Understanding A Few Types Of Orthodontic Elastics

Dentist Blog

If you have just started working with an orthodontist to have braces placed on your teeth, then you may notice the professional placing some additional rubber bands in your mouth. There are a few types of bands you may see, so keep reading to learn a little bit about them.

Ligature Elastics

The term elastic is often used when describing the rubber bands used by orthodontists, and the smallest bands that are placed around each of the metal brackets are secured to help keep the archwire in place. This wire is the long and thick one that runs across the entire dental arch.

Elastics are typically uniform when it comes to their thickness and they are replaced by the orthodontist at each appointment. This is necessary when adjustments are made to the archwires. Also, since the elastics lose their strength over time, replacing them is ideal so they are able to do their job properly. 

Oftentimes, colored elastics are used and you will have the opportunity to choose the color you like best. This can give you a bit of style while the braces are secured to your teeth. However, you should understand that sometimes the bands will be replaced with metal ligature wires. The wires are much stronger and are used when a great deal of pressure is placed against one or several teeth.

Also, your orthodontist may choose to add a special type of elastic called a power chain. This chain is one that is attached in the middle with an opening on each end of the chain. It is used to close spaces between the teeth.

Interarch Elastics

Longer elastics are sometimes used between the upper and lower arch and are called interarch elastics. The bands connect to two hooked attachments on the archwires or the orthodontic brackets. This allows the band to secure at an angle, and the length of the elastic matches the amount of space between the two hooks and the amount of pressure that is desired by the dental professional. 

Interarch elastics are utilized to realign the bite and they are most often used to correct an overbite or underbite. The elastics may be used both short term and long term, and this depends on your condition and whether or not the teeth are moving as planned.

You will need to attach and remove the interarch elastics on a regular basis. They must be removed when eating, and you should secure new elastics whenever you remove the old ones. Your orthodontist will give you a supply of the bands so you are able to do this. 


4 September 2018

Improving My Dental Appointments

After dealing with a few root canals, I realized that it was time to take my dental hygiene a more seriously. I talked with my dentist about what I could do differently, and he was full of great suggestions that would help. He walked me through different ways to brush, floss, and take care of tartar buildup, and it was really amazing to see the difference that it made. I also started taking a fluoride supplement to strengthen my enamel. When I made it to my next appointment, my dentist was blown away with the improvement. This blog is all about improving your dental appointments by keeping your teeth healthier.