Small rings of very elastic material – elastic or traction – are an important element of the bracket system (but not at all stages of treatment). This small detail helps the orthodontist complete the job and form the perfect bite.
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Elastic traction for braces
Elastics, or traction – an element of the bracket system
When and how do elastics work?
The bracket system moves the teeth so that the row takes the correct shape of the parabola, and the elastic helps to direct the movement of individual teeth (or rows) in the right direction. They can be used at any stage of treatment – it depends on the patient’s initial situation.
There are special hooks on the braces – elastics are put on them. The principle of operation of elastics is the same as that of an arc: a constant effect on a tooth or dentition. The doctor determines how many hours a day you need to wear traction: constantly (taking off only for eating) or at night.
Examples of situations when using traction:
Presence of refined teeth.
If one or several teeth have not erupted due to lack of space in the row, they can grow after using the bracket system, the space for them will expand. Then, so that the tooth quickly takes its place, a button is installed on it, and an elastic is put on it. When the crown of the tooth appears completely, an ordinary bracket will be placed on it and the arc will pull it.
It is elastics that most often cope with improper closing of teeth when the dentition itself already looks smooth and beautiful. With a distal bite, traction is worn symmetrically and pulls the lower jaw to the upper. When open – pull together the upper and lower teeth so that they come closer to the correct closure. If the centers of the upper and lower dentition do not coincide, then the elastic is put on one side.
The gap between the teeth.
Most often, elastic chains, which are put on the entire row of teeth, cope with trams (crevices). But if the problem is local (on the one hand, for example, there is only one gap between the teeth), sometimes elastic traction is worn.
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Wear pattern always selected individually
The elastic wear pattern is determined by the doctor. On the packaging of the elastics, a diagram is drawn in which the doctor notes how to put them on so that the patient does not make a mistake. It is absolutely impossible to put on elastics in any other way, this is the same important treatment tool as the bracket system, and they should work only under the supervision of a doctor.
Some Facts About Elastics
Each “ring” lasts approximately 12 hours, and then the traction force weakens. Therefore, with constant (round-the-clock) wearing, they are changed every 12 hours.
Elastics are both strong and very elastic: stretching, they exceed their length several times (they cannot burst). Therefore, they do not interfere with talking, laughing and generally expressing emotions, but they interfere with eating.
Elastic material breaks down under the influence of fat – this is another reason (in addition to inconvenience) why they need to be removed for food.
Elastics stretch many times and do not interfere with talking
Elastics can be worn using the hook that comes with each package, but it’s more convenient for many to do it with their hands. If on the first day it seems that it is very difficult (the rings are very small, popping out of the hands), then you just have to be patient and still work out: absolutely all orthodontist patients begin to put on and take off traction in literally a second.
Different types of elastics are called animals: the doctor can prescribe you “chanterelles”, “moose”, “chipmunks” and so on. This marking facilitates orientation in the types of elastics: they vary in strength.
Wearing elastic can cause slight discomfort, comparable to the first days after the installation of braces: aching pain associated with exposure to teeth.
In the package, as a rule, there are exactly as many rods as you need during the month, if you use two pairs per day.
How to wear elastic at work or school?
As a rule, elastics are put on a few months after the installation of the bracket system. The patient is already accustomed to braces and does not experience inconvenience. But after putting on elastic rods, it may seem that they interfere with life much more than braces. How to spend the whole day at work or at the university and not break the treatment regimen?
Eat tightly in the morning, brush your teeth, then put on traction for the whole day and dispense with drinks and a liquid snack (for example, low-fat yogurt and without pieces of fruit). In this case, the traction can not be removed, it is enough to rinse your mouth after a snack.
Remove traction before dinner, then brush your teeth and wear them again. To do this, always carry a toothbrush and paste with you (you can replace them with special elixirs for rinsing or disposable brushes with paste applied to them). In this case, the number of rods in the package, as a rule, is calculated for a month. That is, the rods worn in the morning do not need to be thrown away – after removal, they must be carefully removed and then put on again. Otherwise, they may not be enough until the next appointment with the orthodontist.
These inconveniences, as a rule, do not last long: in most cases, traction is from 1 to 3 months. In order not to increase this period, it is necessary to strictly observe the wearing time , donning scheme and rod change frequency.
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