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What is the difference between Damon braces and traditional braces?

February 17, 2017


Are you thinking about getting your teeth straightened?

If you are, you’re probably awash with the various types and brands of orthodontics available today. 

Traditional braces, Damon braces, Invisalign, 6 Month Smiles, Lingual…the list goes on... 

Each type of brace has their own advantages and disadvantages, and today we’re investigating the differences between Damon braces and traditional braces. 

How do braces work?

To understand the differences between traditional and Damon braces, you need to know the principles that govern all orthodontic appliances.

Braces work by putting pressure on your teeth, with the aim of aligning them. 

This pressure stretches and compresses the ligament that holds your teeth into your gums, moving the teeth slightly in the desired direction. 

The teeth loosen, which allows new bone to grow to support them in their new position. 

Repeated over a period of at least 6 months, this process safely moves the teeth into alignment. 

Thinking of starting your own ‘stunning smile’ journey? Click here to book an appointment at Elmsleigh House. 

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces, widely known as ‘train-tracks’, use brackets that are attached to your teeth and a special ‘arch-wire’, which applies the pressure. 

These typically use a coloured rubber band to keep the wire attached to the brackets on your teeth. 

This is known as ‘conventional ligation’.

Throughout the treatment, your orthodontist will assess the movement of your teeth, tightening and adjusting the pressure of the arch-wire on your teeth. 

The main issue cited with this method is the friction caused between the brace and the wire, which can cause significant discomfort for the wearer.  

Damon Braces

Damon braces may seem like a new technology, but in reality self-ligating brackets like Damon braces were first conceived as long ago as 1935!

‘The Damon System’, as Damon braces are more formally known, was introduced in 1996 by Dr Dwight Damon. 

He specifically designed them to avoid the issue of friction between the wires and the brackets, which has been associated with an increased treatment time and discomfort. 

The main differences between Damon braces and traditional ligation braces is the way that the wire is held to the brackets on your teeth. 

Traditional braces use elastic bands or fine wires to tie the wire into the brackets. 

Damon braces on the other hand, use a unique slide mechanism, allowing your teeth more freedom to move and reducing friction. 

Damon Braces claim that this results in a treatment that requires less trips to the orthodontist to tighten the wires, moves teeth faster, and gets results “usually without extractions or…expanders”. 

They tend to be slightly more discreet too, and have been shown to be more hygienic, as the rubber bands used in traditional braces can harbour bacteria and plaque. 


It is impossible to find any procedure that doesn’t come with some disadvantages, and both traditional and Damon braces have their pros and cons. 

For that reason, it would be erroneous to claim any one system is better suited for everybody. 

Despite the many stunning claims around Damon braces, the truth is there is little real difference between the two treatments. 

It’s important to remember, particularly with orthodontics, that no braces manufacturer has stuck a Faustian bargain that allows them to circumvent the laws of nature and speed up your body’s ability to grow new bone. 

In reality, all orthodontic systems work.

What you’re paying for is not the type of system being used, but rather the expertise of the dentist or orthodontist using the system. 

Your dentist’s interpretation of your aesthetic desires and their skills and understanding of the available technology will be will be the deciding factor in the quality of your results.

That’s why it’s so important to choose your dentist with care, and to find one with good experience in your chosen treatment who makes you feel comfortable and confident.

Sticking to that mantra will help to ensure that you get the best results, not matter what treatment type you choose.

Thinking of starting your own ‘stunning smile’ journey? Click below to book an appointment at Elmsleigh House. 

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