Conventional Braces vs Damon Braces: How to Choose Your Braces
April 18, 2024

Teeth straightening in dental care is one of the marvels of modern medical innovation. Not only do we have the ability to have our teeth straightened, but now, we’re even able to choose a method of doing it based on our personal physiology! Although alternative methods range from braces to retainers and even surgery, we will focus on braces for now.

Many factors help you consider conventional braces vs Damon braces. Choosing correctly can help you maximize comfort or affordability (and sometimes both). Learn what distinguishes these two technologies in this quick guide.

Damon Braces

Damon braces is the common name many people use to refer to self-ligating braces. Like Kleenex, Chapstick, and Ping-Pong, Damon is a specific brand name that’s become ubiquitous when referring to the self-ligating system. To explain why self-ligating systems are so cool, we first have to understand how braces generally work.

How Braces Straighten Teeth

Our mouths are a lot more malleable than we realize. Even breathing differently for too long can change the way the lower half of the face looks! The slightest force or pressure applied over a long enough period can reposition your jaw and teeth.

Because of this, an orthodontic care specialist can determine the direction in which pressure should be applied to each stray tooth. Braces are the most popular tool used to apply the right amount of pressure for the right amount of time.

To do this, each brace in the set must maintain tension with the archwire to pull the tooth correctly. This pressure or tension is why many people feel discomfort when getting braces for the first time.

What Makes the Self-Ligating System Special

The term “ligation” refers to the fact that each brack has to be tied to the archwire to maintain tension on the tooth. Conventional braces use elastic or wire ligatures to maintain this tension.

As your teeth shift into place, the tension these elastics or wire produce decreases. That’s why you have to go in to have them adjusted every four to eight weeks.

Self-ligating braces have clips inside that attach directly to the archwire. These clips allow the braces to slide and re-adjust as your teeth begin to take their places. Some even have a sliding spring for extra force if it’s needed.

Increased Comfort for Many Users

More people are going for self-ligating braces today because they are more comfortable than regular braces. The self-adjusting system allows your teeth to get used to the arrangement, and you also don’t face the discomfort of the periodic tightening sessions.

Self-litigating braces also usually require a less strict cleaning regime. The elastics in conventional braces attract many of the same issues as the rubber bands that some patients may need for their dental care.

These issues include the need for extra cleaning (to prevent plaque buildup), extra maintenance, and frequent replacement. People with Damon braces enjoy the thought that their braces aren’t “attracting extra dirt” in their line of duty.

Appearance Factor

Many people like to customize their braces. Some express themselves by having a color scheme or having a different color on each tooth. Others want their braces to be barely noticeable.

Damon braces offer more possibilities for customization. The metal varieties come in many different colors, and there are also clear variants.

Cost Factor

Every orthodontic service provider charges a different price for the products they offer. However, on average, the price gap between conventional braces and Damon braces is usually not too wide. Conventional braces can also cost more in follow-up appointments because they must be manually tightened.


The fact that each brace has a more complex mechanical component may become a drawback. If the self-ligating system breaks, that brace needs to be replaced immediately. This can become a frequent occurrence in cases where the braces need to align bigger teeth or help with more severe alignments.

Those cases can also cause the self-aligning systems to pull in the wrong direction. Patients then need to have their braces re-calibrated.

A patient’s specific needs can cause self-ligating braces to be the sub-optimal choice. It’s best to learn how all the different types of braces work before making the final decision.

Conventional Braces

After all the hype for the self-ligating system, you might wonder why traditional products still exist. The reason is that they can be more beneficial than the alternatives for some people.

Improved Modern Versions

Even though conventional braces work in pretty much the same way as they always have, modern products are much more refined. Newer braces aren’t as bulky, making them more comfortable.

Because they aren’t as mechanically complex, they tend to be the most durable option for all patients. Extra durability can also bring down costs in that the braces won’t need frequent replacement or maintenance.

Treating More Severe Cases

Conventional braces can help exert more pressure and handle more severe cases’ demands. These cases often require frequent attention. Conventional braces lend themselves to this need because the wearer has to have them re-tightened every couple of weeks.

In these sessions, the orthodontist can monitor the patient’s progress and make changes if necessary.

Some People Can See Faster Results

Sometimes, a person might be able to choose between a long process with self-ligating braces or a quicker (but less comfortable) route with traditional braces. If the person doesn’t mind the discomfort, they can get straight teeth in less time.

Conventional Braces vs Damon Braces: Choose What’s Best For You

The main thing to remember in the conventional braces vs Damon braces debate is that they both operate on the same basic principle. The braces keep tension with the archwire to exert pressure on teeth.

Conventional braces use elastics or wires to keep this tension. Damon braces use a more complex, self-ligating mechanism to do this.

The benefits you’ll get from either type depend on your oral health needs. At Carolina Braces, we love our patients and treat each individual with personalized care. Let us help give you the best advice and the smile of your dreams today.