Self-Ligating Braces - What You Should Know

In orthodontics, there are two major types of braces/brackets. Traditional braces require a tie to secure orthodontic wires to the braces (brackets). Many orthodontists offer these ties in a variety of fun color options in addition to neutral, esthetic options.

self ligating braces

Self-ligating brackets, on the other hand, have a small "door" or clip that secures the wire, thus eliminating the need for ties. This type of system is not a new concept. Common self-ligating brackets and systems include Damon®, Empower®, In-Ovation®, and EXPERIENCE™.


Over the years there have been several claims related to self-ligating brackets. These include that they align teeth quicker, grow bone, decrease the need for extractions, have less breakage than other braces, and are less painful than traditional braces. Fortunately, there has also been an abundance of research on these braces. Many of these claims have been debunked and are not supported by scientific evidence.


Other claims, such offering faster treatment visits and better hygiene, have some truth to them. Benefits of self-ligating braces include:


ESTHETICS – Self-ligating braces are available in both metal and clear, so those concerned about the appearance of braces can choose a less conspicuous option.


EFFICIENCY – Although self-ligating brackets may not reduce total treatment time or the number of appointments, they do seem to decrease the time spent in the chair at appointments since the closing the bracket clips is a speedier process compared to placing colored ties.


HYGIENE – The colored elastic tie that secures wires with convention braces can harbor more plaque than a self-ligating bracket; however, for kids who are good brushers this is insignificant.


In reality, there are a lot of orthodontic systems that can work and produce stunning results. What matters most is NOT the type of bracket used, but rather the doctor, their expertise in using the brackets and wires, as well as their skill and dedication to producing great results. It is important that you choose an orthodontist and office that makes you feel comfortable and educated.


At Godley Family Orthodontics, we provide a variety of options when it comes to braces, including self-ligating brackets. Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Godley to learn more.