Not so long-ago braces typically comprised of metal brackets, archwires and elastic bands (sometimes referred to as elastic ligatures). The brackets are attached to each tooth and connected by the archwire, which is held in place by the elastic bands (as shown below).


Coloured fixed braces


These ‘train track’ style braces remain a popular, tried and tested way to align teeth – and they can achieve fantastic results.

However, while fixed braces are undoubtedly great at straightening teeth, growing demand for orthodontic treatment has seen the introduction of new, innovative braces. These include clear aligners; lingual braces such as eBrace; and self-ligating braces, which are probably the most mysterious of all three.

Just like traditional braces, self-ligating braces move teeth using brackets and wires. The important distinction is that they don’t use elastic bands. Instead, the brackets feature sliding clips that hold the wire in position.

The benefits of self-ligating braces

  • Self-ligating braces come in several different forms, including clear brackets and even self-ligating lingual braces, which are discreetly attached behind your teeth.
  • With no elastic bands to attract and harbour food, self-ligating braces are easy to keep clean during orthodontic treatment, helping to prevent tooth decay.
  • Your orthodontist will need to periodically change your archwire during your treatment. Sliding clips make this task much easier, resulting in shorter appointments.
  • There’s less risk of self-ligating braces staining if you eat or drink the wrong things during your treatment. (White and clear elastic bands can be especially prone to stains.)
  • Self-ligating brackets can be ‘passive’ or ‘active’. Passive brackets help to reduce friction, while active brackets provide greater control.

Are self-ligating braces right for you?

Self-ligating braces are suitable for all ages, and they’re ideal for treating a wide range of malocclusions (incorrectly positioned teeth). They can help simple cases such as mild crowding, as well as more complex problems such as teeth that don’t bite together properly.

Clear aligners are a popular choice among patients, but there are some malocclusions that require fixed braces, for example severely rotated teeth. Some patients also like the security of a brace that’s fixed in place for the duration of their treatment. There’s no risk of you losing it or not wearing it for long enough each day.

If you’re looking for a discreet brace, self-ligating clear braces are less obtrusive than metal brackets, while lingual self-ligating braces are completely hidden.

eLock self-ligating lingual braces

eLock lingual brace


eLock (pictured above) is our self-ligating lingual brace. It combines the discreetness of a lingual brace with the efficiency of self-ligating brackets. It’s also custom-made, so it’s designed and manufactured to
perfectly fit your teeth.

We’ve carefully designed our brackets to be low profile, to provide you with a more comfortable experience. Importantly, we’ve also designed eLock to give your orthodontist exceptional control – so you can achieve incomparable results.

To learn more about self-ligating lingual braces, find your local eBrace provider.

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