Metal Braces

Traditional braces have been around for a long time, making them one of the most recognizable symbols of orthodontics.

These orthodontic workhorses have a long history of successful treatment and are great at correcting many oral issues.

At The Smile Patio Orthodontics, metal braces continue to be the top orthodontic treatment for patients of all ages in Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos and the surrounding areas. Call today for a free consultation!

What Are Braces Made of?


The brackets Dr. Albaugh uses are durable and made from a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other metals.

Brackets have little hooks or doors where Dr. Albaugh will thread a wire. The bracket can then be secured by closing the door, or by placing an elastic over the top of the wire.



This is what Dr. Albaugh will use to attach the brackets to your teeth. It’s common to attach the bracket directly to the tooth with glue.


This thin piece of metal runs from one bracket to another. Dr. Albaugh will change the shape and curvature of the wire to move your teeth in the right direction.

The wire will attach all of your bottom or upper teeth together in many cases. We might occasionally cut the wire if connecting just a few teeth is better for your treatment plan.

Orthodontic Wires


If Dr. Albaugh determines that you need bite correction, elastics are essential. They’re generally strung between an upper bracket hook and a lower bracket hook.

This will pull the upper jaw backward to correct an overbite, or the lower jaw back to correct an underbite.

We may use rubber bands for many different situations, especially when we want to put extra pressure on the teeth or jaws.


Orthodontic Bands

These are stainless steel rings that are cemented to your teeth using dental bonding agents. These bands can provide an anchor for your braces and orthodontic appliances, but they’re not used for everyone.



These small elastic “donuts” or rings can be used by Dr. Albaugh to create space in between your teeth when needed, typically before bands are placed. They’re also referred to as separators.


Elastic Ties/O-Rings/Ligatures/Colors

These tiny rubber rings or bands are used to attach the archwire to the brackets. They’re less rigid than spacers, and at The Smile Patio Orthodontics, they come in dozens of colors and we can customize them to your liking for holidays and more!

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Metal Braces FAQ