Elastics move the teeth in a direction which cannot be accomplished with braces alone.
Despite the fact that I try to start you off on gentle elastics, your teeth and jaws may be tender the first few days of wearing the elastics. This is normal and should begin to disappear within a few days, as long as you continue to wear them (as long as the elastics remain in place applying a constant force to your teeth, you will become used to them. If you repeatedly start and stop because they are sore, your body will never get used to them and your teeth will always be sore). Most people get used to the elastics in about 4 days. If it persists longer, please call our office (this could be an indication that a brace is loose or something else is going on that I would want to take a look at). Rinsing with hot salt water will help take away the tenderness. I also recommend taking whatever medication you usually take for headache pain if you need relief from the tooth soreness.
It may seem hard for you to put on the elastics at first, however it will become easier with practice.
Elastic wear must be constant to be effective - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may remove the elastics only when eating your meals or brushing your teeth. Leave them in during snacking. Be sure to replace the elastics with new ones immediately following mealtime and brushing. Part-time wear does NOT move teeth, and it causes them to be constantly sore.
Change the elastics routinely even if they are not broken. After about a day, elastics lose their strength enough that they are no longer effective. Change them at least after each meal and before bedtime. If one elastic breaks, replace both sides.
Carry extra elastics with you at all times. If you don't have enough elastics to last until your next appointment, please stop by our office and pick more up or call us and we can send more to you. We don't want you to run out.
Elastic wear is an important key to the speed of your treatment and the final results we can achieve. If you are not sure which braces to attach the elastics to, please call the office. If you are running low on your supply or loose a bag, you can either stop bye the office and pick up some more, or call me and I will mail you some.