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Orthodontics & Braces

Photos of Teenagers with Braces

Many teenagers wonder what they’ll look like with braces, and what colors of rubber bands will look best with their hair color and facial tone.  Judging by the comments on this article about braces colors, I decided it would be a good idea to create a post with dozens of pictures of teenagers with braces so you can get a general idea of how you’ll look with braces.

As you take a look at the pictures below, you may notice that some people look confident with braces, and some people don’t.  If you try to smile and look proud of your braces, people will see you as more confident, and you’ll likely enjoy having braces more.  It all comes down to attitude.

Hopefully there’s someone here that looks similar to you!

60 Photos of Teenagers with Braces



This blond young woman appears confident as she smiles, showing off a pink powerchain on her upper braces.



This young man appears confident even though he wears glasses and his braces pop right out at you.  Even with the braces and glasses, he proudly shows off blue and orange colored bands around his braces.



This blond-haired, blue-eyed young woman smiles, showing off gray and green colored bands around her braces.



This blond-haired, blue-eyed young woman sports silver-colored elastic bands around her braces.



This brown-haired, blue-eyed young man is sporting blue and green colored elastics on his braces.



This young woman is proudly smiling, showing her blue elastics on her upper braces.



This young woman is rocking a few different shades of blue elastics on her braces: light green, teal, and blue.



This blond-haired, blue-eyed young woman is smiling, displaying her upper and lower braces with black and pink-colored elastics.



This young man is smiling enough that we can see his red elastic bands on his upper braces.



This young woman is smiling big enough to show off her upper and lower braces with pink elastics.



This young woman probably needs to work on her smiling skills!  She’s displaying pink and green colored elastics alternating on the top teeth with green bands on the lower four front teeth with pink bands next to them.



This young man smiles, showing off blue-colored elastic bands on his braces.



This young woman looks pretty happy with the world, showing off pink and green colored elastics.



This young woman smiles revealing a silver powerchain that links the braces on her upper teeth.



This young man isn’t afraid to prove to the world that pink isn’t just for girls.



This young woman is seen sporting a popular choice for braces colors: pink and green.



This young woman also thinks highly of the colors green and pink.



This young man has chosen blue and green for his elastics.



This young lady has chosen silver elastic bands that match the silver color of her braces.



This young man displays a blue powerchain on his braces.  He can’t contain his large smile as he listens to an audio version of



This blond lifeguard rocks a pink powerchain.



This young woman chose white elastics to help hide the silver color of her braces.  Although white bands can be a good choice for some, many teenagers with braces find that they make their teeth look more yellow.



This young man  confidently smiles, unafraid to show the world that he has braces.



This young woman has ceramic brackets, which don’t stand out quite as much as the silver brackets.



This young man isn’t trying to hide the fact that he wears braces.  His strategy seems to have garnered the interest of at least one woman.



This fashionable young woman probably enjoys the bling her braces add to her outfits…and it looks like she can’t stop looking at the attractive fellow in photo #25!



This young woman confidently displays her braces for the world to see.



This young man’s confidence goes a long way at convincing the viewer that he is comfortable with his braces.



This young lady’s mouth just needs some Christmas lights to be all ready for the holidays.



This young brunette displays her top-notch oral hygiene skills by using an interdental cleaner to help keep her pearly whites healthy.



This young man is having a fabulous hair day as he shows off his ceramic braces which are designed to hide the fact that the person has braces.



This confident young woman shows off her braces.



This young woman probably wouldn’t be smiling so big if she knew she lost her braces wire.



This young man confidently smiles, letting the world know that he’s proud of his braces.



This red-haired, blue-eyed young woman sports her Damon braces with confidence.



This brown-haired young woman shows off her braces with purple-colored elastics.



This young man proudly sports some light-green colored bands and a thin mustache.



This dark-brown-haired young woman proudly shows off her braces.



This young woman shows us through her big smile that it is possible to maintain beautiful teeth even while wearing braces.



