After you have started orthodontic treatment, the next thing to come along may be elastics, and learning to form a good elastic habit. Yes, the dreaded elastics! Elastics should not be dreaded, rather they should be celebrated. Elastics are a HUGE factor in not only achieving the treatment goals set by your orthodontist, they are they are also the key to finishing your treatment on time.
ELASTICS ARE THE KEY TO FINISHING YOUR TREATMENT ON TIME!
I will readily admit that elastics can be a challenging part of your treatment. Braces? Braces are easy. Once your orthodontist has put them on, they do their thing without any assistance from you. Elastics don’t work that way. Elastics require that you stick with a rigid schedule in order for them to be effective. So start a new habit… easy right??? Well, I used to think so before I tried starting one of my own. It takes focus and commitment.
THE THREE R’S OF STARTING A NEW HABIT
REMINDER: In my practice, the reminders are done for you. Download Smile-tastic!, my Custom Compliance App, and you will receive four fun reminders throughout the day to help you form and maintain your new elastic habit. The excuse, “I forgot” no longer applies… that is a HUGE plus in forming a new habit.
ROUTINE: Reminders alone are not always enough. You must find a way to incorporate elastics into your every day life. Find places to keep them so that they will always be available: on the bathroom counter, in your purse/wallet, in your school binder, in your lunch bag, in your sports bag, on your night table, in the car’s glove compartment, the list is endless. You get to decide what you need to enable you to become consistent. Each time you put them in, think to yourself, “I am making my braces come off faster!” When you are tempted to take them out, ask yourself, “Do I want to wear my braces one minute longer than I already have to?” I am positive that the answer to that question is a resounding NO!
REWARD: As an orthodontist, I might say that the reward is a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime, however, I understand that to the average adolescent patient, this may not ring true until some time in the future. I think the best reward of all is knowing that your braces came off on time, or even early, and that your hard work was the reason why. Congratulations!