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February 2018

When Should I Bring My Children to the Orthodontist?

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portrait of smiling mother and young daughterYou’ve been taking your child to the dentist since the first sign of his or her first tooth. You may be wondering when the appropriate time is to schedule an orthodontic evaluation. Dr. David Markham, our children’s orthodontist in Sacramento, CA, provides treatment for patients of all ages. Today, we will explore the importance of early diagnosis and discuss when you should bring your child to the orthodontist.

Age Seven is the Magic Number

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests bringing your child in for an orthodontic visit around the age of seven. But why is this? Around this age, enough adult teeth have grown in to identify potential problems. In some cases, early intervention may be recommended to prevent more invasive treatments from becoming necessary in the future. Any detectable issues are typically much easier to address when your child is still in his or her developmental stage.

Every child should visit the orthodontist by age seven. However, it is important to bring your child in if you notice that he or she:

  • Has lost baby teeth earlier than expected
  • Participates in thumb-sucking
  • Has difficulty eating
  • Has crowded teeth
  • Experiences clicking or popping when opening or closing the mouth
  • Has a jaw that is too far forward or too far back

What Will be Evaluated at the Appointment?

During the screening with our children’s orthodontist in Sacramento, CA, we will assess the baby teeth in addition to the permanent teeth. This will help us determine where the remaining adult teeth will erupt. We will also take x-rays and scans to evaluate the underlying jawbone and the jaw joints. All of these elements work together to provide optimal oral health.

Will Early Treatment be Necessary for My Child?

Many children will not require early orthodontic treatment. In fact, most of the young patients we see only need occasional monitoring until they are at least 11 or 12 years old. So why bother bringing your child in at such a young age? Because the few children who do require treatment have a crucial window of time to undergo appropriate intervention. The only way to know for sure if your child requires early treatment is to bring him or her in for a consultation with Dr. Markham. If he notes any growth or development issues, such as skeletal problems, it is best to correct these at a young age. If your child does require early treatment, a number of different appliances may be recommended, including braces, palatal expanders, headgear, and more. Generally, once early treatment is complete, we will monitor your child’s progress and begin the second phase of orthodontics when he or she is an adolescent.

Benefits of an Early Orthodontic Evaluation

There are a few significant advantages to bringing your child in for an orthodontic screening. If your child ends up needing early intervention, following through with Dr. Markham’s recommendation can save you a tremendous amount of worry, time, and money later on. For example, those who undergo early orthodontic treatment:

  • Rarely require braces during phase one
  • Experience fast treatment, usually one year or less
  • Can avoid extensive, complex treatment in the future

Contact Our Children’s Orthodontist in Sacramento, CA

If you are searching for a children’s orthodontist in Sacramento, CA, we sincerely hope you will consider scheduling a visit at Markham Orthodontics. We understand that choosing an orthodontist for your child can be an overwhelming task. We are here to help you through every step of your journey. Feel free to contact us online or call our office at (916) 924-8970.

What are Options for Correcting an Overbite?

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portrait of teenage girl smiling and showing her braces in front of plain white backgroundAre you self-conscious about your smile? Do you feel that your teeth don’t fit together quite right? Malocclusion can lead to several oral health concerns, including tooth decay, gum disease, and erosion, among many other things. If you are considering overbite correction in Sacramento, CA, Dr. David Markham can help you determine a treatment option that will work effectively for you. Today, we will explore what causes an overbite as well as different methods used to treat the condition.

Overjet vs Overbite: What is the Difference?

Overjet and overbite are two terms that are commonly confused. Before we discuss ways to treat an overbite, we will discuss the differences between these two types of malocclusion. Simply stated, an overbite has to do with the depth of the bite, and an overjet has to do with the protrusion of the teeth. Did you know that even patients with a typical bite have a slight overbite? In fact, it is normal for the upper teeth to overlap the lower teeth by about one to two millimeters. However, when the teeth overlap more than that, the lower teeth can actually touch the roof of the mouth. This is referred to as a deep vertical overbite. In contrast, an overjet is present when the upper front teeth “stick out” or protrude. Many patients prefer to this condition as “buck teeth”. It is possible to have one or both conditions. In either case, malocclusion of any type can impede your oral health as well as compromise your confidence.

What Causes an Overbite?

There are a few different factors that can contribute to an overbite. For example, genetics, bruxism (teeth grinding), and TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) can all potentially increase the risk for developing an overbite. More often than not, childhood habits such as prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use can exacerbate the problem.

If left untreated, an overbite can result in more serious dental complications, such as jaw pain, chronic headaches, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, sleep apnea, and more. Therefore, it is important to have this issue addressed by an orthodontist to prevent the condition from worsening over time.

What are My Treatment Options?

