As an adult, you may remember the experience of having braces on your teeth as an embarrassing time where you did your best not to smile so you wouldn't draw attention to your mouth. But many of today's teens don't share your shame and are anxious to show off their new look. While it may seem silly to you, teens are increasingly opting to accessorize their orthodontic appliances with bright colors to express their personality. If your teen is itching to add a little color to their corrective device, there are a few things they should know.
Color Is Limited to The Elastics
If your teen has seen others flashing brightly-colored braces, they may have mistakenly assumed the entire device can be color coded for their pleasure. The truth is that, with traditional steel braces ,the brackets and wires will still be silver, but the elastic bands can be colorized to give them a flashier appearance. Your teen's orthodontist will fit and apply the braces as usual, but will accessorize them with the color of your teen's choice.
One, Two or Multiple Colors
While choosing to go with elastics all in one color is common, your teen's orthodontist can use more than one color at a time. If the dentist is willing, your teen can choose an alternating pattern of colors or mix them up and go multicolored if they prefer. The only limit to color combinations is your teen's imagination and the orthodontist's patience.
Color Changes May Be Limited
While your teen's orthodontist could technically change out the colors whenever your teen wants to sport a new style, this typically isn't the case. Under normal circumstances, whatever color is chosen will remain in the mouth for 6 months or more, or whenever the orthodontist needs to make adjustments. Unless you are willing to spring for the cost of extra appointment, your teen will likely need to wear the same color for six months or more. Making this clear before they make their decision will prevent a battle if they tire of the colors in a few weeks.
Colors Affect the Appearance of the Teeth
The color of the elastics may change the perception of the color of your teen's teeth. For example, bright white elastics may make the teeth look yellow. Likewise, some shades of yellow can have the same effect. Other colors like brown, black, or green can make the teeth look dirty, filled with cavities, or like they have bits of food clinging to them.
How to Choose the Color of Elastics
There are several ways to choose the color of the elastics for braces. Your teen can choose colors according to their complexion, choose colors to set off their eye color, match the colors to common colors in their wardrobe, or choose colors that symbolize something important to them. Here are some tips for them to consider:
- Complexion: Fair skinned teens will look best in pink, teal, lilac, navy and gold. Those with a dark complexion typically look best in bubblegum, coral, blue, and red.
- Eye Color: To set off blue eyes, choose yellow, gold, lilac, blue, and pink. To make brown eyes pop, choose green or brown. For green or hazel eyes, choose gray, green, purple, red, or orange.
- Symbolism: Many teens choose school colors (but beware if the school colors include black, yellow, or white as they can affect the color of the teeth), patriotic colors, sports teams, or holidays. Your teen may choose colors of their favorite superhero or fantasy creature.
Choosing to colorize their braces allows your teen to express their individuality and make a bold statement to the world. Although it may seem silly to you, providing them with basic information and giving them the go ahead will show your teen that you respect their decisions. Contact a company like Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics to learn more.