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What Braces Colors to Get: How to Pick the Best Option for You

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what colors should I get for my braces?
What colors are there for braces?

With so many braces colors available, getting your teeth straightened with orthodontic braces doesn't have to be a drag. Colored braces let you show off your fun or fashionable side while your smile is improving. The only problem you're left with is deciding which braces colors to choose!

Fortunately, you're not stuck with one color of braces for your entire treatment so you can experiment with plenty of different combinations. In this article, we'll give you some ideas for choosing the best braces colors for you, while answering the following questions:

  • What colors of braces are there?
  • What braces colors look best for professional settings?
  • What colors for braces look best with yellow teeth?

We'll also explain why you need those little bands on your braces in the first place.

How colored braces work

Although they are often called ‘colored braces', this type of brace is actually made of metal. It's the small elastic bands fitted to the brackets which allow you to add some color.

Your orthodontist attaches a metal bracket to each tooth with a strong dental cement, then connects the brackets with a wire called an ‘archwire'. Small bands hold the wire in place. The orthodontist tightens the wire in different places to gradually pull your teeth into alignment.

It will take one or two hours to fit your braces, but each checkup will only be about 20 minutes. The actual fitting shouldn't hurt but your teeth may feel uncomfortable for a few days afterward, and after each subsequent adjustment.

Treatment with colored braces usually takes 18-24 months, depending on how misaligned your teeth are.

Why do braces have colored bands?

There are two main kinds of orthodontic elastics used in braces, and each has its own purpose.

Tiny elastic bands are placed on each of the metal brace brackets to hold the archwire in place. These are also known as ‘ligatures' or ‘o-rings'. The wire plays a big part in controlling how your teeth move, so those elastics have an important job to do. Ligatures are usually available in a wide range of colors.

Dentists use a special tool to fit and remove these little bands, as you'll see in the video below.

Larger rubber bands may also be placed between the upper and lower jaw to help with alignment. This is more often the case with children's braces. They are connected to special hooks on the brace brackets.

These are known as ‘inter-arch elastics' and look more like the rubber bands you would use at home. They are less commonly offered in different colors, but they are usually placed on the sides of the mouth so are less visible. If your braces need inter-arch elastics you will need to learn to fit these yourself as they have to be replaced several times a day.

Here is a short video showing how a dentist fixes the archwire in place using ligatures:

There is one type of metal brace which doesn't use colored bands. Self-ligating braces (like Damon teeth braces) have a different style of bracket which lets the wire move automatically, so no elastics are needed to keep the wire in place.

What are the colors for braces?

Dentists understand that having different color braces for teeth can make patients feel more confident with their smiles. You can often view the available colors on a braces color wheel at your clinic. So what colors do they have for braces? Some possible options include:

  • White and clear (for a more subtle look)
  • Grey and silver (to match the metal brackets)
  • Bright neon colors
  • Darker metallic shades
  • Glow-in-the-dark elastics

However, keep in mind that different brands of braces will come with different color options. You'll need to ask your dentist about the exact range of colors you can choose from. Ask to view their braces color wheel at your first appointment so you'll have time to pick colors you're happy with. The last thing you want is to rush your decision and later regret your choice.

How often can I change the color of my braces?

You'll be able to change your braces colors every time you visit your orthodontist for an adjustment. This is usually every 6-8 weeks during your treatment. This could mean 12-20 different color combinations in total, so you'd better get thinking!

What are good colors for braces?

Many patients wonder, ‘What colors should I get for braces?' There are many different strategies for how to pick braces colors. Some people prefer to start off with something low-key and gradually get more adventurous. If you can't choose just one or two colors then what about rainbow braces?

Also, consider whether you want your braces to stand out or blend in. It can be fun to show off bright colors at school, but neon elastics might look out of place in an office job. So what colors look good on braces?

Choose silver or grey for less visibility

Here are some good braces color ideas to consider:

  • Complement your eye color
  • Match the clothing colors you like to wear
  • Choose bright colors in summer and cool blues in winter
  • Red and green for Christmas
  • Black and orange for Halloween (but remember they'll be on for up to two months!)
  • Your favorite sports team's colors
  • Your school colours
  • Red, white and blue braces to show your patriotism
  • Silver or gray if you don't want to stand out
  • Darker shades to make your teeth look whiter

You could also take a more scientific approach to finding the best color of braces for you. Different colors and shades look good against different skin tones, so you could pick some good braces colors that way instead.

The great thing is that since your elastics change so often, you'll have the chance to try plenty of combinations. If you decide you don't like your current one, you'll only have to live with it for a few weeks before being able to update your style.

How to choose braces colors

If you're a fan of colorful foods like curries and tomato sauces, you might want to avoid white and clear bands on your braces. This is because they are more easily stained (just like a white shirt). Wine, coffee, and tea are also staining culprits. If you want a color that's discreet but won't show stains as easily, try grey or silver to blend in with the metal brackets.

Another downside of white braces is they can make your teeth look yellower in comparison.

Some people choose to avoid yellow braces – especially light yellow – because from a distance they may look like stains. Similarly, green braces might be mistaken for a bit of spinach left over from lunch!

