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A 16-year-old female asked:

Can i take my orthodontic elastics out when i eat or will this have an affect on my treatment time?

5 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 36 years experience
Not recommended: Most of the time you should eat with your elastics in and replace them with fresh ones after the food. You should wear your elastics constantly, 24/7 including when you eat a snack, play, and sleep, unless otherwise instructed by your orthodontist. Good luck!
Dr. Robert Douglas
Orthodontics 51 years experience
Possibly: If your elastics are on the sides of your mouth and you can chew your food without dislodging them, try to keep them in while eating as the combination of chewing and elastic force will speed the movement of your teeth. If the elastic is in front from top to bottom or if chewing makes them fall off; then remove your elastics when eating. Either way brush after your meal! Good luck
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Bad idea: If you remove elastics teeth stop moving. When you put elastics back in it takes a while for the teeth to start moving again. Want to get out of braces as soon as possible, wear your elastics 24hrs/day. 25hrs/day would be even better if you can manage it. Remember, no elastics = no movement.
Dr. Daniel Quon
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 42 years experience
Ask the orthodontist: Orthodontic elastics are used to exert a force to move your teeth. Whether or not you can take the elastics out when eating will depend upon the advice of your orthodontist and the direction or placement of the elastics and desired movement..
Dr. Stuart Hoffman
Orthodontics 30 years experience
Elastics/Food: Removable orthodontic elastics (rubber bands) are designed to take out during meal time. As long as your are consistant at wearing the elastics as directed by your orthodontist, there should be no issues. However, you should be asking YOUR orthodontist this question and he/she will surely answer it.

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Last updated Feb 18, 2019
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