This young woman is trying to make her teeth appear whiter by going with an off-white elastic band.



This teenage young lady shows that you can still look good during the initial phase of braces while your teeth are still crooked.



This young lady shows off a sweet, innocent smile with her braces.



This young woman shows off her Damon braces with a confident smile.



This teenage girl recently had her braces put on.  If we give her a few months, she’ll soon move from a half-smile to a full, confident smile.



This young man is trying to distract from his braces with some facial hair.



This young woman cleverly distracts the viewer from her braces to her eyes.  One way to take the emphasis off of your braces is to guide the attention away from your mouth to other features.  She does this with her eye shadow and her large earrings.



This young woman’s braces are barely noticeable.  You can ask your orthodontist about more aesthetic options such as ceramic braces and lighter-colored wires.



This teenage girl just got her braces, and is still getting used to smiling with them.



This young man proudly shows off his gray and green colored elastic bands for his braces.



This young woman displays a confident smile with her braces.



These teenage girls are having fun swimming.  It’s important to remember that braces don’t define who you are,!l Life continues to go on and you can participate in the same activities you did before you had braces.

#51 and #52


You can see the same teenager in the above and below photos.  Notice how the different smile totally changes the appearance of her whole face.  After you get braces, practice smiling and speaking in front of a mirror, as the braces will make your mouth feel different.




This young man can confidently laugh at a joke.  Don’t be afraid to let people know you have braces, because they will probably notice even if you try to hide it.



This young woman has consulted with her orthodontist about aesthetic optiosn to help disguise braces.



This teenage girl has taken some of the focus off of her braces by wearing glasses that stand out with purple frames.



This young lady is still working on getting her smile right with braces, as she’s scrunching up her nose a little bit, causing more of her upper gums to show.



This teenage boy proudly waves, desperate to show off his braces to anyone who will look.



This teenage girl takes some of the focus off of her braces with some green eye shadow.



This young blond-haired teenager proudly displays her braces with confidence.



This young woman disguises her braces with a white powerchain.

Be Confident

Hopefully this sampling of photos of teenagers with braces has helped you see how you might look with braces.

One of the most important takeaways is to simply be confident with braces.  They are temporary – they won’t define who you are. You might as well be confident while you have them.

If you have any questions about braces, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Photo Credit All Photos © Bigstock and Shutterstock

Forces Trying to Move Your Teeth
©Xavier Gallego Morell/

Did you know that while you are reading this, there are many different forces acting on your teeth?  I’m guessing that right now your tongue is probably slightly resting on the the back of your lower front teeth and the inside of your lips are resting against your front teeth.  If you took a magic school bus ride into the average person”s mouth, you’d probably find the same thing.

Forces On TeethDid you know that both of these forces along with other forces can affect how your smile looks?  In this article, I will go over some of the forces that act on your teeth and how you can make sure that they don’t negatively affect your smile.

Forces that Constantly Try to Move Your Teeth

As I mentioned above, your lips push your teeth into your mouth while your tongue pushes your teeth out.  They eventually find an equilibrium known as the neutral position.

Normally these forces are good.  For example, these forces help keep your teeth arranged in a symmetrical arch.  These forces can also help push permanent lower front teeth out away from the tongue when the permanent teeth come in behind the baby teeth.

However, if the forces in your own mouth get out of hand, they can push your teeth into abnormal positions.

Tongue Habits

Did you know that the average human swallows more than 2,000 times every day!  If you go ahead and swallow right now, you’ll notice that your tongue pushes against your upper front teeth.  As long as you don’t push excessively on your front teeth, usually everything is fine.

Some people have habits that cause them to hold their tongue between their teeth all the time or to push their tongue out excessively when they swallow.

Lip Habits

The forces that your lips apply to your teeth can become a problem if you develop certain habits.  One such habit is tucking your lower lip behind your upper teeth.  This is especially common in younger children and people who bite their lips when they get nervous.


