Orthodontic elastics are tiny rubber bands that come in a rainbow of colours. Here's what you need to know about your elastics to get the most out of your braces treatment.
There are two types of rubber bands used in orthodontic treatment. The first is called ligatures. Ligatures wrap around each individual bracket in order to keep the archwire in place. These stay in place at all times, only removed by the orthodontist during adjustment appointments.
Ligatures are always a part of braces treatment, but there's also another type of elastic that some patients need for additional support. These are called interarch bands. Interarch bands help to fix your bite and align your jaw.
If interarch bands are a part of your orthodontic treatment, you should only take them off when eating, flossing or brushing your teeth, and only if necessary. Whatever your personal dentist or orthodontist prescribes, be sure to follow their instructions exactly, otherwise you might send your treatment off track.
In general, interarch elastics must be replaced every day.
Orthodontic elastics come in a range of colour options. You might like to change out the colours each time you visit your orthodontist for an adjustment appointment. The sky's the limit in terms of the colour combinations you can choose, which can make braces treatment a bit more fun for patients.
Some people choose to have a fun rainbow smile that really stands out, while others prefer a more discrete look, and choose clear or silver coloured elastics that blend in.