Braces have long been one of the most effective tools we have for correcting misaligned teeth and jaws and straightening smiles. While we may refer to them as “traditional,” there’s nothing “traditional” about the metal braces we use here at Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics. Our practice takes advantage of the advances made in orthodontic technology and technique to move teeth efficiently and optimize patient comfort. While this has the benefit of making treatment more productive and comfortable, we think one of the best parts of having modern braces is the fun of customizing them with your favorite color combinations! Not only does this give you the chance to add a touch of personality to your treatment, but it can also give you confidence in your smile throughout the orthodontic process.
The elastic bands that surround your metal or ceramic brackets can be found in almost any color of the rainbow, and since you can pick multiple colors at once, the possibilities are nearly endless. However, there are a few things to keep in mind as you make your choices. Let’s take a quick look below at the role elastics play in braces treatment, why they’re such an important element of the treatment process, and how to pick the best colors for you and your smile!
How elastic bands are used with braces
Once we’ve completed the process of gluing brackets to your teeth, we’ll combine them with a set of wires that span from tooth to tooth. This action is enough to begin producing force, but in order to get the teeth moving, there must be something connecting the arches to correct the bite. There are a number of ways we can accomplish this, including appliances like headgear or springs, but the most common method we use is rubber bands, sometimes called elastics.
There are two different types of orthodontic elastics, ligatures and rubber bands.
Ligatures are the smaller of these two, and are fitted around the brackets to help the archwire retain its position. Ligatures are also designed to help pull or push your teeth in the desired directions.
Rubber bands are the larger form of elastics. These may be placed in several different configurations to match the tensile force requirements of your mouth. Rubber bands are also used to apply pressure on the jaw, helping to achieve the proper alignment for your bite.
Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics offers both types of elastics in a wide variety of colors.
Choosing the right colors – and knowing which ones to avoid!
For such a simple thing, many patients just don’t know where to start when it comes to picking colors for their braces! Having so many options can make it hard to choose. A good place to start is with a color that is complementary to your skin tone. Skin with darker or more olive tones is brightened up beautifully by jewel tones such as gold, turquoise, violet, or navy. For those with fairer skin, cool colors like silver, sky blue, and light pink often work really well. There are some colors you’ll probably want to avoid no matter your skin tone, however! These include any colors that would give your teeth a yellow tone, mimic tooth decay, or become easily discolored over time. Some examples of this are:
- Clear bands, which can highlight any food debris stuck in your teeth, and may be prone to discoloration over time.
- White bands, which can highlight any natural yellow tones in your teeth, and may also be prone to discoloration.
- Yellow and other similarly colored bands, as these may enhance or highlight the natural yellow tones in your teeth.
- Black bands, as these, can sometimes be mistaken for tooth decay or food particles, particularly once they begin to fade with time.
- Certain shades of brown and green bands, as these, can also end up looking like food particles stuck against teeth, particularly for those that already have some yellow tones to them.
Whatever color combinations you choose, keep in mind that a good dental hygiene routine is essential for orthodontic patients especially! If you don’t keep your braces clean, they will basically be the “color” of whatever food you’ve been eating. That’s a color customization nobody wants!
Showcase your smile with colors that mean something to you
Because your bands are changed out about every 4-6 weeks, you’ll have plenty of chances to spice up your smile throughout the course of your treatment. Get inspired and be creative! It can be a ton of fun experimenting with different looks. You can choose the color of your braces based on everything from your current mood to the holidays to your favorite sports team. Some combinations we’ve seen patients try are:
- school colors
- red and green for Christmas
- orange and black for Halloween
- red, white and blue for the summer
- the colors of their favorite sports team
- the colors they wear the most
- coordinated with a piece of clothing they wear often
- coordinated with a favorite pair of shoes
- and even their Hogwarts house colors!
The choices really are limitless so don’t be afraid to be bold and show off your smile!
For the best braces experience, choose Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics
As fun as it is to customize your braces with pops of color, you’ll still need to be extra careful about keeping your teeth and braces clean and cared for throughout the orthodontic process. Your dental hygiene routine should include:
- Brushing your teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, for at least two minutes each time
- Flossing at least once per day, using dental floss and a dental tool such as a floss threader or oral irrigator to supplement
- Avoiding any foods that are too crunchy or chewy, as these can damage your braces
Taking good care of your teeth and braces means your elastics will stay clean and the colors you choose will remain vibrant until it’s time to change them.
Wearing traditional braces doesn’t have to cramp your style! Being able to choose different colors for your bands gives you a unique way to accessorize your braces until your treatment is complete. There’s no need to wait until your braces come off to be confident in your grin. If you’re ready to customize your smile and share it with the world, get in touch with Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics today!