The labial frenum has been accused of moving the front two teeth apart after they are perfectly aligned with braces.  For this reason, some people choose to cut away the frenum by getting a frenectomy.

Forces From Your Teeth

Other teeth (or the lack thereof) can move your teeth.  Normally when you bite together, your teeth touch and rest in a certain position.  This position is known as centric occlusion.  Normally, the top teeth oppose the bottom teeth and keep them in check.  However, when you lose a tooth, things get interesting!

When you lose a tooth, the teeth drift to fill the space. The teeth on either side of the lost tooth move, as will the tooth that opposes it. For example, if you lost a lower tooth, the tooth on the upper jaw that normally hits it would start to grow down slightly to fill in the space and the adjacent teeth to the lost tooth would start to lean in towards the empty gap.

Certain habits involving tooth-to-tooth contact, such as clenching or grinding your teeth could also cause movement of your teeth.

Another force that can move your teeth is described in Ten Cate’s Oral Histology textbook.  It talks about the back teeth pushing forward ever so slightly against each other, which causes a gradual forward movement of your teeth as you get older.


As you can see, there are many different forces that are constantly acting on your teeth that could cause them to move.  In addition to these internal forces from your own body, teeth can also move due to external forces such as braces, pipe smoking, or musical instruments.  I will discuss these forces in more detail in a future article.

Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about tooth movement caused by these forces?  I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Can General Dentists Do Braces?

I frequently get emails from people asking me if a general dentist is allowed to provide orthodontic treatment to their patients, or if this can only be done by orthodontists.

Can General Dentists Offer Braces?The short answer is yes.  General dentists CAN offer their patients braces.  If a general dentist wants to provide orthodontics in his or her practice, then they have to measure up to the standard of care.  This means that if a dentist is able to straighten and align teeth as well as an average orthodontist, then they can offer braces to their patients.

I have heard stories of general dentists competing with orthodontists in various cities.  One of my friends in dental school told me about a certain town where the general dentist was doing a better job than the orthodontist, and ended up doing more orthodontics than the orthodontist.  Orthodontics, like many things in dentistry,  is dependent on how well you can visualize the final treatment and how good you are with your hands.

Orthodontists do get an extra two to three years of specialized training in orthodontics and braces beyond dental school, but obviously every orthodontist has a different level of skill.  In order to measure up, a general dentist would need to take a lot of continuing education classes and gain a significant amount of experience.

The American Association of Orthodontists’ View on Dentists Offering Braces

As a student member of the Academy of General Dentistry, I am subscribed to their newsletter.  An email that they sent me earlier this month caught my attention.  Here’s an excerpt:

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has developed an online Myths and Facts site.  According to the site, the following statements are myths:

  • My family dentist says he can straighten my teeth.
  • Orthodontists charge more than general dentists for orthodontic treatment.

Last fall, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) reached out to the AAO to explain that these two statements are often true, and not myths.

Let’s take a look at both of those “myths.”  According to the AAO, it is a myth that family dentists can straighten teeth.  In response to that, the Academy of General Dentistry said “Some general dentists, especially more experienced ones like AGD’s, Fellows, and Masters perform hundreds of orthodontic procedures each year.  It is regretful to paint all GP’s with the same broad brush.  In addition…restorative care can be much more complex than orthodontics.  To imply that “drilling and filling” is mundane is demeaning.”

The second “myth” says that orthodontists charge more than general dentists for orthodontic treatment.  This is a myth because the cost of orthodontics is mainly based on the complexity of treatment, not whether the person providing the treatment is an orthodontist or dentist.

Unfortunately, even after receiving the letter from the Academy of General Dentistry, the AAO has still not changed their misleading website.

In order to illustrate that the two statements above are indeed myths, I’d like to share a story about Dr. June Lee, a general dentist that decided to incorporate orthodontic treatment into her family dental practice.

