Monthly Archives

January 2018

Should I Get Invisalign or Braces?

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Invisalign or bracesIf you are an adult considering orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering: Invisalign or braces? Should you go with a clear aligner system, or traditional bracket-and-wire braces?

Everyone you’ve known who’s worn Invisalign loves their discreet appearance and flexibility, but you also see adults with clear braces, too. You may wonder, why doesn’t everyone use Invisalign?

Invisalign® is favored by many—partially because of its appearance, and partially because you can simply remove the aligners for dates, business meetings, or photographs. But it’s not right for everyone. Both methods can straighten a crowded-looking smile, but there are few things Invisalign cannot do.

Sacramento orthodontist Dr. David Markham can help you decide between Invisalign or braces. Call our office at 916-924-8970 for an orthodontic consultation.

Braces are Better for Bite Disorders

Invisalign can gradually shift the horizontal position of your teeth, but it cannot correct bite problems. Nor can it rotate teeth or shift them downward.

How can you tell if your bite is off? You probably know already if you have an overbite or under bite you want to change, but cross bite is another issue that can damage your teeth. When the top and bottom arches of teeth don’t fit together when you bite down, this can lead to greater wear and tear on the teeth. Eroded enamel and cracked molars are more common with bite disorders—and they can even lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

If you notice popping or clicking sounds when you open and close your jaw, the joints may not be functioning properly. Improper bite can cause this, and it can lead to much worse than an occasional popping sound. TMJ disorder is often the cause of mysterious headaches, neck pain, and facial or jaw pain. It is often connected with bruxism (teeth grinding), which can further damage your teeth. If any of these symptoms coincide with what we find is improper bite alignment, we will always recommend traditional braces over Invisalign.

Braces are Better if You Don’t Want to Change Your Eating Habits

One of the biggest caveats about Invisalign is that you cannot eat while wearing the aligners. The only thing you can consume while wearing Invisalign is plain water. For everything else, you must remove the aligners and you must brush and floss your teeth before you put them back in. For those of us who like to sip our coffee or Diet Coke throughout the day, Invisalign would mean a drastic change.

Why is this rule so important? Eating while wearing the aligners can damage them, for one, but there’s more to the story than that. When you wear Invisalign, your teeth do not make contact with your saliva. This means they do not get the benefit of saliva’s acid-neutralizing and rinsing properties. If you drink coffee while wearing your aligners, the next few hours will be like wearing a whitening tray filled with coffee—you will get massive staining. If you drink soda while wearing the aligners, any small amount of soda that gets in will sit against the teeth and feed bacteria. This creates an acidic environment that causes cavities. Cheating on the no-drinking/no-eating rule (or not cleaning the teeth thoroughly before replacing your aligners) will land you with rapidly advancing decay and/or teeth stains. If this sounds like too drastic a change, then we would recommend you spend your money on braces instead.

Benefits of All Orthodontics, Invisalign or Braces

If you are an adult or teen thinking about orthodontic treatment, congratulations! You are making a wonderful decision for the long-term health of your mouth. Realigning your teeth into more balanced positions is usually an aesthetic choice, but it has great value for the health of your teeth and gums. Teeth that overlap or sit at odd angles are simply harder to keep clean. They may look clean, but more inaccessible spaces means more places for bacteria to hide. Mouths with poorly aligned teeth are more likely to develop cavities in those hard-to-clean areas, and gum disease can develop more quickly.

Leaving your teeth in their natural state can also be risky because poor alignment leads to greater wear-and-tear and structural damage to the teeth. If you have a bite problem, you may be more likely to develop TMJ disorder or bruxism.

Straightening your teeth is a wonderful decision to make—for your appearance, self-confidence, and oral health. Sacramento dentist Dr. David Markham can help you decide whether you should get Invisalign or braces. Visit our dental office for an orthodontic consultation and we’ll discuss how your oral health, alignment issues, and lifestyle might make one treatment preferable over another.

Call our Sacramento, CA dental office at 916-924-8970 to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic consultation.

