Why Class II Elastics?

Class II Elastics allow our orthodontists to correct excess overjet (often called “overbite” in lay terms), often caused by a disharmony in how the upper and lower jaws fit together. Although most people seek orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth and are less concerned about improving their bite, proper bite correction is also a critical component of orthodontic treatment. If the bite is not properly corrected, the appearance of the smile is compromised, and the teeth are more vulnerable to damaging “wear and tear,” which could potentially require extensive dental work later. Wearing the elastics to correct the bite will provide the best smile and the best protection for the teeth over a lifetime.

Wearing Instructions

Where to Place the Elastics

Unless you have been instructed differently from the orthodontist, you should wear your elastics from the:

  • Upper right canine (first tooth with a hook on the upper right) to the lower right first molar
  • Upper left canine (first tooth with a hook on the upper left) to the lower left first molar

There are variations in elastic patterns, but this is one of the most common patterns. Our orthodontists will draw exactly how you should wear your elastics on a simple diagram on the back of the bag your elastics come in, so make sure to follow the directions the orthodontist gives you specifically.

When to Wear the Elastics

Typically our orthodontists will ask you to wear the class II elastics full time (but there are exceptions). This means they should be worn at all times except when you are eating a meal or brushing your teeth. After meals and brushing, put in new, fresh elastics. Consistent, continuous wear of the elastics is essential for results.  If the elastics are only worn part-time (for example, at night only) they will not be effective (the teeth will move when the elastics are worn, then shift back when the elastics are out . . . one step forward, one step back, and no progress). However, please follow the exact instructions our orthodontists give you as wearing the elastic more or less than prescribed may have adverse consequences. If you have any questions, please contact our office immediately.

Importance of Good Elastic Wear

Poor compliance in wearing the elastics (skipping days or not wearing them full time, if full time wear was prescribed) will result in longer treatment time and poor orthodontic results. Part-time wear of elastics does not move the teeth, and the teeth will be sore when the elastics are worn because the teeth never have a chance to become fully accustomed to the forces provided by the elastics.

Wearing the elastics as directed will result in a better orthodontic result and getting your braces off on time.

If you do not remember for sure, please call our office. There is an easy way to remember, however. The brackets for…

Warning: this page is only for our patients who have been instructed to wear class II elastics. Do not attempt to wear this type of elastic unless instructed to do so. Even if you think your bite is off, it is important that you wait until instructed to do so. Our orthodontists move teeth in very specific orders and at specific times. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to discuss them with our orthodontists at your next visit.

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