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Elastics for Adults – Full Time

Now we are really partners in your treatment!

We want you to wear your elastics full time.  Obviously, we have no control over the wearing of elastics after you leave our office.

Just so you know, full time elastics wear only works if they are always in your mouth.  Always means always, except for eating and brushing.  ALWAYS. 

We measured the distance that we want your teeth to move and documented it in your chart.  We will check it at your next appointment.  If no progress is made, then the elastics are simply not being worn correctly and we will notify you.

Why wouldn’t any progress be made?

If you miss just six hours of elastics wear during any given day, it takes three full days of twenty-four hour elastics wear just to get your teeth to start moving again!

Stopping elastics for just six hours causes the body to start solidifying the tooth in its current position by secreting a rubber-like material around your teeth.  Then, it takes three days of full time wear to remove that rubber-like material and to get your teeth to start moving again.

So, if you miss six hours of elastics wear just twice in a whole week, your teeth have not moved at all that week.  Nothing.  The only thing that you have accomplished is to have just added another week to your time in braces or clear aligners, sadly.

Let’s take this one step further:  If you miss six hours of elastics wear pretty often, (and there’s a million excuses that patients have told the orthodontist about why they aren’t wearing their elastics full time), then all you are doing is delaying when you will get your braces off or finish with your clear aligners.

Absolutely no progress is made without full time elastics wear, so delays due to starting and stopping elastics wear means that your orthodontic treatment will take much longer than necessary, adding to the cost of your treatment or causing you to accept a less than ideal result.  We don’t want that, so please wear your elastics full time.

As you can see, wasted time adds up quickly if you do not wear your elastics full time.  You cannot make this time up!

Wearing elastics full time is like pushing a ball uphill.  If you stop, it doesn’t just stay there.  You lose time and you lose lots of it, very quickly.

You should always have one of your extra packs of elastics handy for yourself, so that there will be no waiting to put your elastics into your mouth immediately after eating and continue to wear them full time.  If you usually forget to put your elastics back in after eating, then learn to eat with them in your mouth.

Use fresh elastics every day because they take on water and become less effective.

You can take what you take for a headache if your teeth become sore (but anti-inflammatory medications can slow down tooth movement, so find a medication that is not an anti-inflammatory).  

Continue to wear your elastics full time so that the soreness goes away.  The worst thing to do is stop your elastics because your teeth are sore.  Full time elastics wear makes the soreness go away sooner.  Starting and stopping your elastics just delays your treatment and keeps your teeth feeling sore.

Please wear your elastics truly full time so that we get you the beautiful smile that you deserve!


Dr. McCoy and staff