braces in Stratham

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What are metal braces?

Metal braces are wire-based appliances that orthodontists use to correct misaligned teeth or jaws to produce an even bite and pleasing smile. Patients struggling with crowded or gapped teeth may be suitable candidates for braces. Traditional braces are made of metal, but some are ceramic or plastic-based. All are designed to be a comfortable solution for patients looking to straighten their teeth for the smile of their dreams. Schedule a consultation at Great Bay Orthodontics to see if you are a good candidate for braces.


Did you know…

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The wires used for metal braces were invented by NASA.

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How it works: The metal braces process

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At your consultation, your orthodontist will determine if metal braces are right for you. First, your orthodontist will examine your jaw, gums, and teeth to check for gaps, crowding, and misalignment. They will also discuss your smile goals and develop a treatment plan made just for you.

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Digital Impressions and Imaging

Your orthodontist will take a series of digital photos, X-Rays and impressions, sometimes called molds. Once this is complete, your orthodontist will used the gathered data to ensure that we have the best customized treatment plan for you.

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To secure your metal braces, your orthodontist will dry and prepare your teeth to make the tooth surface ideal for bonding. Next, the braces will be attached to your teeth using a special adhesive and curing light to set the bond. Your orthodontist will then thread the metal wire through the brackets and hold it in place with ligature bands.

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Fitting and Next Steps

Once your braces are securely placed, your orthodontist will check for proper fitting to ensure maximum comfort. You’ll schedule a follow-up appointment with your orthodontist every 4-8 weeks to monitor progress, replace bands, and swap out the metal archwire for a new set. During these checkups, you can select new colors to let your smile shine in style.

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On your last day of treatment, your orthodontist will remove the brackets, clean each tooth, and give you a retainer to help your teeth preserve their new positions. Your orthodontist will also equip you with detailed instructions on how to care for your smile so it can stay strong and straight for life.

Types of braces

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Traditional metal braces are made of medical-grade stainless steel brackets. The brackets are then attached to archwires using small elastics called ligatures or o-ties, that straighten your teeth over time.


Ceramic braces are very similar to the traditional metal braces, but are composed of a translucent ceramic material that matches the natural color of your teeth. Patients looking for a less noticeable alignment option may enjoy the discreet features of ceramic braces.

Night Guards For Braces

If you wear a night guard to help with teeth grinding, you will need to get another night guard to wear while you go through your treatment. You can’t wear your old one because it won’t fit over your braces, and it also will not adjust with your teeth as they shift and move.

If you do grind your teeth and need the protection of a night guard while you wear braces, Dr. Walsh can provide you with a special, pliable night guard that can be reshaped and adjusted as your teeth move. This provides you with excellent protection, while still ensuring that your braces are able to move your teeth properly.

Don’t skip your night guard. If you know you grind your teeth, get in touch with us to discuss your options in Stratham. Teeth grinding can cause a lot of discomfort, and clenching is very common right after you get braces, so consult with Dr. Walsh to get the protection you need.

Did you know…

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Over 4 million people in the U.S. wear braces to align their smiles.

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Have questions about braces? Find answers here.

How do braces work?

Braces work by applying gradual pressure on the teeth, slowly moving them into the desired alignment. The jaw bone adapts as the braces apply pressure over time, which allows the teeth and their roots to adjust. While all cases are unique, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to correct your smile with braces.

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What are the benefits of traditional metal braces?

As one of the most popular and affordable methods to straighten teeth, traditional braces are an effective solution for individuals struggling with a variety of orthodontic issues. Metal braces are extremely durable and are able to withstand daily wear, chewing, and brushing throughout the duration of your treatment. Unlike removable clear aligners, traditional braces are firmly planted to your teeth, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining the effectiveness of your orthodontic care.

How do you care for your braces?

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Caring for your braces is similar to regular oral healthcare. Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush to keep your teeth, brackets, and wires clean and free from debris. Your orthodontist may provide you with a V-shaped toothbrush to ensure efficient brushing in between brackets. Don’t forget to floss! Stiff-tipped floss picks are perfect for removing food lodged in spots that may be tough to reach. Visit your orthodontist for regular follow-ups to ensure your teeth are adjusting properly and you’ll be braces-free in no time.

Am I a good candidate for braces?

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Metal braces are an excellent solution to a number of orthodontic issues. If your teeth are crowded, overlapped, gapped, or crooked, metal braces can restore your smile and shift your teeth back where they belong. Patients struggling with an overbite, crossbite, overjet, or open bite may also be great candidates for metal braces.

How much do braces cost?

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The cost of metal braces is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your metal braces include the severity of your teeth misalignment, appointment and visits, insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for metal braces is to schedule a consultation with your orthodontist.

What Does “Phase I” and “Phase II” Treatment Mean?

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Phase I orthodontics is also called “interceptive orthodontics.” This is a type of early orthodontic treatment that’s performed on children who still have some of their baby teeth. In this treatment, a variety of different techniques can be used to support facial and bone growth, anticipate and correct oral development issues, and encourage better overall oral health. For most kids, this treatment is done when they’re between 6-9 years old.

For example, if your child has a narrow palate that Dr. Walsh thinks may interfere with the eruption of their adult teeth as they grow, a palate expander may be used to widen the palate and ensure their teeth can erupt properly.

The goal of phase I orthodontics is to reduce the need for future “Phase II” treatments as children grow older. With early intervention, their mouths will develop in a more healthy way.

Phase II treatments refer to the second part of this type of orthodontic care, usually involving braces. Phase II treatment may involve some treatments to encourage proper oral growth and development, but mostly focuses on correcting any remaining bite problems or teeth alignment issues.

Using this two-phase approach allows Dr. Walsh to provide better overall care for kids with serious oral development issues. This is one of the reasons that it’s a good idea to schedule an orthodontic consultation when they’re about 6-7 years old, or whenever your child’s pediatric dentist recommends an orthodontic consultation.

How Long Do I Need To Wear Braces?

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This depends entirely on the specifics of your case. Most patients need to wear braces for 18-24 months, but in some cases, you may need to wear them for up to 3 years if you have significant issues with your teeth and bite alignment.

Conversely, patients with minor orthodontic issues may only need to wear braces for about a year. It all depends on your own unique situation and your oral health. To get an estimate for how long you may need to wear braces and to explore orthodontics in Stratham in more detail, contact Great Bay Orthodontics for a consultation with Dr. Walsh today.

Did you know…

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Braces aren’t just for teens. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans wearing braces are adults.

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