Monthly Archives

December 2019

toddler boy holding a blue mouthguard to reduce teeth grinding

Have you heard your child grinding his teeth at night?

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics, Teens

toddler boy holding a blue mouthguard to reduce teeth grindingDo you ever go into your child’s bedroom at night hoping to hear the sweet sounds of easy breathing but instead hear the harsh sounds of gnashing and grinding teeth? The sounds, which are caused by bruxism, can be alarming and concerning.

Should you be worried? Do you need to bring your child to the dentist immediately?

The truth is that bruxism can be quite common in kids. And most outgrow it by the time their permanent teeth come in.

But there are times treatment is warranted. Keep reading to find out what Dr. David Markham at Markham Orthodontics has to say about children who grind their teeth.

Why is my child grinding his teeth?

The medical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching is bruxism. Experts estimate that approximately 20-30 percent of children have bruxism. It usually occurs during deep sleep phases, but some children grind away all night or even during the day.

Most kids who grind their teeth don’t even realize they are doing it. Usually, it is the parents or siblings who identify it by hearing them grinding their teeth.

With some patients, coming up with a reason for their bruxism can be difficult. But there are known contributors to consider.

Common causes of grinding teeth in children include:

  • Misaligned teeth can increase the risk of bruxism.
  • Stress—especially anger or nervous tension. Children are sensitive to their surroundings, and things like starting a new school, worry over grades, changes in routine, parents going through a divorce, or fighting with a friend or siblings can bring on bruxism.
  • A response to pain. Just like people tend to rub sore muscles, sometimes children grind their teeth to ease the pain of teething or an earache.
  • Hyperactivity or a competitive, aggressive, or “Type A” personality.
  • Certain medical conditions or medications. Some conditions are linked to bruxism, such as GERD, cerebral palsy, night terrors, and epilepsy.

What are the possible negative effects of grinding teeth?

Again, most children grow out of bruxism by the time their permanent teeth come in. However, there can be negative effects that may warrant treatment.

If your child has any of the following, you may want an evaluation for possible treatment:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Facial or jaw pain
  • Frequent headaches or earaches
  • Overly sensitive teeth
  • Clicking or popping in the temporomandibular joint
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Wear to tooth enamel
  • Soft tissue damage, such as the inside of the cheek

What is the treatment for a child who is grinding their teeth?

If the cause is related to stress, tension, anger, or fear, sometimes the parents can help alleviate this by talking with their child. When children receive reassurances and know they can talk about their feelings and concerns, and that their parents hear them and want to help, it can work wonders.

If related to hyperactivity or an aggressive, competitive, or “Type A” personality, a relaxing bedtime routine may help. Consider a warm bubble bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music right before bed.

In more extreme cases, children may need professional help. This may include treatment such as counseling or biofeedback.

If the above measures don’t help and your child experiences damaged teeth, facial or jaw pain, or frequent headaches or earaches, your dentist may prescribe a nightguard to protect the teeth and keep them from grinding.

The night guard is similar to a protective mouthpiece athletes wear, but it is customized to mold to your child’s teeth. It can take some getting used to, but most children who wear them regularly find it harder to sleep without it than with it. And positive results can happen quickly.

If Your Child is Grinding His Teeth

Even though most children outgrow bruxism, the wisest choice is a thorough dental evaluation to determine the extent of damage and discuss treatment options.

Call Markham Orthodontics at (916) 924-8970 today to schedule a complimentary evaluation.

Invisalign vs Conventional Braces

By Blog, Braces, Invisalign

How Invisalign® Revolutionized OrthodonticsInvisalign vs Standard Braces (What are the facts?)

At Markham Orthodontics, we are frequently asked by patients if they should choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces. We are asked this question so often that we thought it would be a good idea to address the question in this blog. We will describe the pros and cons of Invisalign so you can be informed about which option is right for you.

Invisalign: 

Pros

  • More discreet than braces
  • Can be removed when eating
  • Boosts self-esteem
  • Brushing and flossing are easy
  • Check-in appointments are quick
  • Better for enunciation
  • Faster results in many cases

Cons

  • Limited by complex issues
  • Requires that patients maintain and wear their aligner

As you can see, the benefits of Invisalign far outweigh the cons. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Click here to listen to this testimonial from one of our patients, Kayla, who recently came to us wanting to know if Invisalign was right for her. We have also put together a more in-depth explanation below if you’re still unsure about which option is right for you.

More Discreet Than Braces

We are all familiar with traditional braces. They are a part of many of our childhood memories. While they do a great job straightening teeth, they don’t do much for our self-image. Invisalign will give you all the benefits of conventional braces, and you won’t have to worry about how they look. Invisalign is designed to be completely unnoticed, so you can smile with confidence wherever you are.

Comfort

Another benefit of Invisalign is that you get to take them out when needed. It is much easier to rest at night when you don’t have braces pressing against the inside of your mouth, which can create painful sores.

Boosts Self-Esteem

You will feel your self-esteem rise daily as you see your perfect smile come to life. And you don’t have to wait until “the braces come off,” either. Because Invisalign clear aligners are transparent, you can start feeling the confidence of a new you in a fraction of the time of conventional braces.

Brushing and Flossing Are Easy

Your daily brushing and flossing routine won’t change. You don’t need interdental brushes, because you won’t have brackets or wires on your teeth. Just take out your aligner and go for it! Afterward, replace the aligner. You should wear Invisalign for 22 hours per day for ideal results.  

Check-in Appointments are Quick

You won’t have braces for Dr. Markham to clean and test one by one. When you go to your scheduled check-in, you just sit down in the chair and remove your Invisalign mouthpiece. The dentist will assess your progress and give you the next few sets of aligners in your treatment plan. 

Better for Enunciation

Gone are the days when getting the smile you deserve meant sacrificing speaking engagements or getting up close and personal in conversations. Would you believe that Kayla had her Invisalign in while she was making her video? She spoke clearly and with confidence because she knew that her Invisalign was working in secret to give her a beautiful smile.

Faster in Many Cases

While not all cases are the same when it comes to getting the smile you deserve, Invisalign has been shown to work faster than conventional braces. Treatment time is usually 18 months or less.

Call and make your appointment today.

Our dentists give each patient a one-on-one experience where their needs and concerns are listened to and properly addressed. We would love to have you come to our office where we can meet you and see if Invisalign is a good option. Call to set up an appointment at one our three locations today!