What Are Self-Ligating Braces?


Essentially, Self-Ligating Braces are when the braces are attached to the tooth and a metal door on the bracket holds the archwire freely into place. This helps to move teeth naturally as they are straightened.

Unlike traditional braces, you don't need rubber bands or elastic rings to hold the orthodontic wire to the bracket. The wires are made of metal alloys and deliver a constant, gentle force to move teeth. This type of brace system isn’t a new treatment, yet their popularity has increased as companies have begun marketing directly to the patients or consumers.

What’s the difference between Ceramic or Metal Self-Ligating Braces?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), Self-Ligating Ceramic Braces are tooth-colored, so they’re less visible to others. They are affixed to teeth, and the wires thread through slots in the brackets. Built-in clips hold the wires to the brackets made of ceramic or porcelain materials. In comparison, Self-Ligating Metal Braces are generally made of stainless steel, and some patients may also have metal bands encircling back teeth.

Types of Braces

When searching for information, you may encounter different brand names for the self-ligating system. These companies may make claims around faster treatment time, less pressure on teeth or more effective results compared to traditional braces. However, these claims are largely based on biased research.

Learn more about the different types of braces and the cost associated. Your orthodontist will diagnose and determine the correct treatment based on what’s best for your mouth and teeth.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Top Oral Care Tips Related to ADULT ORTHODONTICS

  • Flossing – creating a flossing routine is important during orthodontic treatment. Orthodontists and hygienists may recommend interdental brushes or floss threaders to make getting in between teeth easier.

  • Brushing routine – using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush are ideal for cleaning teeth with braces. Begin brushing at a 45-degree angle at the gum line using small circular motions. Then place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket. Finally, reposition the brush to brush the bottom of the bracket as well as the wire, angling the toothbrush up.

  • Fluoride mouthwash – after brushing and flossing, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to help prevent cavities and white spots.

  • Mouthguards – wear a mouthguard if you play sports. Mouthguards can protect your cheeks and lips from serious cuts and can prevent damage to your braces or orthodontic appliance if you fall down or are hit in the face.