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