Dr. June Lee – A General Dentist Practicing Orthodontics

The following story is an excerpt from this article that appeared in The Academy of General Dentistry’s magazine, Impact in 1996:

Twenty-five years ago, June Lee, DDS, MAGD, made a disturbing discovery among her patients. “In my neighborhood, I was seeing a lot of finished orthodontic cases that were very poorly done,” Dr. Lee recalls. “My husband and I practice together and we were concerned about it.”

As luck would have it, this discovery was made around the same time that a friend recommended that Dr. Lee visit an upcoming weekend orthodontics course. “[The instructor] made it very exciting and very interesting,” she says. “He said, ‘You can do a lot of this in your own office’—which made sense to me.”

Since then, Dr. Lee has incorporated orthodontics into her general practice. She saw it as an opportunity not only to expand upon her skills, but to fill a need within her patient community.

“I incorporated orthodontics in my office because I had a final restoration in mind and wanted the teeth to end up where the restoration could be the most functional,” recalls Maharukh Kravich, DDS, FAGD, who started offering orthodontics in 1989. “So I started doing my own orthodontics, and I really enjoyed doing it.”

I really liked Dr. June Lee’s story as it shows initiative.  She didn’t like what the orthodontist was doing to her patients.  She decided she could do a better job — and she went ahead and did it.

Can All General Dentists Provide Orthodontic Treatment?

Not every general dentist offers orthodontics.  In fact, most general dentists simply refer all of their orthodontics cases to an orthodontist.  It all comes down to what a general dentist enjoys doing.  Some general dentists do lots of root canals, others do lots of braces, and others refer all of their patients that require root canals or braces treatment.


I don’t by any means want to imply that orthodontists aren’t necessary.  Orthodontists provide wonderful service to the general public in most cases.  I simply want to point out that general dentists can provide excellent orthodontic care to their patients if they participate in the right continuing education and have gained some additional experience and expertise in this area.

Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns about general dentists and orthodontics?  I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Is a Labial Frenectomy Necessary After Braces?

A couple of months ago, my sister called to ask my opinion about a frenectomy that the orthodontist had suggested for my nephew.  After discussing it with the orthodontist, my sister decided to postpone the frenectomy for the time being.

Is a Maxillary Labial Frenectomy Necessary?Since then, it seems that I’ve had more than a few questions about the necessity of a maxillary labial frenectomy on the post describing a labial frenectomy.

These questions seem to come from parents who are concerned about whether a surgical procedure is truly necessary to keep their child’s teeth straight after orthodontic treatment.  I don’t blame them for their concern.  I think that an unnecessary surgery is not only a waste of time and resources, but also introduces unnecessary risk to the patient.

In this article, I’ll take a look at at the leading textbooks on orthodontics and pediatric dentistry to see what they say about whether or not a frenectomy is necessary after having braces.  It’s important to note that a frenectomy should not be done during braces treatment as it is believed that the scar tissue formed may prevent the teeth from moving together, thus creating a permanent gap between the two front teeth.

A Labial Frenectomy After Braces – An Orthodontic Perspective

It seems that more and more orthodontists are recommending frenectomies to their patients.  I just turned around and asked my wife if her orthodontist had recommended a frenectomy and she said no.  My orthodontist never recommended a frenectomy either, and I have a large frenum!  Although there is a very small space between my front two teeth, they still touch at the bottom and it’s nothing that would show when people look at me.

One of the leading textbooks in orthodontics, Contemporary Orthodontics by Proffit, addresses the possibility that after the braces come off, teeth may move back to their original position.  He says:

“Another retention problem may be caused by the presence of a large or inferiorly attached labial frenum. A frenectomy after space closure and retention may be necessary in some cases, but it is difficult to determine the potential contribution of the frenum to retention problems from its morphology alone.  Therefore a frenectomy before treatment is contraindicated, and a post-treatment frenectomy should be attempted only if a continued tendency of the diastema to reopen and unresolved bunching of tissue between the teeth show that it is necessary.”

