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Enjoy Discreet Orthodontics with White Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics

Let’s face it. Traditional metal braces are not for everyone. We may like them for their reliability, but they’re not necessarily everyone’s first choice when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Clear braces, however, do enjoy a better reputation among teenagers and some adults.

If you have concerns about the prominence of traditional metal braces, then you may be an ideal candidate for white braces. Unlike conventional metal braces, ceramic braces do not use metal brackets to adhere bands to teeth. Many adults and children prefer the orthodontic option because the attachments are discreet.

Dr. David Markham offers multiple orthodontic treatments for patients in and around Sacramento, CA. If you are looking for an experienced and qualified dentist, Dr. Markham has an advanced degree in dentistry and a Certificate in Orthodontics in addition to his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of the Pacific.

Many patients have confessed they’ve been put off by how the stainless steel appliance looks in their mouths. Some have abandoned treatment altogether. In truth, orthodontics requires careful planning and setting your expectations. Your orthodontist is here to help you make the best decision.

Are Clear Braces Right for Me?

While Invisalign treatments continue to grow in popularity, there are still multiple benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatments through traditional braces.

Traditional braces give Dr. Markahm better control over the treatment process and the final cosmetic results. Braces are also better equipped to correct conditions like crowding and issues that pertain to the bottom teeth.

If you are the teenager’s parent, you won’t’ have to worry about patient compliance because the appliance is not removable.

During your consultation with Dr. Markham, he will guide you through the benefits of undergoing traditional braces vs Invisalign. If you decide to undergo traditional braces, you can opt for ceramic braces.

Ceramic braces allow you to feel confident when smiling or taking photos throughout treatment. Many of our Sacramento area patients who are reluctant to get braces opt for ceramic braces once they learn about the many benefits.

Ceramic braces generally come at a higher cost compared to metal braces. Patients will need to weigh pricing when considering this option. Metal braces tend to tolerate pressure and shifting better than ceramic braces can. If you need to correct significant teeth misalignment levels, Dr. Markham, an experienced orthodontist in Sacramento, may recommend metal brackets to avoid appliance breakage.

What are Ceramic Braces?

You may be familiar with, and perhaps not entirely like, conventional stainless steel dental braces. Fortunately, our ingenuity gave us ceramic braces in the late 80s.

The age of space exploration gave us some important advancements in materials science. Finally, some of the composite materials found their way to mainstream markets. Thanks to cooperation with NASA, we developed resistant materials that blended with our natural tooth color. You can learn more about that following this link.

The translucent material used to manufacture brackets and even the wires were revolutionary for teenagers at the time. These patients flooded orthodontists’ practices to get the discreet option, fix their smiles, and still look the part for their prom photo album.

In a nutshell, ceramic braces are a discreet alternative to stainless steel braces. They leverage the same design and function while providing you with the added benefit of being nearly invisible. There are a few caveats, such as requiring more attention to what you eat as these are more fragile than metal.

Your orthodontist will have some recommendations you should follow.

Caring for Ceramic Braces

You should take special care any time you are wearing braces. If you are wearing ceramic braces, you will have to be even more careful. Unlike metal, the ceramic material can become discolored for the same reasons that teeth can become stained.

If you are not careful about some of your choices of beverages, you might stain the clear brackets, defeating the purpose of a discreet appliance.

It is important to avoid or cut back on certain drinks and foods that can discolor teeth, such as tea, coffee, wine, and sports drinks.

Brushing after drinking these liquids can reduce the chances of discoloration occurring. Do not use whitening treatments to correct ceramic bracket discoloration. Investing in an electric toothbrush is another useful tool for preventing tooth discoloration.

You will likewise have to be careful about your dietary choices. The same restrictions apply to traditional and ceramic braces, but while metal braces can resist your occasional indulging in popcorn eating, ceramic braces will break faster.

Avoid those orthodontic emergencies and take good care of your braces.

Who Is a Candidate for White Braces?

Candidates for ceramic braces have all of their adult teeth and have stopped growing. If you wish to correct misalignment issues with your teeth in a discreet manner, ceramic braces are an ideal option.

