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When Do I Get Rubber Bands?

By Blog
Orthodontics Rubber Bands

After a few visits to your Orthodontics specialist, you have finally gotten accustomed to the little discomfort after adjustments, and suddenly they make an appearance. Yes, we are talking about the elastics (rubber bands). 

Then your orthodontic visit finishes, and you feel like it is your first-time wearing braces again. It is not only about the extra pressure but the feeling of having your mouth a bit restricted. 

However, elastics (rubber bands) are a major player in your treatment success. It turns out elastics exert steady pressure helping move certain teeth to correct your bite. 

If you want to see it differently, they might be called “small heroes” in the battle to conquer a final objective, a healthy and beautiful smile. So, we encourage you to think about the outcome.

Yes, there are several steps, requirements, and efforts patients must undergo to see results, but you will find a pleasant reward during the journey, seeing progress and, in the end, the result. 

So, you might be asking yourself, what does orthodontic treatment success require? Well, the most important part is compliance with your orthodontist’s recommendations, and one of these recommendations is wearing your elastics all the time.

This short but insightful article addresses two major concerns of orthodontic treatment related to the “small heroes” elastics. First, we will shortly tell you what role they play in Orthodontic Treatment? In different words, we will define How do elastics help your orthodontic treatment? And what are the types of elastics used in Orthodontics?  

How Do Elastics Help Your Orthodontic Treatment?

Markham Orthodontics | Orthodontist | rubber bands and bracesIt is all about physics, but we don’t want to go that far explaining it. In a few words, a misaligned tooth reacts (moves) due to the pressure that the “U” shaped wire exerts. 

The wires shape is a staged desired alignment of teeth that slowly molds with each adjustment to the final result. Brackets hold the wires. In some cases, elastics serve to fixate the brackets. 

Stress creates an action and reaction force in which the wire tries to get back to its former position, slowly pulling teeth and repositioning them. The action and reaction also stress a specific tooth that pushes one another in a sort of a chain reaction. 

However, there are malocclusion cases that require an extra effort, like the case of a jaw repositioning. In such cases, elastics attach to brackets with hooks. Not all brackets have these hooks. 

An Orthodontist plans the complete treatment, knowing beforehand which teeth will have these hooks. Elastics hold on to two separated hooks exerting additional stress. The brackets apply force to the band that stretches. At the same time, the band applies force in both directions. 

Finally, the band exerts a constant forth and back force, altering the positioning of the jaws and teeth. 

What Are the Elastic Bands Used in Orthodontics?

We have discussed the elastic (rubber bands) function. However, to grasp a better idea of its hero powers, it is crucial to know a little bit about the types of elastics used depending on the type of malocclusion. So here, we try to depict the best description possible for each elastic type and orthodontic case. 

Types of Elastics Used in Orthodontics According to Malocclusion Cases.

Teeth Gap

Sometimes there is an abnormal lack of space between teeth. For example, class 1 elastics attach to a hook located in the bracket on the first or second molar, in the same lateral quadrant of the opposite hook of the bracket adhered to the cuspid tooth. This generates pulling stress to get the cuspid to move to its proper position. 

Overjet

This elastic type goes from a hook in an upper tooth to a hook in a lower tooth, pulling back the upper teeth and pushing the lower teeth forward. This serves to reposition the maxillary, moving it back to its proper position. 

Underbite

The mechanics applied to correct an underbite with elastics are similar to the mechanical movement of overjet, but, in this case, the maxillary moves forward while the jaw moves backward.


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

How Long Will I Need to Wear a headgear? (Wearing Headgear)

By Blog
Markham Orthodontics | Sacramento, CA | Headgear

Wearing Headgear

Well, this is not what we were expecting for today. Headgear braces are such a controversial topic; there’s no easy way to go about it. When we recommend a patient uses braces, we do so because we want to provide you with a non-surgical solution to your dental and jaw alignment problems. But some cases are just too severe and might require more powerful appliances, such as dental braces and headgear.

As with many other orthodontic appliances, your dental headgear works to improve your dental alignment or correct existing jaw malocclusions. These devices, however, are useful mostly in cases of young children or teenagers whose bones are still growing.

What Are Headgear Braces?

