These in vitro studies investigated the effect of adhesive thickness on the tensile and shear bond strength of a light-cured, resin-modified glass-ionomer cement (FO). A light-cured conventional composite resin (CO) was used as the control material. Mesh-based metal brackets were bonded to extracted human premolars using FO and CO. The adhesive thickness was controlled by a special device and 0, 0.25, and 0.5 mm thicknesses were tested for both bonding agents. All bonded specimens were stored in distilled water at 37 degrees C for 48 hours and thermocycled between 5 degrees C and 55 degrees C for 200 cycles before testing. Analysis of variance showed that bond strength was significantly affected by the adhesive thickness (P <.001) and type of adhesive (P =.001). There were statistically significant differences between the mean bond strengths of the groups at the P <.05 level of significance. For all adhesive thicknesses, CO had higher bond strength values than those of FO in both test modes. The bond strength values were also analyzed using a Weibull analysis, which showed the most favorable adhesive thickness, and the 5% and 90% probabilities of failures was 0.25 mm in the FO groups. Bracket-adhesive interface failure was predominant for all groups in tensile testing, but enamel-adhesive interface failures increased with increased adhesive thickness in shear testing for the FO. This study suggests that adhesive thickness under a bracket could be particularly important when using a FO in direct bonding.