Self-Ligating Braces

What Are Self-Ligating Braces?

We all want a beautiful smile, but the way teeth look can impact more than just your confidence; teeth that are severely misaligned can also cause issues with eating and speech. One of the most commonly used dental procedures to correct these problems and increase confidence is the application of braces.

Braces can prove beneficial for a variety of dental issues, such as misaligned teeth, overbites, and underbites. However, many people hesitate to explore what braces can truly do for them. This hesitation can be due to a variety of reasons, including the fear of pain, the length of the braces treatment process, the need for additional dental visits, and the appearance of the braces themselves. However, dental professionals and orthodontic experts have responded to these common complaints with new, unobtrusive treatment options, and Robison Orthodontics is proud to provide self-ligating braces as a treatment option in our office.

Self-ligating braces are an advanced system that relies on light, gentle force to correct misaligned teeth. The advantages of self-ligating braces are numerous, including zero uncomfortable ties or elastics, faster treatment, and the elimination of the need for additional tightening appointments. If you could benefit from the use of braces but don’t want to rely on traditional braces and the tightening necessary to maintain them, self-ligating braces are an excellent option.

What Do Self-Ligating Braces Do?

Self-ligating braces can be used to treat a variety of dental problems, such as gaps, overbites, crowding, and more. These braces are quickly growing in popularity because they don’t require the small elastic bands that would traditionally attach to the familiar metal arches of the braces. Instead, the wire slides into each of the individual brackets attached to the teeth. Self-ligating braces use a free-sliding mechanism that produces enough light pressure to move teeth into place, all while reducing friction and allowing teeth to move more freely. This provides the wearer with more comfort and a faster treatment process.

Advantages of Self-Ligating Braces

For children, teens, or adults considering braces, there are several different factors to assess. When it comes to deciding whether self-ligating braces are the right choice for you or your children, there are a few key advantages to consider.

Self-Ligating Braces Are Discreet

Braces are a great step toward a perfect smile, but many patients dislike the idea of visible braces during the treatment process. One of the perks of self-ligating braces is that they are more discreet than traditional metal braces – the device is smaller and less bulky. This offers a more discreet appearance, as it works to gently move your teeth into a fantastic smile.

Faster Appointments

Faster Appointments

The process of examining and tightening traditional braces can be time-consuming. With traditional braces, your orthodontic specialist often needs to stop at each elastic to ensure it is functioning as it should, removing them at the start of the appointment and replacing them after your examination. With self-ligating braces, the orthodontist only has to adjust the arch. With no need to remove elastic bands, you’ll be in and out of your orthodontist’s office quickly.

Fewer Orthodontic Appointments

Not only will self-ligating braces help you shorten your appointment times, but you’ll also benefit from fewer appointments. The O-ties used to attach the wires on traditional braces naturally wear out over time. This often requires a follow-up dental appointment every four weeks or so to replace these elastics. With self-ligating braces, you can typically go eight weeks between follow-up appointments. Choosing these braces can effectively cut your appointments in half, significantly freeing up your schedule when compared to traditional braces.

Reduction in Treatment Time

One of the most significant advantages of self-ligating braces is the overall reduction in treatment time. Traditional braces rely on elastics that can easily stretch and wear out. This decreases the effectiveness of the wiring, which is why this process can take some time. However, self-ligating braces do not use elastic components, and the mechanical clip is designed to securely hold the brace wire in place. This allows the teeth to move in a manner that is more predictable, which can help reduce treatment time by months when compared to traditional options.

Self-Ligating Braces Are Easier to Clean

Metal braces that rely on elastics can be difficult to clean for some people. Unfortunately, if food particles or plaque remain trapped beneath or around the brackets, additional dental concerns like tooth decay can occur. Self-ligating braces can be easier to clean, which can help minimize the risk of developing cavities and other dental issues.

Self-Ligating Braces Are Great For All Ages

Self-ligating braces are a great option for people of all ages, including children, teens, and adults. It is never too late to consider dental correction, especially if it is interfering with your quality of life. Children and teens can especially benefit from ease of care, increased discretion, and reduced treatment times.

Disadvantages of Self-Ligating Braces

While there are several advantages to choosing self-ligating for your teeth and straightening needs, there are a few disadvantages to consider. Understanding these aspects helps to ensure that when you speak to your orthodontist concerning your options, you are confident in your selection.

Bracket Wear and Tear

Adjustments are necessary with any type of braces, and the opening and closing of the brackets could lead to wear and tear that compromises the effectiveness of the braces. If the brackets need to be replaced, this could impact appointment and treatment length.

Tooth Surface Inaccessibility

Braces can make it more difficult to completely remove food particles. This is a common disadvantage of any type of braces that requires semi-permanent tooth attachments. Self-ligating braces are much easier to clean when compared to traditional braces that rely on elastics, but they are not perfect when it comes to tooth accessibility. To prevent tooth decay, diligent tooth care is vital, as well as consistently attending follow-up appointments.


