By Dr. John White
Braces by White
You want your braces to match your school colors? We can find the right color combination to show off your school spirit. You want them to match your outfit for an upcoming dance recital? We can make your braces accessorize your outfit. You want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a wee bit o’ green? We can make your braces part of the holiday celebration. You want to look like a bit of a rebel? Black elastomeric ties will give you that edgy look.
Orthodontic elastomeric ligature ties are a way of making braces cool because you can make a fashion statement by picking your own colors. At my practice, colored ties are considered part of the “tweener uniform,” and kids enjoying picking from 30 color combinations at every visit (generally every eight to 10 weeks).
While colored ties make braces more fun for patients, they also are used to improve the function of self-ligating brackets on metal braces. These ties allow me to increase the amount of friction to get a better grip for certain movements. Generally in the early part of treatment, I actually want to eliminate friction, but in the later part of treatment friction becomes more desirable.
So even though not needed for function in the early stages, I will still put them on for decoration if requested by the patient. Instead of hooking the ties over the brace so it engages the wire, I hook them on the bottom of the brace under the wire so there is no contact or friction.
Elastomeric ties can sometimes be a mixed blessing. Kids want them but I may not really need them. They become another place for plaque to hide, which makes it more challenging to keep teeth clean.
Just like with any fashion statement we often sacrifice something, and that is the same with braces.