Here he says that a frenectomy should be done only after the space between the front teeth is closed.  He also says that it may be necessary in some cases but that you really can’t tell if the frenum will cause the space to reopen based on its size and shape alone.

In summary, he says that a frenectomy should be done only if the spaces appears to be reopening and you have tissue bunching up between the front teeth (which could cause the space to reopen).

A Labial Frenectomy After Braces – A Pediatrics Perspective

Now that we’ve seen what the orthodontists say about this, let’s turn our attention to the dentists that specialize in treating patients 18 years of age and younger: pediatric dentists.

Dr. Pinkham, in his leading dental pediatrics textbook, Pediatric Dentistry, talks about when and if a frenectomy should be performed.  He says:

“No matter which type of treatment is used to close a midline diastema, retention can be a problem and should be planned. In most cases, a removable appliance maintains the space closure…If the diastema reopens during or following retention, the incisors should be realigned. At that time, a surgical procedure, frenectomy, can be performed if the frenum is thought to be the cause of the diastema’s reopening.”

Just so you know, a diastema is the dental term for a gap between two teeth.

In the above quote, Dr. Pinkham says that a retainer could keep the gap closed after braces in most cases.  He says that a frenectomy should not be done until the diastema reopens after the braces have been removed.  Also, if that is the case, a frenectomy should only be done if the frenum is the suspected cause of the gap reopening.

Conclusion – My Perspective on Labial Frenectomies

As you can see, both Dr. Proffit (the orthodontist) and Dr. Pinkham (the pediatric dentist) both agree that a frenectomy should only be performed after the teeth are moved together with braces and if the frenum is determined to be the cause of the gap. I have to say that I agree with their position on this issue.

It’s important to emphasize again that a frenectomy should not be performed before the space between the front teeth is closed.  Also, a frenectomy should only be performed after it has been determined to be the cause of the space reopening.

If you have any questions about frenectomies, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

Why Braces Have Two Colored Bands Around Them

A few weeks ago, Emily asked the following question:

For some reason I just noticed that one of brackets has two elastic bands on it. One one One side of the bracket and the other on the other side of the bracket. Not one just going around the whole bracket like the rest. Is this normal?  Or just a mistake?

Here’s a picture showing what I think Emily was getting at: Two Rubber Ligatures on One Bracket with Braces To answer Emily’s question — it probably wasn’t a mistake.  If you look in the photo above, you can see (aside from the great choice of colored braces) that there are some spaces present the upper first and second teeth from the middle.  In my opinion, the orthodontist is using the extra band to make sure that a big space doesn’t open up between the front two teeth. Another way that orthodontists can keep teeth together while they move them is through the use of a power chain.

To learn more about power chains and how they hold your teeth together, read the article, Power Chains: Why Some Colored Braces are Connected.


I hope that helps everyone out there who may have been wondering the same thing.  If you have any other questions about braces, go ahead and leave them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.  Thanks for reading!

Braces and Pain

Do Braces Hurt?Recently, I’ve gotten quite a few questions about whether or not braces hurt.  A lot of the questions are from young people who will be getting braces very soon and are getting kind of nervous about whether or not the braces will hurt when they get them put on.

To answer the question of whether or not braces hurt, I’m going to divide it into four sections below:

1 – Do braces hurt when they get put on?
2 – Do braces hurt after they’ve been on for a while?
3 – Do braces hurt after they get tightened?
4 – Do braces hurt when you get them taken off?

Do Braces Hurt When They Are Put On?

When the orthodontist puts your braces on, he or she will usually glue metal brackets to the front of  your teeth and might even put metal bands around some of the back teeth.

After that, your orthodontist will usually put a wire that runs through all of the brackets.  The wire is what gradually applies forces on your teeth that causes them to move.

Having braces put on usually doesn’t hurt at all.

