Ninety composite resin discs, 6 mm in diameter and 2 mm in height, were prepared and treated with an ageing procedure. After ageing, the specimens were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: (1) control with no surface treatment, (2) 38 per cent phosphoric acid gel, (3) 9.6 per cent hydrofluoric acid gel, (4) airborne aluminium trioxide particle abrasion, (5) sodium bicarbonate particle abrasion, and (6) diamond bur. The metal brackets were bonded to composite surfaces by means of an orthodontic adhesive (Transbond XT). All specimens were stored in water for 1 week at 37 degrees C and then thermocycled (1000 cycles, 5-55 degrees C) prior to SBS testing. SBS values and residual adhesive on the composite surface were evaluated.