Portrait of a beautiful teenage girl with braces

Many teenagers and pre-teens find that a visit to the orthodontist is greatly enhanced by choosing the colour of the elastics attached to their braces. Children and teenagers often try out a variety of patterns and combinations of colours. They may want to pick colours based on anything from new clothes they’ve bought to their favourite football team. As the coloured bands are typically replaced during each follow-up visit, frequent changes can be made to the colour selection.

There are two main types of coloured orthodontic elastics: ligatures and inter-arch elastics (rubber bands):

Ligatures are small elastics that are placed around each bracket and used to hold the archwire in the slot on the bracket. They typically come in many different colors and are used to push or pull teeth in a particular direction.

Rubber bands are somewhat larger, they also come in a wide variety of colours and are used to apply pressure to the jaw to correct the alignment of the bite and reduce overbite and/or underbite. Coloured rubber bands can be applied in number of configurations, but the most common is inter-arch (from the top to the bottom).