Bone surrounding teeth can be stimulated and induced into remodeling itself. When a light force is applied against a tooth to move it in a given direction, bone will resorb in the direction that the tooth is moved and new bone will be deposited on the opposite side where the tooth comes from. It takes a few days before a tooth starts to move and it is mainly during that period that teeth may be sensitive.
This usually happens at the beginning of treatment and after the orthodontic wires are modified or changed. When a tooth has started to move, it will continue to do so unless the force driving them is interrupted. When this happens (for instance when patients don’t wear their elastics), tooth movement stops and must start over again. This, in turn, will lengthen treatment duration. This is why it is important to always wear the elastics full time or as prescribed.
Teeth will eventually move when elastics are worn as prescribed. Because the forces applied against a tooth must be very light to prevent damaging the surrounding tissues, elastics must be worn continuously (24 hours/day unless otherwise instructed) to generate the proper kind of light force and obtain the desired results. If they are worn one day but not the following day, even for a few hours only, tooth movement will stop and the benefits obtained during the previous days may be lost. We know from experience that it is possible for patients who are motivated to wear their elastics full time, even while eating (for certain types of elastics).
Great cooperation with elastics is the best way to obtain better and faster results. If for some reason, prescribed elastics cannot be worn as required, get in touch with us as soon as possible. When you wear elastics continuously, you may notice that, as your teeth move, they may rotate become looser and show some mobility. This is a normal phenomenon to be expected; teeth need to be loosened before they can be moved. They will eventually become fixed in sound bone once they have reached their new corrected position. Tooth mobility should not worry you unless there is extreme discomfort or excessive mobility. If that is the case, please call our office.