Candidates should be willing to clean and maintain their braces to prevent unwanted decay.

Ceramic brackets are not as durable as metal, so individuals with significant misalignment may not be ideal candidates for this treatment.

Athletes or patients who require extensive mouth movements for their profession may be at a higher risk for breaking ceramic braces. If a bracket does break, Dr. Markham can fix the breakage during a visit to our office.

In short, you’re an ideal candidate if you are a mature patient who understands the risks and follows your orthodontist’s recommendations. Likewise, you should be a patient whose dental structures have already finished growing.

Enjoy Discreet Orthodontics with White Braces

There are few tradeoffs and many benefits to choosing ceramic braces for teeth straightening. During your orthodontic consultation, Dr. Markham will explain the benefits of white braces in detail. Many of our patients enjoy the discreet alternative to metal braces. To schedule your consultation with our office, please contact our staff online or call (916) 924-8970.

Christmas Lighting At The Village Green Park In Rancho Cordova, CA

By Blog

With the holiday season just around the corner, we were remembering last year’s celebrations. Below are photos of the team, Dr. David Markham, and the rest of the staff at Markham Orthodontics!

Photos From The Community Event

The Community Event
The Community Event
The Community Event

Contact Your Preferred Sacramento Orthodontist

We are extremely grateful and proud to be serving the communities of Rancho Cordova, Natomas, Auburn, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Gold River, Anatolia, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Arden Arcade, Citrus Heights, Auburn and surrounding areas. Let’s kickstart the holiday season even earlier! Call us for a complimentary orthodontic consultation or schedule your appointment today!

man with braces

10 Tips for Orthodontic Braces Care

By Braces, Blog, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

man with bracesSo, you’re finally starting your journey to a straighter smile. The braces are on, now what? Fortunately, braces are pretty low maintenance, but there are quite a few things patients can do to make their orthodontic experience more effective and comfortable.

Here are ten tips from our orthodontists at Markham Orthodontics to help you care for your braces!

1. Know what to expect

When you first get braces, it’s perfectly normal for your teeth and mouth to be sore and/or tender. Your lips, cheeks, and gums may also be irritated for up to two weeks while they get used to the braces. Try a saltwater rinse or over-the-counter pain reliever to help reduce the amount of pain or discomfort you feel.

Also, don’t fret if your teeth feel loose. The braces loosen your teeth to move them into the correct positions. Once your teeth are in their proper places, they will be as strong as before!

2. Quit bad habits

When you have braces, you’ll have to choose between breaking your bad habits or breaking your brackets. Biting your fingernails, chewing on pen caps or ice cubes, and using your teeth as tools all pose threats to your brackets and wires.

Continuing these habits can lead to a costly orthodontic emergency.

3. Brush often

Orthodontic patients should brush after every meal to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes and to reach the front, back, and top of each tooth.

Ask your orthodontist about the best toothpaste and toothbrush for your teeth and braces.

4. Floss

Your orthodontist can also help you choose the right type of floss and provide a floss threader to make the process simpler. We recommend flossing after each meal, but we also know that takes a lot of time and effort.

Make it a habit to at least floss every evening so food and germs don’t attack your teeth and gums. We want your teeth to be just as healthy after braces as they were before!

5. Eat the right foods

When you first get braces, stick to eating soft foods to avoid causing more pain and discomfort to your mouth. However, even when your mouth is healed, it’s best to eat foods that won’t damage your braces or get stuck between the brackets.

6. Avoid the wrong foods

Here are some foods to avoid while wearing braces:

  • Sticky foods like caramels, gum, and Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Chewy foods like bagels, beef jerky, and granola bars
  • Crunchy foods like popcorn, chips, and nuts
  • Foods that require biting into like corn on the cob, apples, and carrots

7. Wear a Mouthguard

Mouthguards protect the teeth, mouth, and braces while playing sports. An orthodontist can create a custom mouth guard to provide you with the best, most comfortable protection. Be sure to properly clean and care for the mouth guard.

