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Updated on November 18, 2022
5 min read

How to Pick the Best Colors for Your Braces

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What are the Best Colors for Braces?

Braces are orthodontic appliances that straighten teeth and realign the jaw by using a system of metal brackets and wires. While adolescents most commonly wear braces, many adults also wear them.

You can choose the color of your braces when your orthodontist first applies them. You can also change the color when you return to the orthodontist every 6 to 8 weeks to get the wires tightened.

The length of time you’ll need to wear your braces varies widely, with an average of around 20 months.1 You’ll be wearing your braces for a long time, so you might as well choose colors that express your personality and make the process more fun for you.

The most common colors for braces include:

Braces Color Effect Who It’s For
White or clear Less noticeable when clean, but can become stained or discolored and make teeth appear yellower Most commonly, adults or people who want less noticeable braces
Dark colors like black or navy blue Make teeth seem whiter, but also make braces more noticeable Anyone who wants a brighter smile
Pastels like pink or purple May match with lipstick or natural lip color People with lighter skin tones or those who wear colorful makeup
Yellow and gold Can add ‘bling’ effect to teeth Anyone who likes the appearance of gold around the teeth
Bright colors like red, orange, green, etc. May match complexion, eye color, or wardrobe People with darker skin tones

Braces Colors for Boys

Boys can choose any color they want. Research shows that boys typically opt for darker colors, such as navy blue and black.2

Darker colors can make your teeth appear whiter, creating a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Boys may choose these if they feel self-conscious about their appearance while wearing braces.

Alternatively, boys with braces may choose based on their favorite colors or characters from pop culture media, such as superheroes. Some ideas for creative colors for boys include:

  • Superman colors – blue and red
  • Batman colors – black and yellow
  • Nautical colors – blue and silver or white
  • Camouflage colors – green and brown

Braces Colors for Girls

When selecting the color of their braces, girls tend to choose red and purple tones.2 However, they can choose from virtually any color they want. They may wish to pick based on the colors they like to wear so they can match their wardrobe.

Ideas for colors for girls include:

  • Typically feminine colors – colors traditionally associated with girls, such as pink and purple
  • Rainbow – a vibrant combination of multiple colors
  • Jewel tones – metallic shades of deeper colors, like turquoise and magenta
  • Disney princess colors – one or two colors that represent their favorite Disney princess

Braces Colors for Adults

Dental braces for adults are on the rise, with 1 in 5 orthodontic patients over the age of 18 wearing them.3 Adults generally have vastly different color preferences than children, opting for subtler tones versus bright colors that stand out. An expectation of professionalism at work likely factors into this decision.

The best colors for adults include:

  • White or clear – typically the least noticeable, though they can stain
  • Dark tones – black and navy blue may draw more attention to your teeth, but they are professional colors and can make your teeth appear whiter
  • Lip colors – women, in particular, sometimes choose a color that matches their favorite lipstick or natural lip color
  • Eye color – a color similar to your eyes can make your eyes pop

Color Combinations for Braces

You don’t need to stick with one shade at a time when you’re choosing the colors of your braces. You can mix and match whatever colors you like and try something new at every appointment.

Some orthodontists may, however, restrict you to having only two colors at a time. Others will allow you to have as many different colors as you want.

Some of the most popular color combinations for braces include:

  • Pink and purple
  • Light blue and dark blue
  • Silver and gold
  • Rainbow

Some people like to mix and match colors based on their favorite sports team or their school colors. Another option is to change your colors according to the seasons and upcoming holidays. Some color ideas to reflect year-round holidays include:

Holiday Colors
Christmas Red and green
Hanukkah Blue and silver
Halloween Orange and black/purple
New Year’s Eve Gold and black/silver
Valentine’s Day Pink and red
St. Patrick’s Day Green and orange
Easter Pastel colors, such as pale yellow and pink
Fourth of July Red, white, and blue
Summer vacation Bright colors such as orange and yellow
Chinese New Year Red and gold

What Braces Colors Make Your Teeth Whiter?

You may wish to choose the color of your braces strategically, opting for hues that make your teeth look brighter. A whiter smile can make you feel more confident, even while you have braces.

The best colors to make your teeth appear whiter than normal are dark shades, such as:

  • Black
  • Navy blue
  • Dark purple
  • Deep red

These colors offer a contrast between your braces and teeth, making your teeth stand out.

What Colors Should You Avoid? 

Braces can make you feel more insecure about your appearance while you’re wearing them. They are, however, associated with an overall improvement in mental health.4

When choosing colors for your braces, you may wish to consider your skin tone, eye color, and other aspects of your appearance for the most positive outcome. Matching your eye color can be esthetically pleasing, but choosing a color that’s the same as your skin tone may clash.

If you want to make your teeth seem whiter, avoid colors like yellow or gold, as they will highlight the yellow tones in your teeth.

White and clear braces are less visible initially but can stain and grow discolored over time, making your teeth appear more yellow than white.


Braces come in a wide variety of colors. You get to pick what color you want for your braces, and you can change the color regularly at your orthodontist appointments. 

Boys often choose dark colors like blue and black, while girls usually opt for purple and red tones. Adults tend to select subtler colors to make their braces less noticeable.

You can mix and match the colors, sometimes to reflect the latest holiday. If you want to make your teeth appear whiter, choose a darker color to help your teeth stand out.

Last updated on November 18, 2022
4 Sources Cited
Last updated on November 18, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Moresca, R. “Orthodontic treatment time: can it be shortened?” Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics, National Library of Medicine, 2018.
  2. Elekdag-Turk, S., et al. “Color preferences of patients receiving elastic ligatures.” European Journal of Dental Education, National Library of Medicine, 2010.
  3. Are you too old for braces?” Harvard Health Publishing, The President and Fellows of Harvard College, 2009.
  4. Imani, M., et al. “The Effect of Orthodontic Intervention on Mental Health and Body Image.” Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, National Library of Medicine, 2018.
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