodontic treatment, so you need to wear them according to the specific instructions that our doctors give you. Remove the elastics when you brush and floss your teeth, as well as when you eat. Replace the elastics with a fresh set.
When is It OK to Not Wear Elastics?
You’ll need to use elastics for about 6 to 12 months. If you don’t wear them as directed, you may have to use them longer. It may also extend the time that you have to wear braces. If the elastics are bothersome or making your cheeks, tongue, or lips sore, let us know right away. Don’t stop wearing the elastics. We have some tips for how to make the elastics more comfortable.
Learn More About Braces
Do you have more questions about braces and how to care for them? Contact us today to learn more about braces, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Savage, Dr. Sabol, or Dr. Visser. We offer several types of braces, as well as Invisalign® and other orthodontic treatments for children, teenagers, and adults.