US figure skater Rachael Flatt, an orthodontic patient and 2010 winter games hopeful, has joined with the AAO in the association’s Band Together educational campaign. The campaign highlights several of today’s trends and advances in orthodontic treatment, and encourages kids and adults with braces to visit their orthodontists and don red, white, and blue rubber bands around their brackets as a show of support for the US Olympic team.

"I think it’s a cool and creative way to support our team and have fun with my braces," said 15-year-old Flatt. "I invite other orthodontic patients to join me and ask their orthodontists to outfit their braces in red, white, and blue."

Flatt’s involvement in the Band Together campaign illustrates the popular orthodontic trend of customizing braces with colorful rubber bands. And while some orthodontic patients like to shout out the fact that they are sporting braces, others take comfort in today’s sleeker, less noticeable braces. "From colorful rubber bands to next-to-invisible materials, today’s braces give our patients a variety of options for achieving a healthy, beautiful smile that’s good for life," said Raymond George, Sr, DMD, president of the AAO.