Most people know that braces are for straightening your teeth, but did you know that orthodontics can correct your bite as well? Problems with the bite (such as an overbite, underbite, open bite, and cross bite) can be just as troublesome for your smile as crooked teeth. A misaligned bite can make it difficult for you to eat and speak properly, but don’t worry! Your orthodontist in Newark, Dr. Jeffrey Shirck (Dr. Jeff), can help! For these kinds of issues, he may use a tool called elastics/rubber bands. What are they? How do they work? Do you need them? Today, we’re going to answer all of these questions and more!
What Are Elastics/Rubber Bands?
If you are experiencing problems with the alignment of your bite, elastics/rubber bands are one of the simplest ways we can correct it. They can be seamlessly implemented into your regular orthodontic care, and they are very easy to use to correct a problem such as an overbite. An elastic/rubber band fits directly onto braces using a small hook on a single bracket, connecting the upper and lower rows of teeth to one another. It will be positioned so that it will apply a gentle force that helps bring your bite into the proper alignment. Most often, elastics have to be worn on both sides of the mouth and the elasticity of the rubber bands will depend on the type of problem being corrected. Most of the time, they are quite stretchy and allow for a patient to have a full range of motion while worn. In order for them to be effective, you’ll be advised to wear them regularly. Most patients only take them when they are eating or brushing their teeth. They’ll need to be replaced daily, but this is extremely easy and only takes a few moments. Because elastics in our office are clear, it will be less noticeable to your friends and family.
How Do I Know If I Need Elastics/Rubber Bands?
This will primarily be determined by your orthodontist, Dr. Jeff or Dr. Jen. During your exam, they will look at the alignment of your teeth as well as the bite. If elastics are needed during treatment, it will be discussed at the time of your initial complimentary consultation. Once you reach the bite correction stage of treatment, one of our helpful orthodontic assistants will show you how to put them on and take them off. They will also let you know how often they should be changed. Whenever you come in for your regular appointments, we’ll monitor the progress of your bite correction. The time it takes to correct your bite may vary. It is important to wear your elastics as recommended to ensure your treatment stays on time. Dr. Jeff or Dr. Jen will advise you on what to do every step of the way. They’ll make sure you have the perfect smile at the end of your treatment no matter what!
Have Any Questions?
Elastics/rubber bands are an extremely effective tool that Dr. Jeff and Dr. Jen can utilize when needed to get fantastic bite alignment. Elastics/rubber bands are not worn by all patients and will depend on the type of correction needed to get your bite alignment perfect. A perfect bite will ensure a healthier smile for the rest of your life. A proper bite alignment means that you will avoid potentially cracking or chipping your teeth due to improper wear and pressure when biting down. It can also help avoid gum recession that can lead to tooth sensitivity due to root exposure. If you are asked to wear them as part of your orthodontic treatment, be sure to follow the instructions to get the best results!
If you have any questions about elastics/rubber bands, don’t hesitate to ask! Contact our office today and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.