The most commonly used appliance to straighten teeth are metal braces. This type of appliance has been around for a long time but, like many others areas of orthodontics, the technology has evolved greatly over the years.
Many patients love traditional metal brackets and the opportunity to change out the colors at each adjustment appointment. Metal brackets also tend to be slightly lower profile, and a smaller footprint, than ceramic braces. Metal braces are made from stainless steel and do not break or chip unless excess force is applied to them.
Stainless steel is composed of various sub-components including aluminum, chromium, and nickel. Although extremely rare, if you are concerned about the possibility of a nickel allergy, non-metal appliances such as Invisalign or ceramic brackets may be a good alternative.
Each bracket has a specific prescription that dictates the way in which the wires move the teeth during treatment. In summary, traditional metal braces are strong, cost-effective, and proven treatment modality.