Dental braces have three main components:
- The brackets positioned on each tooth,
- A band or bonding to attach the bracket to the tooth, and
- An archwire which goes from one bracket to another.
Another important component of dental braces is inter arch rubber bands which are connected to the brackets with a hook (often from the top tooth bracket to the bottom tooth bracket).
What are dental elastics on braces for?
Rubber bands or dental elastics are used to adjust the positions of the teeth and the mouth to ensure that the patient’s bite and teeth are correctly lined up.
How to put dental elastics on braces?
Inter arch elastics can differ in types and sizes and classified by the dental problem they seek to correct.
- Class I elastics are hooked from the upper first or second molar to the upper canine to push the teeth together and help close a gap between the teeth. Class I elastics are also used on the bottom teeth.
- Class II elastics are utilized to correct an overbite and usually run from the first lower molar to the upper canine tooth.
- Triangle Class II elastics start from the top canine hook, then attached to a bicuspid bottom hook along the bottom first or second molar, forming a triangle. The elastics move the upper teeth back and the bottom teeth forward to help bring the back teeth together.
- Class III elastics is attached from the bottom canine and goes to the upper first or second molar to correct an underbite
- Triangle Class III elastics are like Class III elastics such that they start from the bottom canine hook which is then attached to an upper bicuspid hook along the upper first or second molar to form a triangle. The elastics move the upper teeth forward and the bottom teeth backward, bringing the back teeth together.
- Box elastics form a box by attaching them to two upper and two bottom teeth. These elastics can be connected to any teeth configuration, but are often used on the back teeth.
- V elastics for the V shape by hooking them to three teeth — usually one at the upper tooth and two on the bottom teeth. The V elastics can be used on the front or back teeth.
- Usually used to correct an open bite, anterior triangle elastics run from the upper canine to the bottom canine and first lower premolar.
- Crossbite elastics are attached from the inside of the upper tooth to the outside of the bottom tooth.
- Midline elastics are hooked from the top canine to the lower canine to help align the center of the upper and lower front teeth. These elastics can also be attached to any other front teeth.
In some cases, dental elastics may not be employed. The use of rubber bands depends on the patient’s jaw alignment and the recommendation of the orthodontist.
Elastics are to be replaced every day as they are susceptible to tear and wear. They are also worn all the time except when brushing and eating.
It is imperative that the patient cooperates with the use of elastics for the teeth to move properly and the orthodontic treatment to be effective. Not subscribing to elastics as recommended by your orthodontist can shift teeth back to their original position, making the treatment longer.
Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.