braces with rubber bands

What Happens if I Don’t Wear My Elastics?

Austin, TX – Dr. Gonzalez and her team put a lot of thought into carefully planning your orthodontic treatment. Her experience and knowledge have helped craft a plan that is designed to meet your individual needs in the best way possible. And sometimes, that plan requires a bit of additional work on your part to ensure your smile progresses at it should. 

If Dr. Gonzalez has prescribed rubber bands, or elastics, as part of your treatment, it is important that you wear them so that you will end treatment with the smile and bite we planned for. 

“Getting the hang of wearing the rubber bands can take some getting used to,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “They are tiny pieces of elastic that you’re trying to hook on a teeny, tiny spot on your brackets –, in the beginning it can be a bit challenging to ensure they are placed properly. But, if you continue wearing them as you should, you’ll have the hang of it in no time and you’ll know your treatment is staying on track.”

Just like your treatment plan, your elastic wear will be unique to you. The rubber bands come in different sizes and forces and can be worn in different patterns, depending on the movement that is trying to be achieved. While your best friend’s rubber bands may hook from one upper tooth to one lower tooth on a diagonal, yours may hook from one upper tooth to two lower teeth in a triangle shape. 

Your rubber bands can only do the job they are intended to do if they are in your mouth, in the correct pattern. Your orthodontic result is dependent on proper wear, and if you opt to skip wearing them as you should, you may not end up with the most ideal bite.

“Rubber bands help us create additional force to move teeth in ways that braces alone cannot achieve,” says Dr. Silvana Gonzalez. “These tiny elastics pack a big punch – they can help us adjust misaligned jaws, straighten a tooth that is leaning, adjust spacing issues between teeth, and much more.”

When you first begin wearing your elastics, there will be some discomfort or mild soreness. This is normal and should go away after a few days of wearing the elastics properly.

Some patients want to take the elastics off until their discomfort goes away, and then put them back in place. However, if you continue doing this, your mouth will never be able to get used to the force the rubber bands use, and you’ll just be constantly taking them out and putting them back in. Wearing them as directed by Dr. Gonzalez will allow your mouth to get used to them and in no time, you won’t even notice any discomfort.

Dr. Gonzalez and her team has planned every stage of your treatment precisely, so it’s important that you do your part to help ensure that everything goes according to that plan. Here are some tips to help make elastics wear more manageable:

  • Always be sure you have a supply of elastics with you – over time, your rubber bands will lose elasticity, which means they can’t apply the force needed to move your teeth. You’ll need to change your elastics out during the day, so always have some extras with you.
  • Never double up on elastics – you may think if one is good, two might be even better. But this is not the case – using more than one elastic at a time will not speed up your treatment.
  • Make sure your hands are clean when putting in or taking out elastics.
  • If you run out of elastics in between your appointments, call us to pick up new ones. Don’t wait until your next appointment, especially if that appointment is weeks away.
  • Don’t stress if you forget about your elastics one day – just be sure you go back to regular wear. 
  • Call us if you have any questions or concerns.

Rubber bands serve an important purpose in helping to create the smile of your dreams and a properly functioning bite to go along with it. Wearing elastics as directed by your orthodontist, Dr. Silvana Gonzalez will ensure your treatment stays on track and will help ensure your result is what you hoped for.