However, a few hours after the appointment, your teeth will most likely begin to hurt a little bit.  The pain isn’t a sharp pain, it’s more like a dull pain.

The best example I can give is to have you press hard on your fingernail.  It may not really hurt, it might just pinch a little.  Now imagine this same pinching feeling going on in your mouth.  This is similar to the feeling that I had when I had my braces on.

Keep in mind that we all experience pain in different ways.  For some people, getting braces may not really hurt at all, and for others it can be rather painful.

Do Braces Hurt After They’ve Been on for a While?

The reason braces hurt when you have them put on is because they are applying force on your teeth that makes your teeth move.  After a few days, the pain usually goes away as your teeth have already begun the process of moving and the tension in the wire has gone down.

After I’d had my braces on for a while, my teeth felt fine.  They felt like they did before I had braces — that is until I went to my first appointment to have them tightened!

Do Braces Hurt When You Have Them Tightened?

After you go in to have your braces adjusted, you will usually experience some more pain, although it probably won’t be as bad as it was when you first had them put on.

When you go in to have your braces tightened, the orthodontist will usually evaluate how your teeth have moved and put in a new wire to keep them moving into the position that will provide you with an ideal, healthy smile.  The new wire will have some tension in it and may cause you some discomfort until your teeth have moved into their new position.  This discomfort generally is most painful in the initial 24 hours after they are tightened but should resolve within two to three days.  After that, your teeth should feel great until you go in for your next appointment.

Do Braces Hurt When You Have Them Taken Off?

Having your braces removed is usually the highlight of the whole experience for many teenagers!  When you have your braces removed, the orthodontist takes out the wire and removes the brackets from your teeth.  I helped one of the orthodontic residents remove a teenager’s braces not too long ago and the brackets just popped right off.  She was nervously wondering if it would be painful to have them removed.  After the appointment she was relieved to realize that it really didn’t hurt at all!

After the brackets are removed, the orthodontist will make sure that all of the glue has been removed that was holding the brackets off and may choose to polish your teeth.

Getting your braces off shouldn’t hurt at all!


Did you have braces or are you getting braces soon?  Share your experiences with everyone using the comment form below.  Also, if you have any questions about braces and pain you can also leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

Power Chains Braces Bands Connected
©Rob Byron/

If you take a look at the young woman to the left, you’ll notice that she has blue colored rubber bands that attach the orthodontic wire to her braces.  You may also notice that it is one long, continuous band.  This is known as a power chain.

Powerchain that Connects All the TeethMost braces currently used require a rubber band, known as a ligature, to hold the orthodontic wire inside of the braces.  To learn more about why these rubber bands are necessary, you can read an article I wrote a few months ago about why you have to have rubber bands on each tooth with braces.

Below is a close-up photo that illustrates the difference between the normal rubber bands (ligatures) and the power chain.  This teenage girl has a power chain on the top teeth and regular ligatures on the bottom teeth.  She also loves hot pink!

Colored Braces Single Tooth or All The Teeth

Now that you’ve seen the difference, what you’re probably wondering is why on earth the orthodontist would put that on your braces.

View 60 Photos of Teenagers with Braces to see more photos of teenagers wearing power chains on their braces.

Why Orthodontists Use Power Chains with Braces

Orthodontists use power chains on your braces for two reasons:

  1. To make sure that your teeth don’t move apart.
  2. To help close gaps between your teeth.

Power Chains are Used to Make Sure Your Teeth Don’t Move Apart

If your dentist needs to move your teeth, and he or she is worried that when they move, you’ll get a gap, then your orthodontist will use a power chain to make sure that you don’t get a gap in between your teeth.  The power chain can snugly hold your teeth together.

Power Chains are Used to Close Gaps Between Your Teeth

If you have gaps between your teeth, power chains are a good way to help pull the teeth together and close the gaps.

Will Power Chains Hurt Your Teeth?

Power chains do cause some mild discomfort, just like braces do.  They might be uncomfortable for the first few days, but your teeth will shortly adjust to them and then your pain should decrease.

