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What Are Self-Ligating Braces?

Teen With Braces from Schatz Orthodontics

At Schatz Orthodontics, we offer many different types of San Antonio braces treatment, including self-ligating braces. If you, like many people, are unfamiliar with this term, it may be difficult to make an informed decision about which option is best for your teen! Thankfully, self-ligating braces are just as effective as traditional braces, but they have a few notable advantages over their customary counterpart.



Self-Ligating Braces Don’t Require Rubber Bands

If you don’t know how braces work–that’s completely forgivable. It can seem like a complex mechanical system when you’re face-to-face with all of that metal. Traditionally, metal brackets are glued onto the teeth. Each bracket has little divots where the arch wire rests. (The arch wire is the piece of wire that connects the brackets, so they can pull teeth closer together.)


Typically, the wire is held in place by metal ties or rubber bands. These rubber bands have to be removed and replaced at every check-up. If you lose one, you risk getting off course with your treatment


With self-ligating braces, tiny metal clips secure the arch wire in place, so no metal bands or ties are required. You might ask yourself, does this make them more uncomfortable than traditional braces? After all, the rubber bands are a nice buffer for the lips, so they don’t have to rub against metal constantly. Well, one study showed that self-ligating braces often feel more comfortable than traditional.

Perceived Comfort of Self-Ligating Braces

One National Institute of Health (NIH) study showed that self-ligating braces recipients reported less discomfort than those with conventional braces. While the difference wasn’t significant enough to draw conclusions, higher comfort levels were consistent across the board. Many attribute this to a lack of friction between the inside of the mouth and the bandless brackets.

Required Maintenance for Self-Ligating Braces

It’s fairly well-known that braces can be a hassle to care for. Because of the rubber bands and wire, it can be difficult to brush and floss the full surface of your teeth. Plus, the ties create tiny pockets for food particles to hide in. Losing the ties, as it turns out, helps braces wearers to more effectively clean their teeth and brackets.

Self-Ligating Braces Require Shorter Adjustment Visits

Just like conventional braces, self-ligating braces require regular adjustments. While these visits aren’t particularly long to begin with, that time is cut even shorter when your orthodontist doesn’t have to spend minutes unwrapping and re-wrapping your rubber bands.

Some People Really Like to Choose Rubber Band Colors

If your teen is really looking forward to choosing a new rubber band color every month or so, then self-ligating braces may not be best for them. Talk to them about what they’d like and expect over the course of their treatment. Do they look forward to spicing things up with a set of hot pink bands? Were they hoping to sport rainbow brackets to the envy of all of their friends? Then, they may just prefer traditional braces, and that’s just fine.

Visit Schatz Orthodontics for San Antonio Braces Treatment

We offer a variety of orthodontic treatment options so that we can truly cater to the preferences and needs of each individual. If self-ligating braces are right for your child, then we want to pave the way toward a straighter smile with their preferred treatment. If they would prefer clear aligners, traditional braces, or ceramic braces, then we can talk about the advantages of these options as well.


Schedule an appointment to get started on your child’s orthodontic treatment journey. Call 210-934-3309.

Posted on behalf of Schatz Orthodontics

22610 US Highway 281 North, Suite 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

Phone: (210) 494-4606

Free consultation for new patients!

Call: (210) 494-4606
Book an Appointment


22610 US Highway 281 North, Suite 201
San Antonio, TX 78258


(210) 494-4606

Opening Hours

Monday - Wednesday 7:00AM – 4:30PM
Thursday 7:00AM – 4:00PM
Lunch Time 12:30PM - 1:30PM

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