Unlike most orthodontic appliances, some parts of the headgear will go outside of your mouth. The many parts of headgear include:

  • A head cap: this piece sits on the patient’s head and anchors all the remaining pieces.
  • Straps: these are used to provide force at a specific angle and, depending on the model used by the patient, will wrap around the back of the neck or over the head.
  • Facebow: this part, usually metal-made and u-shaped, attaches to your molars, head cap, and straps.
  • Elastic bands, tubes, and hooks: As with any other appliance, these parts anchor various parts of the headgear to the molars.
  • Forehead pad, chin cup, and mouth yoke: you may not necessarily require all of them at once but these parts provide additional tension and direction to the force applied over the teeth by the headgear.

How to Use Headgear Braces?

The goal of wearing headgear braces, as with every other tool in orthodontics, is to safely and gradually move teeth until they reach the proper position and desired alignment.

New patients will only have to wear their appliances for a few hours every day. Make sure you ask your orthodontist about what to expect. As with any other appliance, you will go through an adjustment period where your teeth will feel sore.

To successfully move your teeth, you will have to wear your headgear appliance for 12 to 14 hours per day. The good news, however, is that you won’t have to do so for 12 hours straight. A patient can wear their headgear for 8 hours while being asleep and finish the remaining 4 to 6 hours throughout the day. Please keep in mind that the longer and more often the headgear is worn, the quicker the jaws and teeth will move.

You could wear your headgear while doing errands in the house, reading, watching television, or any activities that do not require moving your face too much. However, sudden movements may affect the headgear, so it is important not to run or participate in strenuous sports while wearing such an appliance.

How Long Will I Need to Wear Headgear? Months? Years?

Depending on the patient’s treatment plan, they may need to wear headgear for as little as one year or for a few years. The length of time you spend with a headgear also depends on your overall compliance with our recommendations. Please do your best to wear the headgear for the full 12 to 14 hours every day or as long as your orthodontist indicates.

In general, the longer a patient wears headgear throughout the day, the fewer months you’ll have to wear it.

What Are the Types of Headgear?

We mostly classify these appliances based on the type of force they apply over your teeth and desired motions. Primarily, there are three types of headgear.

High Pull

This variation is particularly useful in cases of overjets and overbites. The straps go attached from the patient’s upper jaw to the top and back of the head.

Keep in mind that these are efficient in patients whose bones are still growing, so children with a diagnosed open bite or other jaw malocclusions are likely candidates for this appliance.

Cervical Pull

This type can also help with extreme cases of upper jaw alignment problems. Young children with an overjet or overbite could receive a headgear for their orthodontic care. Here, the straps won’t go around the top of the head but will wrap around the back of the neck where you have the cervical vertebrae.

Reverse Pull

This case works better for problems with the development of the upper jaw and underbites. Rubber bands will help attach the braces from the headgear to the top teeth and gradually move them where necessary.

What Your Natomas, Sacramento Orthodontist Says

Call our office today for your complimentary evaluation at (916) 924-8970. We want to make sure you get all the help you need. Headgear braces are useful and necessary in extreme cases.

Here at Markham Orthodontics, we work hard to offer our patients the most convenient solutions. Some appliances fit specific lifestyles and routines better than others. Make sure you ask us about headgears and whether you need them or not.

Woman using clear aligners

The Best Way to Straighten One or Two Crooked Teeth

By Blog

The thing is, most patients seeking orthodontic treatment, especially adults, only do so if they have extreme cases of crowding, jaw misalignment, or tooth rotation. However, you might be wondering exactly what to do about a slight case of one or two crooked teeth, inward, outward, or in any way. How can you fix slightly crooked teeth? Will your treatment take too long?

Healthy bites with slightly crooked teeth are usually reasons why many patients decide to forego orthodontic care. Many adults believe wearing braces for over a year seems a bit extreme. The decision is only harder if any uneven teeth compromise the look of your smile only slightly. Not enough that everyone sees it, but just enough that you know it’s there.

Fortunately, as the best orthodontist in Sacramento, CA patients can find, Dr. Markham and his team know how to help patients of any age by offering several tailored options for your orthodontic treatment that account for your goals and needs.

We could treat isolated cases of crooked front teeth with innovative appliances, such as Invisalign® clear aligners, which are virtually unnoticeable to prying eyes. And even if your budget and preference gravitate towards traditional metal braces, we can use accelerators to seed the changes much more efficiently.

Let’s check out a bit more information about what is the main cause of crooked teeth, how your oral care might change due to your orthodontic condition, and what happens after a complete consultation with Natomas’s best orthodontic team.