At Markham Orthodontics, we offer several treatment options. The appropriate solution for you will depend on your particular situation. Overbites can successfully be addressed with:

  • Traditional metal braces: It’s hard to compete with this tried and true orthodontic correction option. Traditional metal braces can address several different kinds of malocclusion and offer predictable treatment. Today’s braces are far more comfortable and sleeker than their older counterparts.
  • Ceramic Braces: Quite similar to metal braces, the primary difference with the ceramic option is that the braces are less noticeable. The brackets are crafted from ceramic and the wires are frosted so they are less visible.
  • Invisalign®: In some cases, Invisalign can be used to correct an overbite. However, if your case is more complex, traditional orthodontics may be recommended.
  • Headgear: When more anchorage is required, headgear can be used to correct an overbite. In most cases, headgear is worn by children. However, in some instances, adults can benefit as well.
  • Elastics: Who would have known that tiny rubber bands can make a big difference? Elastics are an excellent and effective way to correct the way your teeth fit together.

Most patients will not require all of these treatments for overbite correction. These are simply some of the methods used to achieve a healthy, functional, and aesthetically pleasing smile. During an initial consultation with Dr. Markham, he can help you determine which treatment options will work for you.

Learn More about Overbite Correction

If you think you may require overbite correction in Sacramento, CA, schedule a consultation at our practice. You can call us at (916) 924-8970 or contact us online anytime.

Do All Crooked Teeth Need Braces?

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crooked teeth Sacramento, CAMisaligned teeth may be obvious in some cases, but even teeth that look evenly placed and symmetrical can have bite issues. Conversely, not all teeth that look uneven are going to cause problems with your jaw function down the road. However, any teeth that appear crowded together have a greater potential for developing tooth decay and gum disease because they are harder to keep clean.

The only way to know for sure whether your crooked teeth need braces is to schedule a consultation with an experienced orthodontist, like Dr. David Markham. In our Sacramento, CA dental office, we will assess your tooth alignment and take x-rays to see what’s really going on with your occlusion and bite. We always provide a formal diagnosis and written treatment plan when we make orthodontic recommendations, so you understand your situation and can make an informed decision.

The Difference Between Bite and Alignment

Alignment refers to the position of the teeth in relation to each other. Bite refers to how well your top and bottom teeth fit together when you bite down and chew your food. Common bite dysfunctions include overbite, under bite, cross bite and open bite. If you suffer from any of these problems, it can lead to improper function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) when you open and close your jaw. Most people think of TMJ disorder as being a popping or clicking sound in the jaw, but there is more to it than just that. The jaw joints are composed of multiple moving parts including ligaments, muscles, and the bones themselves. If your bite is not functioning properly, it can affect any of those moving parts and lead to chronic pain, headaches, damage to the teeth, bruxism, and even tooth loss.

The way your teeth fit together can also affect your breathing. Since the position of your jaw can affect your airway at night, orthodontic intervention and TMJ treatment may be able to treat or prevent patients from developing obstructive sleep apnea.

Sometimes a bite problem will be obvious if a patient has a severe overbite (buck teeth) or under bite (bulldog bite) but it’s not always easy to see. That’s why we recommend everyone have an orthodontic assessment at some point in their life.

For Crooked or Crowded Teeth

Patients who have a proper bite, but whose teeth appear crowded together should consider braces for their role in preserving oral health. When teeth are too close together or sit at odd angles, it can be hard to brush and floss them properly. Those tight spaces may be too small for toothbrush bristles to get in, but they aren’t too small for bacteria to enter. If you can’t clean the teeth properly, you are at much greater risk of developing cavities between the teeth and below the gum line. These hard-to-reach places are also hard for dentists to reach and restore with fillings, so prevention is the best approach.

For adults and older teens without bite issues, Invisalign® may be a preferable method of straightening the teeth. Invisalign is not ideal for patients with severe malocclusion or bite issues, but can improve your overall oral health and aesthetics without the limitations of conventional braces.

To find out whether your crooked teeth need braces, visit our Sacramento, CA dental office. At Markham Orthodontics, we treat patients of all ages. We will assess your smile and let you know whether your teeth would benefit from orthodontic treatment. Contact our office today at 916-924-8970 to make an appointment.


Markham Orthodontics – For Crooked Teeth Sacramento, CA

Treatment Time With Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

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Markham Orthodontics | Sacramento, CA | Orthodontist | Office Tour

Treatment Time


Many patients ask if they can complete their orthodontic treatment faster with Invisalign vs. than with brackets and wires. And while treatment with Invisalign typically takes between 6-18 months vs. 2+ years with traditional braces, the most important factors to consider is goals of treatment and not necessarily the mode of treatment.


While there is some overlap between what can be achieved with Invisalign and with traditional braces, it is important to understand that Invisalign tends to be used to treat less complicated cases; and accordingly, the treatment time is naturally shorter. Thus, the treatment time with any orthodontic treatment is more accurately based on the level of treatment needed.

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

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