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Types of Braces: A Little About Traditional Metal Braces

Types of Braces: A Little About Traditional Metal Braces

There are many types of braces available these days, but traditional metal braces are still the what most people think of when they picture braces. Today, our Coquitlam orthodontists talk a little about these classic orthodontic appliances.

Although there is a growing variety of options, traditional metal braces are still the most common teeth straightening treatment for orthodontic patients.

That said, metal braces have changed a lot over the years. Today’s metal braces are much smaller, lower profile, and more comfortable than previous versions.

What are metal braces made of?

Not surprisingly, metal braces are made of – you guessed it – metal! Generally, they’re made of high quality stainless steel or titanium.

Metal braces consist of 3 main parts:


The brackets are the part of the braces that are attached to the teeth using a special bonding material that holds them in place.


The archwire is the thin length of metal wire that connects the brackets to each other. The archwire puts pressure on the teeth to guide them into their new positions.

Ligature Elastic (otherwise known as “rubber bands”)

Your ligature elastics are the coloured (or clear) rubber bands that hold the archwires to the brackets. Your orthodontist will change the elastics at each appointment, allowing you to switch colours if you like.

How do metal braces work?

Metal braces exert continuous pressure on your teeth. The force of this pressure is what moves your teeth into the correct positions.

When you visit your orthodontist during treatment, they will likely tighten the archwires and replace your rubber bands. These steps are necessary to make sure your treatment progresses.

Metal Braces Are for Everyone

Metal braces continue to be among the most popular and most cost-effective orthodontic treatments available. However, each patient is different, and your orthodontist can help you determine which treatment is best for your individual case.

Please contact our Coquitlam orthodontists  today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how braces can enhance your smile.