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Straight talk about self-ligating braces, an “elastics-free” alternative to conventional orthodontic treatment


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Straight talk about self-ligating braces, an “elastics-free” alternative to conventional orthodontic treatment

Self-ligating braces are one of the most significant technological breakthroughs in orthodontics. Gomez Family Dentistry is proud to offer our patients in the Pensacola, Florida, area this potentially more comfortable, efficient, and hassle-free alternative to conventional fixed braces.

The self-ligating difference

“Ligating” refers to tying together or joining two pieces or fragments. Traditional braces feature elastic ties in addition to brackets and wires. These colorful ties or “elastics” help to join the aligning archwires and brackets. They effectively hold the wire in place. But, as their name suggests, self-ligating braces do not have ties or elastics. Instead, they are designed with built-in attachments and components to connect or attach the wire without using an outside object, like an elastic or tie. They are able to “self” stabilize the archwire. 

Why this matters

Archwires must remain fixed to the brackets that are attached to your teeth. The wire is incrementally tightened or adjusted throughout treatment to apply the progressive force that repositions the teeth. The elastics or ties accomplish this with traditional braces. Since self-ligating braces do not require these outside components and have built-in mechanisms to support the archwire, they are considered an “active” treatment. This approach is associated with many potentially attractive benefits, including: 

  • Shorter visits – You will still need to schedule periodic follow-up appointments or check-ins. These braces, too, require some adjustments; however, we do not have to replace the elastic ligatures during every visit. So, adjusting these self-ligating brackets generally takes less time
  • Easier “maintenance” – Elastics or other ties tend to trap food debris. It can be challenging to clean in and around these brackets. With no elastics to worry about, self-ligating braces are by and large easier to keep free of food debris and promote the oral hygiene that supports a healthy smile throughout treatment
  • Enhanced comfort – Researchers have found that some individuals who wore self-ligating braces reported less discomfort during treatment than those with conventional elastic ligating braces

For the right patient, self-ligating braces offer these potential treatment experience-oriented advantages without sacrificing effectiveness and optimal outcomes. Both self-ligating and conventional braces are based on the same fundamental principles, with consistent forces responsible for incrementally straightening the teeth. 

Reveal your best smile. Support lasting oral health with straighter teeth.

Find out if the self-ligating option may be best for you by contacting Gomez Family Dentistry today. Our team in Pensacola, FL, can be reached at (850) 429-4664.