Maintaining straightened teeth doesn’t end when braces come off. Self-ligating braces provide the best results when followed up with the use of a retainer. A retainer helps to ensure that the work completed by the braces stays. Choosing not to wear a retainer could result in reversion, which is the process of the teeth moving back to their former positions.

Smaller, But Still Visible

Smaller, But Still Visible

One advantage of self-ligating braces is that they are smaller and more discreet than traditional metal braces. However, a disadvantage is that they are still visible. If you or your child is adamant about discreet dental correction, Invisalign aligners may be a better fit. At Robison Orthodontics, we are proud to carry a variety of options to ensure our patients find the right fit for their needs.


Self-ligating braces typically cost more than traditional metal braces. This is largely due to the advanced technology needed to make these braces. Most patients are surprised to discover that even with an increased cost, self-ligating braces are still affordable. When factoring in the reduction of treatment time and fewer follow-up appointments, these braces can be worth the additional up-front cost when compared to other brace options.

The Components of Self-Ligating Braces

When it comes to braces, there are three key components to any system. These components include brackets, archwires, and O-ties (ligatures or clips). The bracket acts as a type of handle bonded with your teeth. The archwires are what ensure your teeth are gently pulled into the proper place. The O-tie, ligature, or clip is what attaches the archwire to the bracket.

Traditional braces require a small colored elastic to hold the archwire to your teeth. One of the most common complaints about traditional braces is these elastic bands, which is where self-ligating braces differ. Instead of using an O-tie, these braces use a clip mechanism to hold the archwire in the bracket. This mechanism is designed to self-ligate, which essentially means that it has the ability to tie up or close off on its own.

Self-Ligating Braces: Application, Adjustment, and Maintenance

The application of self-ligating braces is similar to that of traditional braces. Your orthodontist will first assess what dental concerns need to be addressed. After that, the components and application of these braces are familiar – your orthodontist will rely on the proper placement of brackets and archwires to guide the teeth gently into the proper place to correct bite issues. As mentioned, the major difference between traditional braces and self-ligating braces is the use of a specialized clip in place of elastics that guide the teeth along the archwire, which can make for a simpler application process.

Adjustments are also faster and less frequent with the use of self-ligating braces. The clip is designed to create a secure yet gentle pressure that can last twice the amount of time as traditional elastics. The clip also helps to reduce the amount of pressure put on the teeth, which can make the adjustments and wearing process much more comfortable.

How Long Do Self-Ligating Braces Last?

Self-ligating braces are designed to last throughout the course of your entire treatment process. This timeframe can vary due to the severity of your dental concerns. On average, most patients rely on braces for 12-30 months. Maintenance of these braces involves regular dental follow-ups (though less than traditional braces) and proper oral hygiene.

Are Self-Ligating Braces Better?

No matter which type of braces you choose, your orthodontist can help you achieve a bite that is healthier and a smile that makes you happier and more confident. Still, there are several factors to consider to determine whether self-ligating braces are better for you.

As mentioned, there are numerous advantages to choosing these braces. Self-ligating braces can reduce treatment time and create a treatment process that is more comfortable and less invasive. The advancements in technology involved with self-ligating braces help this option stand out from others available, and it is the preferred option for many patients.

Self-Ligating Braces System

At Robison Orthodontics, we are happy to offer self-ligating braces, formally called the In-Ovation system, to our patients who are interested in pursuing self-ligating braces. We chose this system due to its established reputation as an industry leader in orthodontic technology for over a decade. These braces offer the improved technology of a sliding clip mechanism, which allows teeth to move freely, reducing the overall treatment period and improving the comfort and effectiveness of the treatment process.

Learn More About Self-Ligating Braces Today

Learn More About Self-Ligating Braces Today

Self-ligating braces are a significant advancement over the traditional metal braces process in numerous ways. Braces can significantly improve your dental alignment, which not only creates a confident smile but can address problems associated with speech, sleeping, and eating. Braces are the best way to address a wide variety of orthodontic issues, including crowding, gaps, overbites, underbites, and more, but many patients who suffer from these conditions are hesitant to pursue this treatment, listing reasons such as the length of treatment, the additional appointments, the discomfort, and the appearance of traditional braces. In-Ovation self-ligating braces address all these concerns and more.

Self-ligating braces are designed to provide superior effectiveness and quality of dental adjustments than traditional braces, making them an attractive option to previously hesitant patients. Without the use of elastics, there is a drastic reduction in follow-up appointments as well as appointment length. Since these braces allow teeth to move freely, there is also a reduction in discomfort and overall treatment time.

At Robison Orthodontics, we want to provide the best treatment option for you and your children. That’s why we offer a wide range of treatment options, including traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners, self-ligating braces, and more.

To learn more about Self-Ligating Braces or any of the other orthodontic treatment options available at Robison Orthodontics in Gilbert, AZ book a free consultation today!

  1. Self-Ligating Braces: How They Differ, Benefits, Cost. (2021, March 1). Healthline.