Five Less Obvious Benefits of Wearing Braces

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caucasian male in green shirt wearing braces and giving a thumbs upOrthodontic treatment is about so much more than simply straightening teeth. While a beautiful smile is certainly an advantage, braces also address the overall function and health of your teeth. At Markham Orthodontics in Sacramento, CA, our doctors adhere to a philosophy of comprehensive care. When you undergo orthodontic treatment at our practice, you can enjoy a beautiful smile and oral health benefits that will last for years to come. Today, we will discuss five less obvious benefits of wearing braces, and explore how orthodontic treatment can improve your overall quality of life.

#1: Braces Can Reduce Your Risk for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

When teeth are crooked or crowded, the spaces between them can become quite difficult to clean. Even the most diligent brushing and flossing techniques cannot reach certain areas affected by these conditions. Additionally, these tight spaces can create food traps between the teeth, which can harbor bacteria-causing plaque. If the plaque remains on the teeth for too long, it can result in cavities or gum disease.

#2: Braces Can Prevent Jawbone Erosion

When teeth are in alignment, there is a certain amount of pressure placed against the teeth during normal routine activities, such as speaking and chewing. This pressure stimulates the nerves in the jawbone, and actually preserves the bone around the teeth for a healthy functioning smile. If this pressure is too strong, the excessive force could erode the jawbone. If there is not enough pressure, then the bone would lack stimulation, which could also result in bone atrophy over time. Braces can help position the teeth in more favorable positions to balance out the pressure.

#3: Braces Can Prevent Dental Injury

Misaligned or protruding teeth can be more susceptible to dental damage. For example, if a front tooth sticks out further than the rest, there is an increased risk for trauma-related fractures. Some patients with misaligned teeth bite their tongues or the inside of their cheeks constantly. Orthodontic treatment helps align the teeth and prevent these accidents from occurring.

#4: Braces Can Encourage Healthier Digestion

Patients with severe orthodontic issues can have significant difficulty chewing or eating properly. In order for your body to digest food appropriately, you must be able to break your food down into tiny, digestible particles. Severe misalignment can lead to issues of malnutrition and stomachaches. Braces can move your teeth and improve your chewing function.

#5: Braces Can Alleviate Jaw Pain and Disorders

Oftentimes, when teeth are out of alignment, the jaw joints try to overcompensate for the problem. When this occurs, painful problems can develop, such as facial discomfort, popping or clicking, or chronic headaches, among other things. These problems can develop into lifelong issues if left untreated.

Aside from causing discomfort, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder may lead to more serious dental problems, such as tooth erosion, mobility, and even tooth loss. If your TMJ disorder is related to the position of your teeth, orthodontic treatment can address the issue and alleviate your symptoms.

Learn More about the Benefits of Braces

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, schedule a consultation to find out how braces can help improve your oral and overall health. Our doctors can design a treatment plan that will address your specific and unique needs. To reach a team member, call our office at (916) 924-8970 or contact us online anytime.

How to Shorten Orthodontic Treatment Time

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young smiling african american woman wearing bracesWhether you choose traditional braces, clear braces, or Invisalign®, orthodontic treatment takes time. For some patients, it can feel like an eternity. The average length of an orthodontic treatment timeline is between 18 and 24 months. At Markham Orthodontics in Sacramento, CA, Dr. David Markham can offer a few tips and tricks to help you complete your treatment so you can show off your brand-new smile and start living life to the fullest.

Attend Your Routine Dental Appointments

One surefire way to stay on track with your orthodontic treatment is to keep your scheduled visits. Your orthodontic plan has been designed exclusively for you. Each step has been mapped out to help you achieve your goals with the most conservative methods in the shortest time possible. During your orthodontic visits, our doctors will assess your progress, make any necessary adjustments, and let you know what to expect in the coming weeks.

While you are in braces, it is especially important to also attend your cleanings and examinations at your dental office, as well. Orthodontic appliances can make it difficult to properly brush and floss your teeth. Ask your dentist how often you should receive teeth cleanings for optimal oral health.

