Shape Your New Smile Without Rubber Bands

  • April 4, 2016

When we think of technological advances, many people think about electronic devices.

We can use automobiles as an example. Many early Model T’s had a hand crank to help you start the engine. Eventually, battery-powered engines became the standard. This made starting the car a less physically demanding activity.

But technology isn’t just about gadgets and gizmos. Orthodontics are a type of technology, too.

Traditional braces work with three pieces working together. They are the brackets, the wires, and the ligatures. Ligatures are the small rubber bands that attach to your braces that assist in pushing and pulling your teeth.

Today, you can do away with those tiny circles of rubber with self-ligating braces, which are available in Boca Raton, FL, at the office of orthodontic specialist Robert A. Eckelson, D.D.S., P.A.

It may not be the same eliminating the hand-crank to get your engine going, but it is a step forward in orthodontic care.


Some people call them ligatures. Some people call them elastics, and some people just call them tiny rubber bands.

No matter what you call them, they do play an important role in orthodontic treatment. Ligatures assist in the process of moving your teeth. Ligatures help by doing a couple things for you.

These tiny rubber circles may be used to keep your archwire in line with your brackets. Ligatures also may be used to help guide the direction in which your teeth move.

Some people enjoy the different colors of rubber bands. This can add a little personality to your braces. Nevertheless, ligatures may need to be replaced frequently since they can and do come loose.

You may know someone who has braces with ligatures. You should ask them what they think of those little rubber bands.

Self-Ligating Braces

As the name suggests, self-ligating braces do not use ligatures.

If you get theses braces, then you won’t have to worry about keeping up with or replacing those tiny rubber bands. Self-ligating braces are made from a special kind of metal. This allows them to hold the archwire in place without any assistance.

These braces can provide you with the same kinds of results that you might expect with any braces.

They can correct crooked teeth. They can change the spacing between crowded teeth or teeth with gaps between them. They can fix overbites and underbites, too.

Self-ligating braces also offer some benefits for patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

For starters, you don’t have to keep up with your ligatures. You won’t need to have a steady supply of small rubber bands at the ready when and if one of them comes off.

Second, self-ligating braces are generally smaller than traditional braces.

Traditional braces have small hooks. These are necessary so you can attach your ligatures where they are needed.

If you don’t have ligatures, then you don’t need the hooks. As a result, self-ligating braces are less bulky than traditional braces. This can make them a little more comfortable, too.

Most self-ligating braces have a nickel-titanium archwire. This can reduce the friction within your braces. This may help your treatment move a little faster than it would with traditional braces.

How To Get Them

If you know that you or someone you care about will be getting braces soon, we welcome you to visit our dentist office in Boca Raton.

Our dentist, Dr. Eckelson, will be happy to consult with you or your loved one. He will examine your teeth. He can help determine if you are eligible to use self-ligating braces. He also will provide the information you need to decide which orthodontic treatment works best for you or your loved one.

Some patients may want to ask about lingual braces, too. These braces are placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front. This makes them less visible, although they may be more difficult to clean in some cases.

Henry Ford famously said that his customers could have any color car they wanted as long as it was black. Once upon a time, orthodontic care was similar. You had one option for your treatment, and that was it.

Today, you may be able to choose between multiple options to achieve the results that you want. One thing will stay the same, no matter your treatment at the office of Robert A. Eckelson, D.D.S., P.A.

You will be under the care of an experienced and caring orthodontic specialist who wants your treatment to be as effective as possible. To get started, schedule a consultation by calling 561-235-3100 or filling out our online form.


No More Crooked Teeth! Fix crooked teeth and enjoy a healthier, beautiful smile. See how orthodontics can help you in our FREE e-book