What Colors of Power Chains Can You Get For Your Braces?

Power chains, just like ligatures, come in a variety of colors.

If you’re curious about what colors you can get on your braces, read my article about what colors of braces you can get.

At the orthodontic clinic at my dental school, I don’t think we have quite as many colors for the power chains as we do for the regular ligatures.  However, your orthodontist might have a better selection.  Just ask, and I’m sure they’d love to show you the variety of colors you can get!


Have you ever had a power chain on your braces?  What did you think of it?  Do you have any questions or comments about this article?  Feel free to submit a comment using the form below.

Thanks for reading!

Colored Braces Bands for Braces Brackets Colors

Not too long ago, I spent a week of my dental school career in the orthodontics department, helping the future orthodontists to straighten people’s teeth.

Pink Colored BracesA lot of the teenagers’ favorite part of their appointment was at the very end when they got to choose what color their braces would be for the few weeks until their next appointment.

One dedicated high school football player wanted the colors of his school — they had lost their last game, and he was hoping that his braces would bring his team a much-wanted victory.

It was interesting to look at the psychology behind the color choices.  Everybody that told me what color they wanted felt like they had to justify their color choice.  Some people chose their favorite color or just a color to match their mood.

If you’re wondering why people with braces need those colored bands in the first place, read my previous article about why you have to have rubber bands on each tooth with braces.

The Available Colors of Bands on Braces

At my dental school, we use the 3M Unitek Alastik brand of braces bands.

This brand comes with a variety of colors which are pictured below:

Available Braces Colors

3M is a pretty popular brand among orthodontists.  If your orthodontist uses another brand and you want to know which colors are available for your braces, just ask.  Most orthodontists want to keep their patients happy and are willing to show you all of the available color options.

Read the article 60 Photos of Teenagers with Braces to see what people look like with different colors of braces.

Not Everyone Can Get Colored Braces

As I mentioned in my previous article about the colored bands on braces, there are a couple of different types of braces.  One type has a metal door that locks in the orthodontic wire, known as self-ligating braces, and the other type holds the wire in with a tiny, colored rubber band.

If you have the self-ligating variety of braces, you won’t be able to choose a color as the braces automatically hold in the wire.

What Do You Think of Colored Braces?

When I had my braces, I had the self-ligating type, so I never got to choose a color to spruce up the look of my braces.

Do you find colored braces distracting or do you like them?  If you have braces, what makes you decide what color to choose?  Leave your opinions below in the comments section!

Rubber Bands Brackets Braces

Louise, a reader from Pennsylvania recently wrote in to ask why you need to have rubber bands on each individual tooth with a bracket on it.  Here’s what she asked:

Rubber Bands on BracesWhy do some people have rubber bands around each individual piece of metal on each tooth when they have braces?  I thought that rubber bands were used to try to pull two or more teeth together, so it doesn’t really make sense to me that a rubber band would just be on one tooth since it can’t really provide any force that way to move teeth.

Louise’s question is a very good one!

First, let’s have a close look at just one of those brackets with the rubber band around it:

Pink Rubber Bands on Braces

The reason the young woman in this picture needs those rubber bands around each bracket is to hold the wire inside the bracket. There are a couple main types of brackets used for braces: Those that snap shut to hold the wire in, and those that need a rubber band to hold the wire in.  Some types of braces that require a rubber band to secure them to the wire use just one long rubber band that goes in figure-8’s around all of the teeth in an arch.

Either way, it is very important to hold the wire inside the bracket since the wire is what controls the movement of the teeth in most orthodontic cases.  Without it the wire would not be secured.  So, you see, the answer to Louise’s question is pretty straightforward.

Do you have any questions about braces or any other dental topic?  Just use the ask a question form and send it to me.  I will either respond via email or feature your question on Oral Answers!

As always, if you have any comments or questions about this article, you can leave a comment below!