What Colors Do Braces Come In?

by Dr. Joseph Thompson

Elastomeric Ligature TiesA part of orthodontic treatment that is exciting for patients is the colors of their braces.  Braces come in a variety of colors from clear, pastel to bold.  All the colors of the rainbow can be placed on your braces.

The part of braces that comes in different colors is the elastic ligature tie.  Some people call them elastomeric ties or just ties.

An Orthodontic BracketThe bracket, that is on the tooth, has a slot and wings.  The wire goes through the slot.  Then the elastic tie goes over the wire and is secured by the wings of the bracket.  The elastic tie holds the wire in place.  Therefore, when a patient comes in for treatment, all of the elastic ties are removed and replaced.  That means you can have different colors on your brackets every month.

Patients are very creative in how the colors are used.  The majority will have two colors that alternate from one tooth to the next.  Some will just have one color and then some patients will have a rainbow of colors.  Each tooth will have a different color.

Pulling ligature tie off with a hemostatHow are the Elastic Ties Removed and Placed?

When you come in for your visit, an assistant will seat you and then use a scaler to remove all your elastic ties.  Then the orthodontist will decide if bends need to be placed in your existing wire or if the wire needs to be changed.  Once all the changes are made, the elastic ties are placed back with a hemostat.  It’s just that simple.

During the spring season, we see patients select the pastel colors.  Some patients will get their school or favorite team colors.  During halloween, popular colors are orange and black.  During Christmas, it is red and green.

If you don’t want elastic ties that stick out, you could select a tooth colored elastic tie or silver/grey.  Those colors will blend with the tooth or the bracket better.

So have fun and be creative with the colors.  It is a fun part of orthodontic treatment.

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