After a few visits to your Orthodontics specialist, you have finally gotten accustomed to the little discomfort after adjustments, and suddenly they make an appearance. Yes, we are talking about the elastics (rubber bands).
Then your orthodontic visit finishes, and you feel like it is your first-time wearing braces again. It is not only about the extra pressure but the feeling of having your mouth a bit restricted.
However, elastics (rubber bands) are a major player in your treatment success. It turns out elastics exert steady pressure helping move certain teeth to correct your bite.
If you want to see it differently, they might be called “small heroes” in the battle to conquer a final objective, a healthy and beautiful smile. So, we encourage you to think about the outcome.
Yes, there are several steps, requirements, and efforts patients must undergo to see results, but you will find a pleasant reward during the journey, seeing progress and, in the end, the result.
So, you might be asking yourself, what does orthodontic treatment success require? Well, the most important part is compliance with your orthodontist’s recommendations, and one of these recommendations is wearing your elastics all the time.
This short but insightful article addresses two major concerns of orthodontic treatment related to the “small heroes” elastics. First, we will shortly tell you what role they play in Orthodontic Treatment? In different words, we will define How do elastics help your orthodontic treatment? And what are the types of elastics used in Orthodontics?
How Do Elastics Help Your Orthodontic Treatment?
It is all about physics, but we don’t want to go that far explaining it. In a few words, a misaligned tooth reacts (moves) due to the pressure that the “U” shaped wire exerts.
The wires shape is a staged desired alignment of teeth that slowly molds with each adjustment to the final result. Brackets hold the wires. In some cases, elastics serve to fixate the brackets.
Stress creates an action and reaction force in which the wire tries to get back to its former position, slowly pulling teeth and repositioning them. The action and reaction also stress a specific tooth that pushes one another in a sort of a chain reaction.
However, there are malocclusion cases that require an extra effort, like the case of a jaw repositioning. In such cases, elastics attach to brackets with hooks. Not all brackets have these hooks.
An Orthodontist plans the complete treatment, knowing beforehand which teeth will have these hooks. Elastics hold on to two separated hooks exerting additional stress. The brackets apply force to the band that stretches. At the same time, the band applies force in both directions.
Finally, the band exerts a constant forth and back force, altering the positioning of the jaws and teeth.
What Are the Elastic Bands Used in Orthodontics?
We have discussed the elastic (rubber bands) function. However, to grasp a better idea of its hero powers, it is crucial to know a little bit about the types of elastics used depending on the type of malocclusion. So here, we try to depict the best description possible for each elastic type and orthodontic case.
Types of Elastics Used in Orthodontics According to Malocclusion Cases.
Sometimes there is an abnormal lack of space between teeth. For example, class 1 elastics attach to a hook located in the bracket on the first or second molar, in the same lateral quadrant of the opposite hook of the bracket adhered to the cuspid tooth. This generates pulling stress to get the cuspid to move to its proper position.
This elastic type goes from a hook in an upper tooth to a hook in a lower tooth, pulling back the upper teeth and pushing the lower teeth forward. This serves to reposition the maxillary, moving it back to its proper position.
The mechanics applied to correct an underbite with elastics are similar to the mechanical movement of overjet, but, in this case, the maxillary moves forward while the jaw moves backward.