Be as Compliant as Possible

The overall success of your orthodontic treatment largely depends on compliance. While you are wearing braces, it is important to adhere to all recommended guidelines. For example, if you are wearing traditional metal braces, it is important to follow your dietary restrictions by avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could break brackets and damage wires.

If you are undergoing Invisalign treatment, it is important to wear your trays for 22 hours a day, at minimum. The more you follow the recommendations given to you, the better chance you have at completing your treatment in a timely manner.

Do Your Homework

Occasionally, your treatment may require supplemental orthodontic appliances, such as expanders, headgear, or retainers. If your doctor tells you this will be part of your treatment plan, it is important to follow the directions as closely as possible for a successful outcome.

Develop Excellent Oral Hygiene Habits

Braces make you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to keeping your routine dental cleanings, it is also important to develop an at-home hygiene routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits. Just the nature of orthodontics makes it more difficult to brush and floss. Because of this, a proper oral hygiene regimen is more important than ever. Floss threaders and interproximal brushes can be quite useful for patients who are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment. Ask your dentist to give you recommendations regarding proper at-home care.

Talk to Your Orthodontist

Most importantly, if you are interested in speeding up your orthodontic treatment, speak with your doctor. He or she can give you specific recommendations that will help you achieve the smile you desire on a timetable that will work for you. Each patient has a unique set of needs. Therefore, every treatment plan will be catered to the individual. Whatever your concerns, our doctors can help you address them.

Find Out about Your Orthodontic Treatment Timeline

If you would like to know how to shorten your orthodontic timeline, schedule a consultation with us. You can call our office at (916) 924-8970 or contact us online anytime.

When Do I Get My Braces Off?

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Markham Orthodontics | Orthodontist | Smiles

Getting Your Braces Off

Before braces can come off, Dr. David Markham will examine multiple factors including whether the teeth are aligned in the correct position, weather there are no spaces between the teeth and that the teeth are overlapping (biting) properly. Once he has established that these considerations are met, the braces are kept on for approximately 6 more months to stabilize the teeth in this position.

REMOVAL OF BRACES

Patients may feel some pressure when braces are taken off, but the discomfort will subside quickly. Dr. David Markham will take off the brackets and polish off the remaining cement. It will take no time to adjust to eating and speaking again without braces and the patient will now move ahead with their beautiful, confident smile.

Call our office today for your complimentary evaluation at (916) 924-8970.

When Should My Child First See The Orthodontist?

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Markham Orthodontics | Orthodontist | children and orthodontics treatment

When to Take Your Child to the Orthodontist

It is recommended that a child see the orthodontist by age 7 because this is time when the permanent teeth begin to appear in the mouth. Dr. David Markham can evaluate the dentition to determine if the child has bite anomalies, overcrowding, jaw misalignment or other orthodontic treatment needs.

EARLY INTERVENTION CAN BE KEY

And at this early age, it can be easier to correct some of these issues as opposed to waiting until the child is older to start treatment. For example, if a child wears a simple orthodontic appliance, it can help to prevent more complicated, lengthy and costly orthodontic treatment in the future.

CALL DR. DAVID MARKHAM TODAY!

If you have questions about braces for your child, call our office and have Dr. David Markham at (916) 924-8970 for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation.

When Do I Get Rubber Bands?

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Markham Orthodontics | Orthodontist | rubber bands and braces

Rubber Bands

WHEN AM I GETTING RUBBER BANDS?

The timing for placement of rubber bands depends upon your bite and jaw position. Often rubber bands are placed towards the end of treatment to “tweak” the orthodontic treatment but this is not always the case. Sometimes a patient will have the bands placed after a few adjustments, while other times it may be 10 months into treatment.

HOW ARE RUBBER BANDS PLACED?

The bands are hooked on the top bracket and connected to the bottom. It’s not a painful process, though the patient may feel tightness in the beginning.

Call our office today for your complimentary evaluation at (916) 924-8970.