Black isn't a popular color (except perhaps for teens wanting to make a statement). But if you want braces colors that make teeth look whiter, you might go for dark purple or dark blue. These darker colors provide contrast to make your teeth appear lighter.

Here is a summary of the effects that various colors of braces can have:

Braces Color Effect
White or clear Less noticeable but picks up stains and can make teeth seem discolored
Dark colors Make teeth appear whiter
Yellow and gold Could look like stains and highlight yellowness of teeth
Dark blue, gold, turquoise, violet, red, green, orange and pink (bright colors) Suit darker skin tones and hair colors
Light blue, dark purple, bronze, teal, plum, soft reds and pinks Suit lighter skin tones and hair colors

Color braces for children and teens

As a parent, you may be dismayed at your child's choice of color for their braces, but keep in mind that this is just another way for them to express their personality. It's really no different than them choosing which color clothes to wear each day.

Your child or teen may not be too happy about having to wear braces in the first place, but you can make the experience more enjoyable by letting them have full control over the band colors they choose.

A braces color picker can help you visualize how a particular combination will look once fitted.

You'll also have to help your child take care of their braces. This will include:

  • Cleaning and flossing carefully every day
  • Avoiding certain foods as directed by your dentist
  • Wearing a mouth guard for any contact sports
  • Attending regular checkups
  • Wearing a retainer after braces are removed

Popular braces colors

Pink smile
Pink can complement your lips or lipstick

It's up to you whether you choose a completely original color combination or select colors for your braces based on what's popular. Here is some final inspiration from us based on the most common colors for braces.

Pink braces

It's a fact that many girls love wearing pink, but this color can look good on boys, too. You can't go wrong with a purple and pink braces combination.

Women often choose colors for braces that match their favorite shade of lipstick or their natural lip color. There's nothing like a fully co-ordinated look!

Blue braces

Dentists usually offer several shades of blue braces. Pairing a lighter and darker shade is a pretty safe bet for any patient. Blue is also a good color for braces because it's unlikely to clash with any of your clothes. Plus, if you have blue eyes it will help bring out the color in them.

Rainbow braces

Can't choose just one or two colors? Then go for a whole rainbow across your teeth! Do note that some dentists restrict patients to just two different colors of braces at each visit, so you'll have to check whether you'll be allowed to get rainbow braces at your local practice.

Invisible braces

Braces colors can be a lot of fun, especially for younger wearers. But as you get older, you may want something a bit less noticeable. For that, there are invisible braces, also known as clear aligners.

They have no metal parts and are made from transparent plastic so they really are quite hard to notice. They can also typically be removed for an hour or two a day, in case you've got a special occasion that you'd like to take them off for.

Popular brands of clear aligners include Invisalign and ClearCorrect, which involve in-office dental visits and cost around the same as metal braces. But there are also several ‘teledentistry' brands like Smile Direct, Candid aligners and Byte which let you complete your treatment from home, with a dentist or orthodontist monitoring your case remotely. These aligners cost less than $2,500 so are a more affordable choice for some people.

Here's a quick overview of what some of the best brands offer:

Find the right clear aligners for you
There are so many companies offering remote teeth straightening with aligners! Take a look at our top picks and discover why we recommend these over any others.
  • Advanced remote monitoring technology
  • Visit a Studio or take impressions at home
  • Monitored exclusively by orthodontists
  • $2,400 $2,100 or $79/month
Find a dentist
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Candid are leading the way in remote monitoring technology, ensuring your treatment is efficient and effective. Their orthodontist-only team follow rigorous checks when planning and conducting your treatment to give you the best results.

To get started, you can visit one of Candid's Studios for a free dental scan. Alternatively, purchase your aligner package up-front and you'll get:

  • A free impression kit
  • Free whitening foam
  • $300 off for a limited time
  • A full refund if you're not a good candidate

Finance is available from $99/month, and you can also buy just the starter kit to begin with.

Discount available for a limited time
  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • Amazing customer service
  • Nighttime-only option
  • $1,195 or $84/month
Find a dentist
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NewSmile aligners are made from the clearest Essix plastic and come with a daytime or nighttime-only option to suit you. For just $1,195 you'll receive everything you need to straighten and whiten your teeth – and maintain your new smile:

  • Home impression kit
  • Full aligner treatment
  • Free whitening
  • First set of retainers
  • A full refund if you're not a good fit

NewSmile go above and beyond to provide a great experience to all their customers, beginning with a live video call to help you with your teeth impressions. Mail these back, and they'll send a 3D Treatment Preview for you to approve before going ahead.

Use code DENTALYDEAL for an extra $100 off!
  • Complete treatment 100% remotely
  • Excellent customer care
  • Nighttime-only option
  • $1,145 or $95/month
Find a dentist
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If you're looking for the best value aligner package, here it is! For just $1,145 you'll get:

  • Impression kit
  • Full aligner treatment course
  • Free teeth whitening kit
  • Your first set of retainers

In short, everything needed to straighten your teeth remotely and keep them looking great, with a full money-back guarantee if you're not a suitable candidate.

