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Written by NoFrills Dental

This dental article has been curated by the clinical team @ NoFrills Dental 🙂

January 28, 2022

ceramic braces

Imagine this: You have just gotten the news that you are required to wear braces in order to straighten your teeth. Oh no!

“Which type of braces do I choose? Conventional and self-ligating braces look exactly the same!”

Fret not! Recent developments in technology have helped us develop a plethora of braces . Self-ligating braces continue to be the latest of those inventions.

In this article, we explain the benefits of self-ligating braces, what dental problems can self-ligating braces fix and the types of self-ligating braces that are out there !

Self-ligating braces

Dental braces realign crooked teeth, adjust the positioning of the jaw, and correct an irregular bite. With traditional braces, the brackets that go your teeth are connected by archwire that’s attached with rubber bands called ligatures, also known as modules.

Self-ligating braces consist of just brackets and wire, eliminating the need for ligatures. Self-ligating brackets act like sliding doors, using a system built into the bracket itself to hold the archwire. These doors open and close to keep the archwire in position with minimal tension. This avoids the problems associated with ligatures. Because the archwire slides inside brackets – rather than being bonded directly to the brackets with elastics – self-ligating braces adapt better to your teeth, making treatment more pleasant and less painful.

The rubber bands of traditional braces exert additional pressure on your teeth and jaw, which can be painful when you first get your braces. Ligatures can also break, and some types contain latex, which may cause an allergic reaction. By eliminating elastics, self-ligating braces offer several advantages compared with regular braces. They’re more comfortable because they cause less friction than traditional braces. They’re also easier to clean and may straighten teeth faster in some cases.

Here are five benefits of self-ligating braces:


Self-ligating braces show faster results

Treatment time with self-ligating braces can be significantly shorter than that of standard braces. One clinical trial in the US found that self-ligating braces straightened upper teeth much faster in the first four months of treatment, due to reduced friction.


Fewer visits to the dentist

Conventional braces need to be tightened by your dentist about every four weeks. With self-ligating braces, you may only need to see your dentist every eight weeks.

holding a toothbrush

Better oral hygiene 

The ligatures of traditional braces trap food particles and make brushing and flossing more difficult. Self-ligating braces leave little room for plaque to build up.

happy girl

Less pressure on teeth

The pressure of self-ligating braces is distributed more evenly across teeth, creating a less intensive, more comfortable experience.


Better appearance 

The ligatures of conventional braces are prone to staining. Technology allows for miniaturization of braces so that they are less noticeable and more comfortable to the lips and cheeks.

girl pointing right

What problems can braces fix?

Self-ligating braces can resolve multiple dental problems and correct crooked teeth in cases of:

  • Overbite – when upper front teeth cover the lower front teeth.
  • Underbite – when the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw.
  • Open bite – when upper and lower teeth fail to meet when your mouth is closed.
  • Crossbite – when upper teeth lie behind lower teeth.
  • Crowded teeth – caused by lack of room in the jaw for teeth to grow normally.
  • Gapped teeth – excessive spacing between teeth.

In fixing problems like these, self-ligating braces prevent issues such as tooth decay and gum disease from build-up of plaque. Straight teeth are easier to clean. They also allow you to smile with confidence again, without embarrassment over revealing unsightly teeth.


Why self-ligating braces?

Self-ligating braces are more comfortable because they move teeth with less pressure and friction than standard braces.

They also make cleaning and maintenance easier. With no ligatures, the brackets are less likely to trap food debris, which can lead to accumulation of bacteria and plaque.

Self-ligating braces may also shorten treatment time, with fewer follow-up visits to the dentist.

On the downside, self-ligating braces tend to cost more than conventional braces (more about this later), and are less customisable because there’s no opportunity to use coloured elastics.

Types of self-ligating braces

Different types of self-ligating braces are categorised according to function and the material they’re made from. There are also several brands of self-ligating braces, although the core system is the same – a frame with no rubber bands to secure archwire. Self-ligating braces can be passive or active but both use a door or gate-like mechanism to close over the bracket.

  • Passive self-ligating brackets have a simple sliding mechanism and don’t press on the archwire.
  • Active self-ligating brackets use a sliding spring clip system and push against the wire to applying an active force.

