Self-ligating braces are different that conventional metal braces because they use a slide mechanism or door to hold the wire into place. Some of the names of these are the DamonTM bracket SpeedTM appliance and Smart Clip. This design results if the absence of elastic ties of the teeth. These are the colors seen on most orthodontic patients teeth.
The self-ligating braces were developed in an attempt to make orthodontic treatment more efficient. The idea is that because regular braces use elastic ties to hold the wire in place there is friction caused that slows tooth movement. Self ligating braces do not have the elastic ties therefore the thought was that the decreased friction would increase the speed of tooth movement.
There are some negative features of these types of braces. The door mechanism of some of the designs sometimes makes them more bulky or larger than conventional braces. In addition the secretions from the saliva and food particles can make the doors become frozen. Another factor is that the children can not use the color ties on their braces . This is often a part of orthodontic treatment which make the visits fun. If the elastic ties are used it defeats the purpose of the self ligating design.
Some of the reasons given for recommending are the use of the self ligating braces are decreased treatment time, less need for expanders and less need for extraction of teeth. Although there are some studies that support these claims, there has not been a consensus to date that all of the studies support them.