This low price doesn't mean you're compromising on quality of care, though. ALIGNERCO just choose not to put so much into marketing, and they pass on the savings to their customers. They are also known for their responsive and helpful customer care, which is important when you're doing things from home.

Plus, if you're in New York, you can visit their SmileStudio for a free consultation and help taking your impressions.

Nighttime-only aligners are also available for anyone who doesn't want to wear aligners during the day.

Use code SAVE150 for an extra $150 off!
  • 3-4 month average treatment time
  • Assessed and planned by orthodontists
  • Includes whitening and first retainers
  • $1,895 or $83/month
Find a dentist
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Byte's HyperByte technology uses High Frequency Vibration to help your teeth move faster and with minimal discomfort. Their average treatment time is just 3-4 months, compared to 6 months for most others.

Treatment includes your first set of retainers. You'll also get their BrightByte 3-in-1 foam to whiten your teeth, clean your aligners and freshen your breath. And their Byte-for-life guarantee means you'll get free adjustments if your teeth start to move again.

Begin by ordering an impression kit so their orthodontists can assess whether you're a good match.

Get 75% off with code 02DENTALY100TS

We recommend you read our best invisible braces guide for more details of all these options.

Paying for braces in the US

Even the most affordable types of braces cost thousands of dollars, and most people don't have that kind of money just lying around. Fortunately, there are various ways you can finance your dental work.

Dental insurance

Typically, basic dental insurance won't cover braces and orthodontic care, but more comprehensive plans do. The maximum discount is usually 50% and there's an annual or lifetime maximum. However, only certain types of braces will be covered.

best braces colors
Opt for white or clear bands for discreet braces covered by insurance

You might consider removable invisible braces or hidden lingual braces if you want to have straighter teeth without brackets fixed to the front of your teeth. But, check the fine print of your insurance plan, as it might not cover these types. There is also the option of clear braces or ceramic braces that work in the same way as metal braces but are much less obvious.

Even if your plan covers you or your child's braces and orthodontic care, you'll probably find that fixed metal braces are still the cheapest in-office option.

A dental loan

If your insurance won't pay for braces for you or your child, or you need help covering the remaining costs, one option is a personal loan. This allows you to get the treatment straight away and spread the payments over a timeframe that you can manage more easily.

A savings plan

A dental savings plan sort of functions like an insurance plan, and also sort of like a membership plan. You pay a yearly fee, and in return get access to reduced-cost care. Dentists know that dental care is expensive, and that it is also extremely important, so they work with insurance companies to provide savings plans to patients who are uninsured and underinsured.

If you need help finding the right dental insurance plant for you, Dentalinsurance.com can help. They aim to make dental insurance easy to understand, while also providing the resources you need to find the best plan for your needs and the needs of your family. It’s easy to get started—just click on the link below and type in your zip code and your date of birth!

Conclusion

Colored braces are a fun way to express your personality while getting your teeth straightened. Choosing a color can be harder than you think, but you'll have plenty of chances to switch during the course of your treatment.

Dentists usually offer a choice of colored elastics as standard with metal braces, but it's worth checking this ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

If you'd rather go for a less obvious look then invisible braces like Invisalign or ceramic braces could be a better choice.

And once you or your child have finished braces treatment, you'll need to think about what kind of retainer to get. If you're looking for a convenient, affordable, custom-made option you may want to consider ordering Essix retainers through Sporting Smiles.

FAQs

What colors can you get for braces?

If you're getting braces, you're probably wondering what colors braces come in. Braces come in all of the colors of the rainbow, and then some, although there are some you should avoid. If you don't want your teeth to appear yellow, stay away from white and yellow bands especially.

That being said, you can get neon shades of green, pink, orange and blue, and dark metallic shades of maroon, navy and green. There's also silver and gold, white brown and black to choose from. You may even get to choose from glow in the dark colors if that's your thing.

What color braces are best for yellow teeth?

Don't have Hollywood white teeth? Then you may be wondering what are the best colors for braces for yellow teeth. People with yellow teeth will want to stay away from some specific braces colors.

White bands could accentuate even more your yellow hue in comparison with the white of the bands. Yellow bands also aren't a good choice, because they will add to the yellow of your teeth. Darker blues and purples can help to make your teeth look whiter in contrast, and silver or clear will attract less attention to your teeth overall.

What color braces are most attractive?

If you're wondering what are some cute colors for braces, or what colors look best on braces in general, the answer is likely to change from person to person. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That being said, darker colors can make teeth look whiter, and if it's discreetness you're looking for, you're better off going with either silver or clear bands.

What is the least noticeable color on braces?

Many people, especially adults and older teens want to know which braces colors are the best for discreet treatment. The least noticeable colors are silver, white or clear. However, be careful with white and clear, since they can stain more easily.

What Braces Colors to Get: How to Pick the Best Option for You
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Contributors:
Amanda Napitu
Amanda Napitu
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Amanda specialises in writing informative content about dentistry. She has been a regular contributor to Dentaly.org since 2017, and collaborates with dozens of dentists to keep this content accurate and up-to-date.