Braces have come a long way over the years. While metal braces still remain a common option in the world of braces, other forms such as Invisalign, ceramic braces, and self-ligating braces are giving parents more options when it comes to choosing the most suitable braces for their children.

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Although self-ligating braces have been around for some time, they’ve grown in popularity in recent years because of their unique benefits. If you’re curious about this option and want to learn more about whether self-ligating braces are the right choice for your child, here’s what you need to know:

Self-Ligating Braces Versus Traditional Braces

To better understand how self-ligating braces work, let’s take a look at how they differ from traditional braces.

Traditional metal braces are composed of high-grade stainless steel and are designed to straighten your teeth by using metal brackets and archways. Traditional braces also contain elastics, which come in various colors depending on preference.

Self-ligating braces are made from the same materials; however, they do not use elastics so there is less friction being placed on the teeth. Brackets are usually made from traditional metal, clear, or ceramic materials.

While self-ligating braces are the same size as traditional metal braces, they use a specialized clip instead of the elastics to assist the archwire in guiding the teeth into place. This clip reduces the amount of pressure on the teeth and requires fewer adjustments because there are no elastics to replace.

The Self-Ligating Braces Method

The unique aspect of self-ligating braces in comparison to traditional braces is the special clips. These clips allow greater freedom of tooth movement, so there is less discomfort, especially at first in comparison to when traditional braces are applied.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t any pain with self-ligating braces. Instead, the lighter pressure remains constant, so patients don’t feel a strong fluctuating amount of pressure each time like when traditional braces are adjusted.

While self-ligating braces utilize brackets and archways as well to align the teeth, the clips work in a sliding method to naturally tighten the archways as the teeth move into the desired position.

Self-ligating braces allow a more natural movement of the teeth, so patients don’t feel as much pressure. Rather than spending time at the orthodontist having the elastics removed and replaced, with self-ligating braces, only a simple adjustment is made to the clips which saves time and causes less discomfort during routine visits.

Are Self-Ligating Braces a Good Option for Children?

If your child is dealing with overcrowded teeth, self-ligating braces can be a great option since they are less painful when helping the teeth move and adjust. The auto-slide mechanism of self-ligating braces provides less discomfort and friction than traditional braces while the brackets and wires are much easier to clean around helping reduce the risk of cavities.

Another advantage to consider is the time it takes to go through treatment. Patients using self-ligating braces have to come in for adjustment appointments half as often as those using traditional braces. Treatment with self-ligating braces also ends up to seven months earlier than the average for traditional braces, meaning your child will have a healthy beautiful smile in no time!

While not as discreet as Invisalign, self-ligating braces are less apparent than traditional metal braces and elastics, which can be a comfort to many children undergoing braces.

It’s important to keep in mind that self-ligating braces can be more expensive than traditional braces, however, the trade-off is worth it for many people when it comes to the multiple benefits.

Contact Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics

At Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we offer routine dental care as well as hospital dentistry to babies, children, and teenagers in metro Atlanta.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding self-ligating braces or other popular options, contact us today for more information. We want to help your child achieve a healthy and beautiful smile by finding the braces most suitable for their needs.