Trusted Treatment

The most common type of braces at Parks, Schmit, & Fuller Orthodontics are metal braces. This option offers straight smiles for patients of all ages around Cedar Rapids and Marion and the surrounding areas.

What Are Braces Made of?

3M Brackets

Parks, Schmit, & Fuller Orthodontics uses 3M brackets, which are made from a durable mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other metals.

Brackets have little hooks and doors where our doctors thread a wire. We secure the bracket by closing the door or by placing an elastic over the top of the wire.


This is what our team 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. Our doctors will change the wire's shape and curvature to move your teeth in the right direction.

The wire will attach all your bottom or upper teeth together often. We may occasionally cut the wire if connecting a few teeth is better for your treatment plan.


If you need bite correction, elastics are important. They’re usually strung between an upper bracket hook and a lower bracket hook.

This pulls your upper jaw backward to correct an overbite, or the lower jaw back to correct an underbite. Rubber bands are for many different situations, especially when we want to put extra pressure on the teeth or jaws.

Orthodontic Bands

We cement these stainless steel rings to your teeth using dental bonding agents. These bands secure the braces on your teeth!


If we need to make space between your teeth, we put spacers on your treatment. We use these small elastic “donuts” or rings before we place your bands. You might also hear them called “separators”.

Elastic Ties/O-Rings/Ligatures/Colors

Dr. Parks, Dr. Schmit, and Dr. Fuller use these tiny rubber rings or bands to attach the archwire to the brackets. Elastics are less rigid than spacers and you can get them in dozens of colors.

Metal Braces FAQ