Self-ligating braces can be made from either metal or ceramic

There are several types of self-ligating braces including:

self ligating braces metal

1. Self-Ligating metal braces

Because self-ligating metal braces don’t use elastics, they’re smaller than standard metal braces and take up less space on each tooth, so you get a less conspicuous metal brace. The brackets are made with stainless steel.

self ligating braces ceramic

2. Self-Ligating ceramic braces

Self-ligating ceramic braces also occupy less space on teeth. In addition, clear or tooth-coloured ceramic brackets blend in with your teeth for even greater discretion.


self ligating braces metal

1. Self-ligating metal braces

Because self-ligating metal braces don’t use elastics, they’re smaller than standard metal braces and take up less space on each tooth, so you get a less conspicuous metal brace. The brackets are made with stainless steel.

self ligating braces ceramic

2. Self-ligating ceramic braces

Self-ligating ceramic braces also occupy less space on teeth. In addition, clear or tooth-coloured ceramic brackets blend in with your teeth for even greater discretion.

dentist doing checkup

Braces treatment process

The process of getting self-ligating braces begins with a consultation with your dentist, which entails an oral examination and X-rays or digital scans. This is followed by a second appointment to discuss your treatment plan and give you an idea of how your teeth will look after treatment.

The third step is when your dentist places the self-ligating braces on your teeth.

This typically involves:

  • Cleaning and polishing your teeth.
  • Gluing on the brackets.
  • Placing and securing the archwire.
  • Trimming the archwire.

After the brackets have been placed onto your teeth, your journey to a brand new smile has officially begun! The entire braces treatment process may take up to 2 years or more to complete, with you having to come in for regular visits once every 6 – 8 weeks.



Cost of self-ligating braces

Self-ligating braces are generally more expensive than standard braces because they use more advanced technology. Factors that affect the cost of self-ligating braces include the complexity of the orthodontic problem and length of treatment.

Self-ligating braces at NoFrills Dental in Singapore are priced from $5,500 to $7,500. This compares with $3,500 to $6,500 for regular braces, and $4,500 to $9,500 for Invisalign aligners.

(Prices are before GST).


Why NoFrills Dental?

NoFrills Dental is an experienced provider of braces treatment in Singapore, including self-ligating braces.

Our clinics are conveniently located at Suntec City and Marina Square, and offer a variety of payment options for self-ligating braces.

Individuals choose our self-ligating braces treatment because of our:

  • Affordable prices.
  • Orthodontic expertise.
  • High standards of patient care.
  • Friendly, approachable team.

Contact us to find out how self-ligating braces could give you your dream smile with more comfort and convenience than traditional braces.

Frequently asked questions

Am I suitable for self-ligating braces?

Self-ligating braces are suitable for people with many types of orthodontic issues, including a wide range of bite problems and crowded or gapped teeth.

How long do I wear self-ligating braces?

You may need to wear your self-ligating braces for 12 to 24 months, depending on the complexity of your case.

Do self-ligating braces hurt?

You may get some soreness for a few days at the start of treatment. This can be eased with over-the-counter pain relief.

Can I use MediSave to pay for self-ligating braces?

MediSave can’t be used to pay for non-surgical dental procedures such as self-ligating braces treatment.

NoFrills Dental Team of Professionals | Professional Team of Dentists in Singapore | Best dentists in Singapore

Looking to get started on your brand new & improved smile? Speak to our dentists today!

Our team of experienced dentists are fully dedicated to providing patients with high-quality and affordable dental care. Our dentists are well-versed in the cosmetic dentistry, and highly adept in producing highly aesthetic and long lasting results for all of our patients.

Schedule an appointment

We’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Our Dental Clinics

We are conveniently located at these locations:

NoFrills Dental @ Suntec City

3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City (North Wing)
Singapore 038983

T: +65 6337 7319
E: suntec@nofrillsdental.com.sg

NoFrills Dental @ Marina Square

6 Raffles Boulevard,
Marina Square,
Singapore 039594

T: +65 6227 8885
E: marinasquare@nofrillsdental.com.sg

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