In orthodontics, for generations, we have been trying to come up with a brace with less friction because that was the Holy Grail— a way to hold the wires in place to get control of the teeth. Friction, however, is not always bad as there are times you want more friction to give you more control.

Self-ligating brackets are ideal because they cut down the friction in the first third of the treatment, and then you can increase the friction later for the finishing movements to better control the final details and attain the desired results.

In my practice, I use SmartClip self-ligating brackets so I can control when I need less friction or more friction. Made by 3M, there is already adhesive on the back so there is less chance of bracket failures. Although the SmartClip brackets do not require elastic ligatures, I can still add the colors that adolescents like when wearing braces.

Teeth move better with light, continuous forces, which is how we do orthodontics today, as opposed to the heavy force used in the 1960s and 1970s. That’s why braces used to hurt, but now with new self-ligating technology the discomfort is minimal.

SmartClips are easy to use and they match my personality of my orthodontics style. It’s all about patient satisfaction, and using SmartClip allows me to use lighter forces and requires less and shorter patient visits during treatment.