Traditional fixed braces consist of brackets, wires and elastic bands. The brackets are attached to your teeth and then joined together using a thin, metal wire, which is held in place by the elastic bands. Over time the wire puts pressure on your teeth via the brackets, causing them gradually to straighten.
Self ligating braces are an evolution of traditional fixed braces. Instead of elastic bands, the brackets feature clever sliding clips to hold the wire in place. Here at Sensu we offer a few different types of self ligating braces including Damon® Clear and In-Ovation® C, which are both designed to blend in with the colour of your teeth.
What are the benefits of self ligating braces?
While traditional braces are effective and still widely used, self ligating braces provide patients with a number of benefits:
1. Shorter appointments
As your teeth straighten we’ll need to change the wire that connects your brackets periodically, progressing to a slightly thicker wire each time. Sliding clips make the task of changing your wire much easier, resulting in shorter appointments.
2. Easier cleaning
Your braces provide the perfect place for morsels to collect, so it’s important to brush your teeth – and braces – thoroughly during your orthodontic treatment. Elastic bands in particular will attract and collect food and plaque. With these bands gone, it’s easier to keep your teeth clean and healthy during your orthodontic treatment.
3. Discreet orthodontics
Most self ligating braces have been designed to be more inconspicuous and comfortable than traditional braces. Usually self ligating braces are smaller than traditional brackets and you can choose from discreet clear and tooth-coloured options.
4. Easier movement
You might think that the more force you subject your teeth to the quicker they’ll move. However, this isn’t the case (and it would probably be quite uncomfortable). Teeth move best when they’re subjected to lighter forces, which is something that self ligating braces help us to achieve.
Thanks to the absence of elastic bands, self ligating braces create less friction, so we can use lighter forces to move your teeth. This helps your teeth to move more efficiently and you may need fewer appointments during your treatment.
5. Fewer extractions
If you wore braces as a teenager you may have had teeth removed to create extra space for your treatment. While the need to remove teeth among adult patients is rare, self ligating braces help to avoid this yet further by gently widening the arch of your smile to create extra space. This also helps to create a broader and more natural smile.
Are there any disadvantages to self ligating braces?
Because self ligating braces are a progression of traditional braces there are few disadvantages. However, they can be slightly more expensive, and for younger patients there’s not the appeal of choosing the colour of your elastic bands!