The orthodontic industry has evolved. There are now quite a few advanced treatment options available and one of them is self-ligating braces.

So, what are these self-ligating braces?

The literal meaning of ligating is to tie up. That’s exactly what these braces are all about. These braces work just as the traditional braces, but instead of using rubber bands to secure the wire to each bracket, the self-ligating brackets do that themselves. So, no wires and ties are necessary.

A spring clip on each bracket holds the wire in its place. The clips are then closed to keep the wire securely locked in its place.

Self-ligating braces are of 2 types:

Active Brackets

These braces make use of a thicker wire to apply more pressure to your teeth. This pressure moves your teeth quicker and more efficiently.

Passive Brackets

These braces are usually used in the beginning of the treatment to allow your teeth to get used to braces. They make use of small archwire that allows your teeth to move freely with less friction.

But what makes self-ligating braces so good?

Upsides of Self-Ligating Braces

1. Quicker and Efficient Office Visits

Once you are in the clinic, the orthodontist just needs to open and close the door on the braces. Visits are quicker and more efficient.

2. Less Discomfort

Self-ligating braces do not use the ligating elastic bands, because of which, the wire in the bracket minimizes the friction and the force required to move teeth.

This reduces the discomfort patients might experience. Although, there is less soreness in the mouth, it doesn’t entirely remove it.

Since self-ligating braces are thinner than traditional brackets, they take up less space in your mouth.

As there are no ligatures holding the brackets, there is no fear that the ties will snap or poke inside your mouth.

With traditional braces, the ties may become loose between your orthodontic appointments. This may reduce the pressure they put on your teeth. The pressure is restored when you visit your orthodontist for braces adjustment.

However, self-ligating braces exert the same amount of pressure throughout the treatment and there are no fluctuations in between orthodontic appointments.

3. Reduced Length of Treatment

Self-ligating braces are known to shorten the time taken to straighten the teeth. The total length of treatment may be reduced by 4 to 6 months. This means that you will take significantly less time to achieve a beautiful healthy smile than your first thought.

4. No Food Trapped in the Brackets

The latex material used on elastics and rubber bands in traditional braces trap food, providing a fertile environment for the plaque to build up.

Self-ligating braces eliminate the need for elastics, so there are less chances of food getting trapped. And that means better oral hygiene and less scope for bacteria to thrive.

5. Draws Less Attention

Self-ligating braces come in both metal and clear brackets. So,if you want to make your self-ligating braces less obvious, you can take the less conspicuous route.

Downsides of Self-Ligating Braces

1. High Cost

Self-ligating braces offer an advanced bracket system. So, it may come as no surprise that it is a bit more expensive than traditional braces.

2. Not Really Invisible

You may have an option of clear brackets, but self-ligating braces has a metal wire that is visible.

3. May Cause Irritation

Though self-ligating braces are relatively discomfort-free, you may experience discomfort while you get adjusted to them. Adjustment period can last for several days.

Traditional Vs. Self-Ligating Braces at a Glance

Traditional Braces Self-Ligating Braces
Use archwires, brackets, and rubber bands to straighten and realign crooked teeth. Use specially designed clips to hold the archwires in place instead of rubber bands.
Rubber bands traps food particles, and this can lead to plaque build-upand decay. It is easier to keep your teeth clean because there are no rubber bands.
Braces that are loud and draw a lot of attention. Braces are thinner, smaller and less noticeable.
More friction and pressure on the tooth. Less pressure and friction are placed on the tooth.
Treatment takes longer. Treatment is quicker.

Want to know if you are a right candidate for self-ligating braces? Call Koch Orthodontics today!