With so many braces colors available, getting your teeth straightened with orthodontic braces doesn’t have to be a drag. Colored braces let you show off your fun or fashionable side while your smile is improving. The only problem you’re left with is deciding which braces colors to choose!
Fortunately, you’re not stuck with one color of braces for your entire treatment so you can experiment with plenty of different combinations. In this article, we’ll give you some ideas for choosing the best braces colors for you, while answering the following questions:
- What colors of braces are there?
- What braces colors look best for professional settings?
- What colors for braces look best with yellow teeth?
We’ll also explain why you need those little bands on your braces in the first place.
How colored braces work
Although they are often called ‘colored braces’, this type of brace is actually made of metal. It’s the small elastic bands fitted to the brackets which allow you to add some color.
Your orthodontist attaches a metal bracket to each tooth with a strong dental cement, then connects the brackets with a wire called an ‘archwire’. Small bands hold the wire in place. The orthodontist tightens the wire in different places to gradually pull your teeth into alignment.
It will take one or two hours to fit your braces, but each checkup will only be about 20 minutes. The actual fitting shouldn’t hurt but your teeth may feel uncomfortable for a few days afterward, and after each subsequent adjustment.
Treatment with colored braces usually takes 18-24 months, depending on how misaligned your teeth are.
Why do braces have colored bands?
There are two main kinds of orthodontic elastics used in braces, and each has its own purpose.
Tiny elastic bands are placed on each of the metal brace brackets to hold the archwire in place. These are also known as ‘ligatures’ or ‘o-rings’. The wire plays a big part in controlling how your teeth move, so those elastics have an important job to do. Ligatures are usually available in a wide range of colors.
Dentists use a special tool to fit and remove these little bands, as you’ll see in the video below.
Larger rubber bands may also be placed between the upper and lower jaw to help with alignment. This is more often the case with children’s braces. They are connected to special hooks on the brace brackets.
These are known as ‘inter-arch elastics’ and look more like the rubber bands you would use at home. They are less commonly offered in different colors, but they are usually placed on the sides of the mouth so are less visible. If your braces need inter-arch elastics you will need to learn to fit these yourself as they have to be replaced several times a day.
Here is a short video showing how a dentist fixes the archwire in place using ligatures:
What are the colors for braces?
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