Self-ligating brackets is an improved version of the conventional braces, it is similar to conventional braces in that they made of stainless steel (in the metal braces) or white porcelain (in the ceramic one), these pieces are called brackets or braces, and each of these pieces contains a small slot in which the straightening wire is inserted. However Self ligating brackets differs from the conventional braces in that it contains a special external lid (or lock) installed on each bracket, that works to fix the wire inside the bracket slot, this process is an alternative to the rubber rings that we use in the traditional braces, it reduces friction between the archwire and the braces, which speeds up the movement of the teeth, reduces the number of needed monthly follow-up sessions, and eliminates any need to replace the rubber rings periodically as it is needed for conventional braces.
The braces are attached to the teeth by means of special dental cements, simply, with no pain, and without any need for anesthesia (and without inserting nails or screws into the teeth, as some may imagine).
The first appointment for placing the braces usually lasts for half an hour to an hour, after which we do follow-up sessions every 5-6 weeks where we open the locks installed on each bracket with a special tool, replace the archwire with a larger wire if necessary, and reclose the lock again. These periodic follow up usually take from 10 to 20 minutes each.
The fixed braces on the teeth require special care from the patient, the food residues around the braces must be cleaned after each meal to protect the dental health and avoid tooth decay and gingival bleeding and swelling. Patients should also be careful when eating, stay away from hard food items (Such as olive kernels, bone pieces, or hard bread), or those that stick to the teeth (such as toffee, caramel, or chewing gum), avoid opening the caps of bottles with the teeth and should avoid violent sports.
At the end of the treatment period, the metal braces are removed using special tools without any need for dental anesthesia, and with no pain. After that, the adhesive residues are cleaned from the teeth surface, so the tooth enamel outer surface usually returns to its normal shape after cleaning it, if there were no decay or deep staining around the braces due to the lack of care for the dental hygiene, as mentioned earlier.