Understanding How Self-Ligating Braces Work. Having your teeth straightened is an essential part of achieving a healthy and beautiful smile. There is a wide range of teeth straightening options available to you or your children. The most modern of which are self-ligating braces. This type of orthodontic application comes with its own unique advantages that may make it the preferable option for you. Understanding how these appliances work will provide you with the information necessary to make an informed purchase decision.