Elastics are rubber bands that you attach to hooks on your braces in order to bring your teeth together and correct your bite. They are designed to create the exact amount of pressure on your teeth that is needed to safely move them without creating damage to your tooth roots or bone.  In order for the elastics to be effective and keep a steady force, they must be worn exactly as prescribed and must be changed every day.  It is very important for you to be consistent with your elastic wear; otherwise, if you choose not to wear them, your treatment will take longer.  If you do a good job wearing your elastics, you will finish with a better end result and get your braces off sooner!  


  • Please remember to change the elastics every day. This is very important as the rubber will lose its elasticity after a day of use, resulting in inadequate force on your teeth.  A good rule of thumb is to put a new pair of elastics in just before bed and then a new pair after breakfast to be worn during the day.  If you are only required to wear your elastics at night, simply use a new pair every night.  

  • You may remove your elastics while eating and brushing your teeth.  Always remember to put them back on immediately.
  • Keep extra elastics with you wherever you go so that if one breaks you can replace it right away.   
  • As your supply gets low, call us so that you don’t experience a gap in treatment time.  Running out of elastics is not a good excuse for not wearing them.  We are happy to mail you more elastics if you are unable to stop by the office during normal business hours (M-Th 8:30-5:00) to pick up another package.  
  • Make sure you only use the elastics prescribed by your orthodontist.  Don’t share with your friends unless they are the exact same type.  Also make sure you know exactly what teeth they attach to so you don’t move your teeth or your bite the wrong way!  
  • It is normal for your teeth to become sore while using elastics.  This is necessary because they are actually creating a force to move your teeth and remodel the surrounding bone.  With consistent wear, you will experience less discomfort over time.
  • If you find that your elastics are breaking frequently or if you are unable to wear them as directed, please call us so we can make any required adjustments.  

  • Only use elastics as prescribed by your doctor.  Improper use of rubber bands – to close a gap for example – can lead to shortening of the roots, bone loss, gum recession and even tooth loss.  Remember, your orthodontist was required to complete a rigorous education for 6 years after college to learn how to safely move teeth and remodel bone.   Moving teeth is serious stuff, so only trust your smile to an orthodontist!