Dr. Brodsky with a patient

How to Choose Colors for Braces

When it comes to correcting misalignment of the teeth and jaws in order to create a straighter smile, few tools are more effective than metal braces. Although you may hear them referred to as “traditional,” today’s braces are anything but! Here at Brodsky Orthodontics, we take full advantage of the advances made in modern orthodontic technology and techniques to move teeth efficiently while keeping things as comfortable as possible for our patients. We also work hard to make the process fun!

One of the best parts of wearing braces these days is being able to customize them with some of your favorite color combinations. This allows you to add a touch of personality to your treatment, and it can also give you confidence in your smile throughout the orthodontic process. The elastic bands that surround your brackets come in every color of the rainbow. Because you can pick multiple colors at once, the possibilities are nearly endless, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you make your choice.

Below we’ll outline the role elastics play in braces treatment, why they’re such an essential element of the treatment process, and how to pick the best colors for you and your smile!

Using elastic bands with braces

Once we’ve glued all the necessary brackets to your teeth, they’ll be combined with a set of wires that span from tooth to tooth. While this action alone is enough to begin producing force, there must be something connecting the arches to correct the bite and actually get the teeth moving. We can accomplish this in several ways, including using appliances like headgear or springs, but the most common method is rubber bands, sometimes called elastics.

There are two different types of orthodontic elastics, ligatures and rubber bands. Of the two, ligatures are smaller, and fit around the brackets to help the archwire retain its position. Ligatures are also designed to help pull or push your teeth in the directions we want them to go. Rubber bands are the larger form of elastics, and may be placed in several different configurations to match the tensile force requirements of your mouth. They’re also used to apply pressure on the jaw, which helps us achieve the proper alignment for your bite. Brodsky Orthodontics offers both types of elastics in a wide variety of colors.

Dr. Brodsky working on a patient

How to choose the right colors

It may seem like such a simple thing, but many patients are unsure where to start when it comes to picking colors for their braces. Having so many options can make it hard to choose, but a good place to begin is with a color that compliments your skin tone. Skin with darker or more olive tones can be brightened up by jewel tones like gold, turquoise, violet, or navy. Fair skin works really well with cooler colors such as silver, sky blue, and light pink. There are, however, a few colors you’ll likely want to avoid no matter your skin tone! Some colors can give your teeth a yellow tone, mimic tooth decay, or become discolored over time. Some examples of this include:

  • Clear bands – these can highlight any food stuck in your teeth, and can be prone to discoloration over time.
  • White bands – these have a tendency to highlight any natural yellow tones in your teeth, and may also be prone to discoloration. 
  • Yellow and other similarly colored bands – these may enhance any natural yellow tones in your teeth and make them more pronounced.
  • Black bands – these may be mistaken for tooth decay or food particles, especially as they begin to fade.
  • Brown and green bands – these can also end up looking like food particles stuck against your teeth, particularly those that already have yellow tones.

Whatever color combinations you decide to go with, remember that maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is essential for orthodontic patients, especially those in braces. If you don’t take care of your braces and keep them clean, they will basically be the “color” of whatever food you’ve been eating. We think it’s safe to say that that’s a color customization nobody wants.

Showcase your smile by choosing colors that mean something to you

Bands are changed out about every 6-8 weeks throughout the treatment process, so you’ll have plenty of chances to get inspired and be creative about the colors you choose. Experimenting with different looks is a lot of fun! You can pick colors based on everything from the holidays to your favorite sports team or your school colors. Some creative 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
  • Gold and purple for the Lakers or blue and white for the Dodgers 
  • The colors you wear the most
  • Coordinated with a piece of clothing you wear often
  • coordinated with a favorite pair of shoes
  • Your Hogwarts house colors

The choices are limitless and can be an expression of who you are and what’s important to you. Don’t be afraid to go bold! You don’t need to wait until your braces are off to show off your smile.

Remember the basics of braces care

As fun as it can be to customize your braces with pops of color, you’ll still need to be careful about keeping your braces, gums, and teeth clean throughout the orthodontic process. Your daily 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, preferably before bed, using dental floss. Dental tools like floss threaders or oral irrigators can be used as a supplement.
  • Avoiding any foods that are too crunchy or chewy, as these can stick to your brackets and wires, and otherwise damage your braces.

When you take good care of your teeth and braces, your elastics will stay clean and vibrant until it’s time to change them!

Brodsky doctors discussing a patient

Choose Brodsky Orthodontics for the best braces in Lakewood

Being a braces patient doesn’t have to cramp your style! By choosing different colors for your bands, you have a unique way to accessorize your braces and highlight your personality until your treatment is complete. If you’re ready to customize your smile, get in touch with our team today. There’s no need to wait until your braces come off to be confident in showing off your style and your smile!