It’s Never Too Late to Straighten Out Your Smile!

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adult orthodonticsHas your crooked smile bothered you for years? Do you have teeth that stick out and disrupt the symmetry of your smile? If you’ve ever thought you missed your chance to correct your misaligned teeth, think again! Adult orthodontics are a popular treatment for improving your dental health and appearance. Perfecting your smile is a good idea at any age–and with today’s flexible alternatives to metal braces, you don’t have to look like an adolescent again in the process.

It’s never too late to correct a misaligned smile! Visit Markham Orthodontics to learn more about adult orthodontics in Sacramento, CA. Call us at 916-924-8970 to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. David Markham.

The Health Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

While aesthetics are often a patient’s primary concern, there are a number of health reasons for correcting maloccluded teeth. When teeth do not align properly, especially in the case of bite dysfunction (such as overbite, under bite, and cross bite), this can make them more vulnerable to cracking and breaking. It can also lead to dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can cause cause chronic jaw pain, soreness, and headaches. Straight, evenly spaced teeth are also easier to keep clean, and therefore less likely to develop cavities in hard-to-brush areas.

Discreet Alternatives to Metal Braces

There are several options for adult orthodontics: traditional braces, clear braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners. Traditional braces are the standard, but many adults do not want to sacrifice their professional appearance by wearing obtrusive metal braces. For a less noticeable look, clear braces are one option. The brackets are made from clear ceramic and the wires are pale-colored, as well. Clear braces may still be visible at close range, but they do not alter the color of your smile.

For a more discreet appearance, Invisalign treatment is often the preferred choice. Rather than use brackets and wires to correct the position of the teeth, Invisalign encourages the teeth to shift using clear plastic aligner trays (similar to traditional retainers). Over a period of 12-18 months, your teeth will slowly move into more ideal positions, using a series of graduated aligners. The aligner trays are removable and are only visible at close range. This means you can simply take them out for business meetings, dates, or other occasions in which you don’t want them seen. Invisalign is an excellent choice for patients with mild-to-moderate crowding or misalignment, but is not ideal for patients with bite issues or teeth that must be shifted vertically; in those cases, clear braces will be recommended.

Orthodontic Treatment is Faster than Ever

With orthodontic accelerators, patients can now drastically reduce the time it takes to finish their course of orthodontics. Using the AcceleDent device or Propel in-office treatment, patients can reduce treatment time by up to 50-60 percent. These gentle devices use micro-vibrations to stimulate the bones and encourage teeth to shift more quickly.

Patients who choose Invisalign treatment are often pleased to learn that the typical treatment period is usually shorter than that of bracket-and-wire braces. Rather than the usual 24 month period, most Invisalign patients finish treatment in about 18 months. In some cases, patients may be able to finish their treatment plan in as little as 12 months.

Visit Markham Orthodontics to learn more about adult orthodontics in Sacramento, CA. We make orthodontic treatment more affordable by offering payment plans and accepting CareCredit. Call us at 916-924-8970 to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. David Markham.

Are There Food Limitations for People With Braces?

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Markham Orthodontics | Orthodontist | braces and food

Food & Braces

Sticky or hard foods should be avoided while wearing braces because these foods can loosen or break wires and brackets. These foods include chewy candy such as gum, Tootsie Rolls and jellybeans and fruits such as dates. Other chewy foods like granola bars or beef jerky should also be avoided because the small pieces can become lodged in the braces and pull the brackets from the teeth. The same considerations apply for hard foods such as nuts, caramels, chips, bagels and carrots.

WHAT CAN I EAT?

The good news is that the patients with braces can still eat meat such as beef or chicken, pasta, yogurts, soups, most vegetables and soft dairy foods including yogurt, brie and ice cream.

ORAL HYGIENE WITH BRACES

It may be difficult to get used to brushing and flossing with braces at first, but with time, if done properly and diligently, it’s easy to adjust. If you need help learning how to floss and brush properly, however, please let us know and we will be happy to review the techniques with you.

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