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The aim of this study was to compare the degree of discomfort experienced during the period of initial orthodontic tooth movement using Damon3™ self-ligating and Synthesis™ conventional ligating pre-adjusted bracket systems. Sixty-two subjects were recruited from two centres (32 males and 30 females; mean age 16 years, 3 months) with lower incisor irregularity between 5 and 12 mm and a prescribed extraction pattern, including lower first premolar teeth. These subjects were randomly allocated for treatment with either bracket system. Fully ligated Damon™ 0.014-inch Cu NiTi archwires were used for initial alignment in both groups. Following archwire insertion, the subjects were given a prepared discomfort diary to complete over the first week, recording discomfort by means of a 100 mm visual analogue scale at 4 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, and 1 week. The subjects also noted any self-prescribed analgesics that were taken during the period of observation. Data were analysed using repeated measures analysis of variance.There were no statistically significant differences in perceived discomfort levels between the two appliances; discomfort did not differ at the first time point and did not develop differently across subsequent measurement times. Overall, this investigation found no evidence to suggest that Damon3 self-ligating brackets are associated with less discomfort than conventional pre-adjusted brackets during initial tooth alignment, regardless of age or gender.