You know, many of our cases in orthodontics require our patients to wear elastics.
And I tell our patients that, the importance of elastics is kind of how we shimmy the teeth and the bone to get the teeth to fit together right; front to back, side to side, even in a vertical dimension, depending on what we're trying to do.
But, what a lot of patients and parents don't realize is that, when it comes to elastic force and elastic force theory, teeth have to feel that force for 8-10 hours before they even begin to move.
So, I tell kids, once you get those teeth starting to move, you've got to keep that force on them, and keep them moving in a positive direction.
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So, that's why we encourage our patients, when we have them start wearing elastics, to wear them 24/7, even while they eat.
Because, what I have found is that kids will often take their elastics or rubber bands off to eat, and then they forget to put them back on.
Or, as my teenagers do, they eat all the time, they snack all the time, and then they're saying, "well I have to take my rubber bands off to eat," and you don't.