What are orthodontic braces made of?

Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
The traditional metal braces are made of stainless steel. The arch wires that go into the braces are made of different types of material. Some of the wires placed early on in the orthodontic treatment are made of an alloy of nickel, copper and titanium, some of the wires are made of titanium and molybdinum. The later stages of orthodontic treatment will usually use arch wires made of stainless steel.

There are clear braces that are made of porcelain composite, or plastic. There are also clear aligner systems that use  propylene plastic.
Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Today's "braces" are made of many different materials. Metal brackets are typically made of stainless steel. Clear braces are made of either porcelain or plastic. Aligners (Invisalign) are made out of polypropylene plastic. Modern wires are made from stainless steel, nickel titanium, molybdinum, copper, and traces of many other rare metals. The o-rings and chains used to tie it all together are made of rubber, latex, or vinyl. If you have allergies to any of these materials, be sure and mention it to your orthodontist at your first visit so that he can help you select the brackets, wires, and ligatures best suited for your medical condition.
Orthodontic braces are made of non-magnetized materials of different types, including plastic, metal, ceramic, or a combination. They can be made in fun shapes like stars, hearts, or footballs, with colored rubber bands, or gold-plated for a more ornamental look. Some retainers can even glow in the dark.

Continue Learning about Orthodontics

How old do I have to be to start wearing braces on my teeth?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Since abnormal bites usually become noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, orthodontic treatment o...
More Answers
How do braces and retainers work?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Straightening your teeth can be accomplished in different ways. The kind of orthodontic treatment yo...
More Answers
Can I wear braces if I'm pregnant?
Gregory J. Jorgensen, DMDGregory J. Jorgensen, DMD
Having braces while you are pregnant will be no problem at all. There are two things that you need t...
More Answers
Are braces affordable?
Dante A. Gonzales, DMDDante A. Gonzales, DMD
Affordable is a relative term, but most orthodontic offices will offer payment plans with no interes...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.