Monthly Archives

June 2018

Should My Teen Get Invisalign or Braces?

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Invisalign or braces, Sacramento CAWe hear this question at Markham Orthodontics a lot. With the growing popularity of Invisalign, many teens and parents are eager to find out whether they can avoid the hassles of traditional braces. Invisalign lets you shift the position of your teeth without the appearance of metal in your smile and without dietary restrictions. However, Invisalign isn’t right for every teen.

Do you want to learn more about Invisalign or braces, Sacramento CA, for your child? Visit Markham Orthodontics and we’ll assess your child’s alignment issues. Call us today at (916) 924-8970 to make an appointment.

Physical Requirements for Invisalign

Invisalign is not meant to be used on patients whose jaws and faces are still growing. If your child’s face and jaw is mostly grown, he or she may qualify for Invisalign treatment. However, Invisalign cannot correct the wide range of alignment issues that traditional braces can. It is best for mild-to-moderate malocclusion or crowding, and it cannot correct bite issues. This means that only traditional braces can deal with an overbite, under bite, open bite or cross bite. Invisalign also can’t move teeth vertically or rotate the teeth.

When you bring your teen into Markham Orthodontics, we will assess his/her alignment issues and growth. We will provide you with a write-up that explains any potential problems that need to be corrected. If you are interested in Invisalign for your child, we will explain the physical factors that inform such a determination and how they relate to your child’s case.

Compliance and Oral Hygiene

Beyond the physical factors—and perhaps more importantly—is the issue of compliance. A teen that starts a course of orthodontic treatment with Invisalign needs to be extremely motivated to change his or her smile. If the patient is only marginally on-board, you may run into compliance problems.

The transition to Invisalign requires several significant changes to one’s routine. The aligners need to be worn for most of the hours of the day (20-22 hours) in order to be effective. Food must only be consumed at strict meal times and the teeth must be brushed and flossed before the aligners are replaced in the mouth. There is no eating or drinking when wearing Invisalign aligners, except plain water. If your child has a snacking habit that’s hard to kick, this may lead to problems.

Additionally, Invisalign must be worn when the child sleeps at night. If a teenager cannot adjust to sleeping with the aligners, he or she should not wear Invisaign.

Candidacy for Invisalign

If a teen wears Invisalign without following the basic guidelines, you may wind up with an ineffective treatment (at best) or rapid tooth decay (at worst). For example, if a child briefly removes the aligners to drink a soda or eat a donut without brushing the teeth before replacing the aligners, he or she will be at risk of developing new cavities. Ordinarily, our teeth are in constant contact with our saliva, which neutralizes bacterial acids and rinses food and drink residues from the teeth. When you wear Invisalign aligners, the teeth do not get the benefit of saliva contact, so any food or drink residues left on the teeth may cause decay or staining.

If your child is a good candidate for Invisalign, you’ll need to have a serious talk, and let him or her make the final call on whether he/she is willing to adapt to the necessary changes of routine. If your child already struggles with oral hygiene and independently making healthy choices, he or she may not be mature enough to wear Invisalign aligners.

To find out more about whether your child should wear Invisalign or braces, Sacramento CA contact Markham Orthodontics. We’ll help you determine whether your teen is better suited to Invisalign or traditional braces. Call us today at (916) 924-8970 to make an appointment.

 

 

Taking Care of Your Braces

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braces careAre you or your child soon to get braces? There are some changes you will have to make to ensure your braces can do their job properly, such as avoiding difficult foods that may dislodge a bracket or get stuck in your wires. For most patients, these changes do not represent a significant lifestyle change and it takes very little time to adjust to your orthodontia.

Do you want to learn more about braces and braces care? Visit Markham Orthodontics of Sacramento CA to meet with Dr. David Markham. Call us at (916) 924-8970 to make an appointment.  

Braces Care

Taking good care of your braces is a great way to make sure you don’t have to spend any more time wearing them than necessary. The more efficiently your braces work, the faster you’ll get them off!

A common orthodontic emergency for patients is when brackets become dislodged or disconnected from a tooth. This can happen if you chew on a hard non-food item (such as a pen or piece of ice), or hard foods that are to be avoided (see list below). When a bracket or wire becomes displaced you will need to make an emergency appointment to have it reattached.

No one likes having extra dental visits! Avoid damaging your braces by eating only soft foods and never putting nonfood items in your mouth.

Foods to avoid when wearing braces:

  • Hard candy
  • Hard cookies
  • Hard taco shells and corn chips
  • Chewing gum
  • Sticky foods: taffy, Starburst candy
  • Ice (Chewing ice is bad for your teeth anyway; don’t do it!)
  • Caramel popcorn

Foods you can eat—but only if you cut them into smaller pieces:

  • Bagels, hard rolls, French bread
  • Corn on the cob
  • Raw vegetables and crunchy fruit
  • Steak and burgers

Braces and Tooth Decay

Because braces add a lot of extra nooks and crannies to your mouth, there are many more places for bacteria to hide and damage your teeth. Any food residue that gets left in the braces will feed bacteria, cause bad breath, and increase the odds of developing cavities and dark stains.

You can counteract these potential problems by carefully removing plaque and food residue every time you brush your teeth. If you do not brush carefully around the brackets, it’s possible for bacteria to lodge in the tiny spaces between the bracket and your tooth enamel. This can result in cavities on the front of the teeth, which are difficult to treat.

Your oral hygiene when wearing braces needs to be thorough and vigilant:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, using a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day, using a flosser or stiff ended floss threader to work within the confines of your wires.
  • Use a special pick-brush or end-tufted brush to help you remove food from around your brackets and in your wires.
  • Before you finish, make sure to visually check that you’ve removed all traces of food from your braces.

Many people choose to add a third toothbrushing at midday when they wear braces. If you do this, be sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush—as too much brushing can be rough on the gums. If you cannot brush your teeth after each meal, at least visit the bathroom and rinse your mouth vigorously with water. This can help remove food residue until you brush again.

Avoiding Mouth Irritation

Occasionally the metal of your brackets and wires may irritate the soft tissues of your mouth. This can result in pain or small sores that form on the inside of the cheek or lips. When you get your braces, you will be given small pieces of wax that can be used to cushion the metal so it doesn’t bother you. Break off a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball before sticking it against the irritating piece of metal. If you play sports, we can make you a special mouth guard to wear to protect your mouth and braces from injury and damage.

To learn more about braces and braces care, visit Markham Orthodontics of Sacramento CA. Contact us at (916) 924-8970 to make an appointment.