8. Use dental wax

While your mouth is getting acclimated to the braces, dental wax will be your new best friend. Simply place the wax over the brackets and wires that are irritating your gums to get some relief. This will also prevent blisters and sores from developing.

9. Wear rubber bands appropriately

Rubber bands, also called inter-arch rubber bands and elastics, are used to correct malocclusion. Be sure to wear the elastics exactly as your orthodontist has instructed. Typically, patients are required to wear them 24 hours a day. The rubber bands should be changed at least three times a day since they will lose elasticity.

10. Know when to call your orthodontist

Contact your orthodontist if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain after receiving braces
  • Loose wires and bands
  • Damage to the braces from a sports accident
  • A broken elastic hook
  • If you run out of bands or wax

Of course, always contact your dentist or orthodontists in any dental emergency. Our orthodontic team is here to serve you whenever you need our expert care.

To learn more about how we can help you achieve a beautiful, aligned smile, call (530) 823-8771 today.

close-up of braces

How much do braces cost?

By Braces, Blog, Clear Bracket Braces, Invisalign, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

close-up of bracesOne of the first things people notice about you is your smile. If that fact makes you cringe, you’re probably one of the millions of people with crooked, gapped, or overcrowded teeth. Thankfully, modern orthodontics offers multiple solutions to an imperfect smile—traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign®.

One of the first questions patients ask when considering braces is: How much do braces cost? The truth is, the cost of braces is different for everyone. Factors that contribute to braces cost are insurance coverage, the orthodontist’s pricing, and the length of treatment required to correct your smile.

Even so, our orthodontist can give you information about your orthodontic options and their average cost.

Traditional Metal Braces

Metal braces have come a long way over the last few years. Orthodontists now use much smaller brackets that don’t require additional wires or elastic ties to keep them in place. As a result, they are far less bulky and much more comfortable than ever before. In addition, traditional metal braces offer some serious benefits. For example:

  • Metal braces treat severe issues of crowding, spacing, and malocclusion.
  • Treatment time is often shorter.
  • They are the strongest and most durable option.
  • Metal braces typically cost less than other orthodontic options.

Speaking of cost, traditional metal braces cost ranges from $3,000 to $5,000.

Clear Braces

For patients who desire a more subtle orthodontic option, clear braces are an excellent choice. Metal brackets are replaced with tooth-colored ceramic brackets to provide patients with low-visibility along with the same benefits of traditional braces.

A common issue with this option is that the brackets become stained over time. However, this can be avoided by reducing your consumption of common teeth-staining agents like coffee, tea, and dark-colored fruits. Your orthodontist can also recommend a whitening toothpaste and other oral health care treatments that will combat staining.

Typically, clear braces cost between $2,000 and $5,000.

Invisalign®

For obvious reasons, Invisalign clear aligners are one of the most popular orthodontic options among teens and adults. Along with being nearly invisible, these braces are also comfortable and convenient.

Patients love the option of removing their aligners while eating because this means there are no diet restrictions. However, having removable braces requires more responsibility from the wearer because the aligners can easily be misplaced and must be worn at least 22 hours a day.

Unfortunately, Invisalign isn’t an option for everyone. A quick oral health exam can determine whether you are a suitable candidate.

This innovative option is the more expensive of the three at $3,500 to $8,000.

Payment Options

To relieve some of the stress about braces cost, many orthodontists offer a few different payment options. At Markham Orthodontics, we offer the following financing options:

  • Most credit cards
  • CareCredit® cards
  • Affordable payment plans

Of course, we also accept most insurance plans which should cover a portion of the braces cost. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss a payment plan that works best for your budget and to help you with any insurance billing and paperwork.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

Braces cost shouldn’t stop anyone from achieving a beautiful, healthy smile. To learn which braces option is best for you, contact an orthodontist near you today.

To meet with our friendly, experienced team, call (916) 924-8970 today.

different kinds of braces

Different Kinds of Braces To Choose

By Blog, Invisalign, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

different kinds of bracesDifferent Kinds of Braces

When you are looking into braces for yourself or your child, you may wonder how many different kinds of braces are available. Fortunately, there are several options. The best option for you or your child depends on you or your child’s unique needs, goals, desires, and finances.

