Toothy Questions: What Does Self-Ligating Mean? - Specialist Orthodontic Group : Specialist Orthodontic Group
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Toothy Questions: What Does Self-Ligating Mean?

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If you’re just starting to research teeth realignment treatment and the various programmes that are available, you’re likely to come across some unfamiliar terminology. Something you may have read about is self-ligating braces.

Self-ligating braces are a type of fixed brace. They are suitable for almost all types of alignment issues and are very effective.

On a normal fixed brace, the archwires are attached to the brackets on each tooth using a small elastic band called a ligature. Self-ligating braces are different to traditional fixed braces because they don’t require these elastic bands.

Instead, the brackets on self-ligating braces are designed to have clips that hold the archwires in place.

What are the benefits of self-ligating braces

There are a number of potential benefits to choosing a self-ligating system over a traditional fixed brace. These include:

  • Braces cause less friction without rubber bands, which can be easier on your teeth and your jaw.
  • Self-ligating braces are quicker to fix, which means you’ll spend less time at the orthodontist.
  • The brackets are often easier to keep clean than brackets with ligatures.
  • There is more flexibility for the archwire in self-ligating braces, which may be more comfortable for you as the wearer.
  • Some types of self-ligating braces are smaller than traditional fixed braces.

Are there any downsides to self-ligating braces?

We can only think of two potential downsides to self-ligating braces. The first is the same as the main drawback to traditional braces: they’re very visible. Some people don’t feel comfortable with the aesthetics of fixed braces. If this is a problem for you, then self-ligating braces probably aren’t the right choice.

The second potential negative of self-ligating braces is that they don’t offer the same colour choices as traditional fixed braces. The colour in traditional braces come from the elastics, or ligatures, so if your braces don’t require these, you won’t get the colour choices!

Are you interested in finding out whether self-ligating braces might be right for you? Read about the Damon System offered by our Orthokind clinic in York.