What Role do Elastics (Rubber Bands) Play in Orthodontics?

Wearing orthodontic braces may be the best choice for correcting your teeth and improving your smile, and that’s why you’ve come to see Dr. Chen at Vaughan Orthodontics. Braces, which consist of brackets and wires, work by gently applying pressure to the teeth, and that pressure causes them to move into the correct position. In some cases elastics, or rubber bands, are used to apply additional pressure needed to move your teeth.

The Purpose of Elastics Customized for each patient, the rubber bands typically stretch over tiny loops on the top and bottom brackets. If worn consistently, and every day, these tiny elastics will apply the steady pressure needed to guide your teeth into the correct position.

These elastics are crafted from medical-grade latex, which is safe to be in contact with your mouth. It’s common to remove the elastics during meals if opening your mouth wide enough to eat is difficult. Our staff will demonstrate how to affix the elastics so it will soon become second nature to replace them.

The Do’s and the Don’ts

DO – Get in the habit of carrying around extra rubber bands and replace them as soon as one breaks. By consistently wearing the elastics, you may shorten the overall time needed to wear braces.

DON’T – Double up on elastics as this will cause too much pressure on the tooth or teeth and can actually harm the root of the tooth.

DO – Always wash your hands before removing or replacing the rubber bands.

DON’T – Overstretch the rubber band or it will lose its strength and it will be ineffective.

DO – Call us if you run out of rubber bands.

DO – Have fun with your braces and elastics. There are many different colors available that can let you show off your soon-to-be perfect smile.

Rubber bands are a key part of your orthodontic treatment, and learning how to remove and replace them is an important part to maintaining your braces. Before we set you on your journey to a perfect smile, we’ll make sure you understand all there is to know about how to take care of your braces. Of course, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or orthodontics in general, be sure to contact our Thornhill, ON office, and our staff will be happy to assist you!

Got braces? Here are some great soft foods ideas and recipes you should try!

People with brand new braces from a Vaughan Orthodontist are always full of questions. One of the most common questions we hear at the office is “What can I eat with braces on?”

This is a good question to ask. Certain foods can be hard on your braces. A craving for corn on the cob can quickly cost you a trip back to Vaughan Orthodontics for repairs, or it might just give you a sore mouth and a tough cleaning job to do. Either one is a bad Saturday afternoon, so knowing what you should and should not eat is important.

Soft Foods – Less Sugar

Eating with Vaughan braces is a lot like eating without braces. You want a balanced diet, with a healthy amount of vegetables and fruit. You also need your protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. You need vitamins and minerals from A to Zinc (especially when you feel like H), and you want to avoid junk food as much as possible.
When you wear Thornhill braces, you want the same things – only softer. Tough foods can be uncomfortable for new braces. So how do we get the best of both worlds?

Steam Cook Your Vegetables

Carrots, broccoli and cauliflower are all healthy snacks with a crunch. That crunch can be tough on your braces, so try giving them a little steam bath to soften up before eating them. Frying, and boiling will also soften them, but the general consensus is that steam keeps the flavor and nutrients locked in, making it the best option for cooking healthy greens.

The Slow Cooker Is Your Friend

When it comes to softening foods, there might be no better way to prepare a meal than by using a slow cooker. Choose your ingredients in the morning, place it on the required setting, and let it stew for the day. Typical stew meat can be quite tough and stringy, so try using the slow cooker with other foods like boneless chicken breast, or softer cuts of beef.

No Pain Grains

Grains are a big part of a balanced diet, but early morning toast will be a bit more uncomfortable to crunch on than it was before. It’s time to explore the alternatives.
If you’re craving some baked goods to start your morning, there’s nothing wrong with a warm croissant or a fresh muffin. Try to skip out on muffins with excessive sugary toppings (that’s a cupcake you’re holding).

Try Something Different

First week of Richmond Hill braces can be quite challenging so why not start of your day with a smoothie.

Breakfast Smoothies - Strawberry, Mango, and Yogurt Smoothie
A fresh fruit smoothie is also a great source of natural fiber. Use banana as a base, and add in a mix of fresh berries. Scoop in some yogurt, and a spoonful of honey, and you’ve almost got a dessert!