Braces adjust your teeth and jaw positioning to realign crooked teeth or correct a bad bite. Brackets are attached to your teeth with a thin metal wire, archwire. Traditional braces use elastic bands or metal ties to keep the archwire secure and aid in gradually shifting your teeth. Unlike this method, self-ligating braces have a system built into the bracket to hold the archwire. Continue reading to learn more about self-ligating braces.

The Difference Between Self-Ligating and Traditional Braces

Self-ligating braces use a built-in system to secure the archwire to the brackets instead of elastic bands like traditional braces. There are two types of self-ligating braces: active and passive. Active brackets press against the archwire using the sliding spring clip mechanism. Passive brackets do not press against the archwire and utilize a simple sliding mechanism. Self-ligating braces still require periodic adjustments; your orthodontist may modify the force placed on your teeth. Moreover, self-ligating braces may cause some pain or discomfort similar to traditional braces; however, some people have found traditional braces to be a bit more painful.

What are the Benefits of Self-Ligating Braces?

There are many benefits to self-ligating braces. Many find them easier to clean since they do not require elastics that can trap food particles. Some have also found them to be more comfortable than traditional braces. Furthermore, self-ligating braces allow for shorter orthodontist visits. Your orthodontist does not have to worry about removing elastics since self-ligating brackets only require opening and closing. This can be a lot less time-consuming.

What are the Disadvantages of Self-Ligating Braces?

The most significant risk to self-ligating braces is the possibility of bracket failure. Self-ligating brackets may lead to wear and tear that may require replacement. If the bracket needs to be replaced, it will lead to longer appointments and perhaps extended treatment duration. There are other risks to self-ligating braces that are prevalent to other types. Once treatment is over, and you do not keep up with wearing your retainer, your teeth will revert, which will cause you to undergo more treatment. Or, if food particles get trapped in your braces and cause plaque, you have an increased risk of tooth decay if you don’t properly clean your teeth and appliances.

Contact Arch Orthodontics

Being the orthodontic and pediatric office of choice in the areas and communities surrounding each of our locations, we serve populations who need and desire our services and provide a reliable source of specialists where local doctors can comfortably refer their patients. At Arch Orthodontics, we will provide you with high-quality self-ligating braces and other types. If you have any questions about the process of getting straighter teeth, contact any location nearest you or email us directly at