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What Do Dental Elastics Do For Braces?

Dental braces have three main components:

  1. Brackets on each tooth
  2. A band or bonding to attach the bracket to each tooth
  3. Archwires that go from one bracket to next

Another important component of dental braces include inter arch rubber bands. These bands connect to the brackets via 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 adjust the position of the teeth and the mouth to ensure that the patient’s bite and teeth correctly line up.

How do you put dental elastics on braces?

Inter arch elastics can differ in types and sizes. They are classified by the dental problem they seek to correct.

  • Class I elastics hook from the upper first or second molar to the upper canine to push the teeth together. They also help close a gap between the teeth. Class I elastics are also used on the bottom teeth.

  • Box elastics form a box by attaching to two upper and two bottom teeth. These elastics can connect to any teeth configuration. However, they are often used on the back teeth.

  • Class II elastics can correct an overbite. They usually run from the first lower molar to the upper canine tooth.

  • Triangle Class II elastics start from the top canine hook and then attach 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 attach 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 in that they start from the bottom canine hook. It then attaches 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.

  • V elastics hook to three teeth — usually one of the upper tooth and two of the bottom teeth. V elastics are applicable for 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 attach from the inside of the upper tooth to the outside of the bottom tooth.

  • Midline elastics hook from the top canine to the lower canine to help align the center of the upper and lower front teeth. These elastics can also attach 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.

Patients must replace elastics every day as they are susceptible to tear and wear. Additionally, patients must wear them consistently 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. Otherwise, not subscribing to elastics as recommended by your orthodontist can shift teeth back to their original position. Thus, this can make 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.


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