At Markham Orthodontics, Dr. David Markham can help you with whatever orthodontic option you choose. And you can rest assured you or your child will be in excellent hands, as Dr. Markham is Board-Certified in orthodontics.

What different kinds of braces are available for young children?

Because many current or potential future orthodontic issues can be fixed more easily when children are still developing, it is a good idea to have your child screened by an orthodontist by age seven. Known as early intervention orthodontics, the aim is to guide the growth and development of the jaw and correct problems caused by poor oral habits, such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking.

The second stage of treatment often follows early intervention orthodontics, but the earlier treatment means the second phase is less complicated, shorter in duration, and more affordable.

Since the jaw and face are still growing and developing, some issues can be fixed quickly and easily with a simple removable appliance or partial braces. This early intervention helps prevent tooth crowding, growth abnormalities, and jaw malpositioning. In some patients, it the answer to avoiding future jaw surgery.

Early intervention also helps boost self-esteem, especially with patients who have several orthodontic issues.

While not all young children need early intervention, it is worth coming in for a complimentary evaluation. Then, you can either know everything is developing as it should or learn what we can do for your child to prevent future dental issues.

The different kinds of braces for teenagers

The most common braces parents choose for their teens involve traditional metal brackets and wires. However, some parents do decide to go with clear, ceramic brackets or Invisalign® clear aligners. There are pros and cons to each option.

Traditional Braces

Bracket-and-wire braces are the best option when treatment needs are complex. It is also the more economical option.

Metal and ceramic brackets both work the same way. In fact, the only differences between them are aesthetics and cost. While the clear ceramic brackets are much less visible, certain foods and drinks can stain the ceramic. Of course, stained ceramic brackets are much more noticeable than when they are clear. Also, ceramic brackets are more expensive.

Most teenagers don’t mind the look of traditional braces. After all, they see them on most of their friends at some point or another. Also, if they have self-esteem issues because of their crooked smile or overbite, the braces alert everyone that something is being done to correct their smile issues. Therefore, the presence of braces actually boosts their self-esteem.

The biggest cons when it comes to traditional braces involve diet and oral hygiene. It can already be hard enough to convince some teens to brush and floss as they should, and the brackets and wires make these tasks even harder. Also, the list of foods to avoid can be daunting.

It might be worth going over the “not allowed” items with your teen to see if they can go a year or two without them. Some examples include:

  • Crunchy foods, such as ice and popcorn
  • Sticky foods, such as Starburst and caramels
  • Chewy foods, such as licorice and bagels
  • Hard foods, such as pretzels and nuts
  • The food you bite into, such as apples, carrots, and corn on the cob

Invisalign For Teens

If your teenager is more interested in Invisalign, the question you will have to ask is, how responsible is your teen? The clear aligners are removable, which removes food restrictions and makes oral hygiene much easier, but there are risks.

The aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day. If your teenager cannot keep this commitment, traditional braces are the best option. Also, because they are removable, the aligners can get lost, broken, or damaged when out of their mouth.

Different Kinds of Braces for Adults

More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment, especially with the invention of Invisalign. In fact, one out of five orthodontic patients is an adult.

Invisalign allows for the gentle, smooth movement of teeth by going through a series of custom-made, clear aligners. These aligners are practically invisible, so they allow you to improve your smile discreetly. They are also comfortable and allow you to avoid the common pains associated with traditional braces, such as tightening days and injuries from poking brackets and broken wires.

Another great advantage of Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. This means you take them out to eat and perform oral hygiene. Therefore, you don’t have to deal with food restrictions or learning how to floss around braces.

However, if you cannot commit to wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, you may need to go with traditional braces. If you worry about aesthetics, you may want to consider clear ceramic brackets.

Which orthodontic treatment is best for you?

If you have questions or would like to set up a complimentary orthodontic evaluation, one of our friendly, knowledgeable Sacramento orthodontist team members would love to talk with you. Give us a call today at (916) 924-8970, so we can get you started on your journey to a more beautiful smile.

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