Orthodontic elastics are tiny rubber bands that come in a variety of colours. Here's how they help to straighten your smile.
In orthodontic treatment there are two types of rubber bands that are used for different purposes.
The first type are called ligatures. Ligatures wrap around the individual brackets in order to keep the archwire in place. These elastics stay in place at all times, and are only removed by the orthodontist during regular appointments.
Ligatures are always a part of braces treatment, but there is also another type of elastic that some patients need for additional support. The second type of elastics are called interarch bands. Interarch bands help to align the jaw and correct the patient's bite.
If interarch bands are part of your orthodontic treatment you should only remove them if necessary when flossing and brushing your teeth, or to eat. During treatment be sure to follow your dentist's or orthodontist's instructions exactly. Removing your eleastics when you shouldn't could set your treatment off track.
Generally, interarch elastics must be replaced daily.
Orthodontic elastics come in a rainbow of colour options. You can change out the colours each time you visit your orthodontist for an adjustment appointment. There's no limit to the colour combinations you could choose, and this can make braces treatment a bit more fun.
Some people like to have a rainbow smile that really stands out, while others prefer a more discrete look, and choose clear or silver coloured elastics that blend in.