Customizing Metal Dental Braces - Color schemes / Fun bracket shapes / Gold braces.

If you do decide to have your teeth straightened using traditional braces (wearing metal brackets and wires on the front side of your teeth), you should consider some of the different ways you can spiff them up or make them special.

After all, if they're going to show, why not make them unique? Create some individuality. Have some fun.

How do you personalize metal dental braces?

Here are some of the things you can do so your braces make a statement about you.


Ways regular metal dental braces can be personalized.

A) Elastic ties - You'll have a rainbow of colors to choose from.

Every orthodontist will encourage their patients to choose the color of the elastic bands that are used with their braces. And this means that the usual "tin grin" can instead be transformed into a rainbow of color opportunities.

You might choose bands that have a bright, or even fluorescent, color. Or, at the other extreme, pick white or ivory elastics that can help your braces blend in better with your smile.

Don't just pick a color, pick a color scheme.

When making a choice, don't overlook mixing and matching. After all, why just go with a single color when instead you can have a color scheme.

Is it Christmas? Pick red and green ties. Are you on the pep squad? Then maybe go with bands that are the same as your school's colors. And, of course, July just begs for red, white and blue elastics.

You can pick out a different color scheme every time.

Don't worry, no color decision is etched in stone. A patient's elastic ties are usually replaced during each appointment (usually every few weeks).

So, make a change, or even be adventurous. It won't cost you a thing. (Your orthodontist can buy these bands for less than a penny a piece.)


B) Fashion brackets - Select brackets that have fun shapes.

Another way patients can make their braces special is by choosing brackets that have a unique or distinctive outline. Here are some of the shapes that are available:

Heart and star-shaped orthodontic brackets.

Stars, Hearts, Soccer balls, Footballs, Flowers, Diamonds, Clubs and "Mickey".

Is treatment any different when fashion brackets are used?

When metal specialty brackets are placed, your treatment is just the same as with regular braces, with the exception that they're more fun to show off.

In most cases, novelty brackets are only placed on a patient's center four or six upper front teeth because these are the only teeth that really show very much when a person smiles.

Related content: Specialty bracket costs. >>


C) Gold dental braces.

Another way you can dress up plain-old metal braces is by choosing gold. Some people like gold because they feel it has a warmer look than stainless steel, and this helps their braces to blend in with their smile better.

Other people choose gold braces because they like the appearance of the metal itself. They feel that its luster makes their braces standout, in the sense that they look more distinctive, or even reminiscent of fine-quality jewelry.

Before picking this option, ask your orthodontist to show you what your braces will look like. Gold can range from a deep yellow color to one that's very light and pale. Make sure you know which yours will be, and that you like it, beforehand.

Are gold-colored dental braces really made out of gold?

Gold braces are only golden in appearance. They get their color from a coating that has been applied to their surface.

The brackets themselves are made out of a base metal that's been picked out because it has good physical properties for orthodontic work. Gold, especially 24K gold, is too soft for this purpose.

If you're really interested, you'll have to ask your orthodontist for information about the exact type of coating that has been applied to the hardware they use. It may be true 24K gold plating, or else a gold-colored coating such as titanium nitride (TiN) or zirconium nitride (ZrN).

Ask your dentist if a gold archwire be used.

Just so you don't get a surprise, it's a good idea to ask your dentist if gold-colored arch wires will be used with your treatment.

Some people have chosen gold braces because they want the appearance of this color in their smile. And for these patients, having a matching archwire will help to complete this look.

Other patients have chosen gold brackets simply because they think they show less. And in these cases, if the archwire running across their teeth is fairly thin, its color, silver or gold, may not really matter very much. Since gold-plated arch wires cost more, the type used may affect your treatment costs.

Related content: Gold braces costs. >>

Is the patient's orthodontic treatment different when gold dental braces are used?

With all other considerations being equal, orthodontic treatment performed using gold or stainless steel braces is the same.

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