What Is the Main Cause of Crooked Front Teeth?

If you have one or two crooked teeth, it is most likely the result of overcrowding or a narrow palate. When your teeth do not have enough room, the nearby teeth will push them to the front or back of your smile.

It’s also possible that your teeth moved around after you prematurely lost a baby tooth or permanent one. After such a tooth loss, your surrounding teeth will move in towards the open space causing additional malalignment and potentially rotating the teeth, giving you crooked teeth.

Other, less common reasons for misalignment:

  • Thumb sucking at a late age after a baby has started to teeth,
  • An improper swallowing reflex that causes the tongue to push forward on the front teeth,
  • Overly large teeth.

Can We Get Crooked Teeth Hereditary?

Dental malocclusions, that is to say, tooth misalignment, are most often hereditary. What we’re trying to say here is that if your parents, grandparents, or close relatives suffer from these orthodontic conditions, it’s very likely that you or your children will suffer from them as well.

As we mentioned before, some individuals may suffer from a congenital disease, so abnormal bite patterns, irregular growth of upper and lower jaws, cleft lip, or palate can all lead to crooked teeth.

Can Invisalign Clear Aligners Straighten Slightly Crooked Teeth?

We often recommend Invisalign for minor to moderate orthodontic issues, such as isolated crooked teeth. This treatment is subtler than standard braces, and it often takes less time to complete, especially when you do not need to correct your entire bite.

In fact, in some cases, Invisalign can take as little as six weeks.

Keep in mind that most viable Invisalign patients only face minor cases of orthodontic problems. Adults and teenagers with more severe cases of dental malalignment and jaw malocclusions may also use Invisalign but will equally require additional attachments. That’s a discussion for another time as we’re dealing primarily with cases of a pair of crooked teeth.

If we determine that you are a suitable Invisalign candidate, we will take digital impressions of your teeth. Then we will use these images to design clear aligners on the computer, varying the shape to match the gradual shift of your teeth.

An Invisalign lab will use the molds to create your aligners from clear plastic that will be almost impossible to see. In most cases, you will wear each set of aligner trays for two weeks. Depending on how you respond, you may require additional trays or additional treatment time.

Make sure you ask your orthodontist about the expected treatment length and plan accordingly.

Traditional Braces and Accelerators

If your teeth are severely out of line, we may suggest traditional braces instead. Stainless steel braces and other types of conventional orthodontic appliances are extremely reliable and durable, perfect for your ortho treatment. We also offer clear braces. Even though they use brackets and wires, they are much more discreet than metal.

However, many patients may relieve their initial concerns about treatment length with conventional braces, even in these cases. Fortunately, our team has an ace up our sleeve. You’ll see there are several ways that we can make your orthodontic care easier.

We can also speed your treatment time with state-of-the-art AcceleDent® or the PROPEL system. These treatments use tiny electrical pulses to vibrate teeth and stimulate the nearby bone.

The additional motion helps seed the changes faster and encourages teeth movement. If you use them according to your dentist’s instructions, you can shorten treatment time by up to 60 percent!

What Are the Benefits of Fixing Slightly Crooked Teeth?

Although one or two uneven teeth might seem like a minor concern, orthodontic treatment is very important.

First, of course, it can greatly improve your appearance. Often, isolated uneven teeth can draw attention away from your other facial features, making your entire smile look out of line.

In some cases, they can also cause you to look childlike or older than you actually are.

Second, orthodontic care can also improve your oral health. Overlapping teeth often trap bacteria, and they are very difficult to clean. Therefore, Invisalign or braces can reduce your risk for decay, discoloration, and gum disease.

There are additional relationships between your oral health and heart disease, so ensuring your dental health is as optimal as possible will greatly benefit patients of all ages.

Further, a single crooked tooth can offset the force of your entire bite, causing pressure on isolated teeth. You could eventually suffer from dental erosion, a cracked tooth, or TMJ disorder without the appropriate care.

Finally, you might also feel some relief when considering that correcting crooked or malaligned dental structures helps improve some speech difficulties. As someone struggles with speech impediments, they will certainly appreciate overcoming those issues and enjoying a more relaxed feel when interacting with school or workmates.

Contact Us for a Straight, Beautiful Smile

Correcting your crooked one or two teeth can be an easy and quick process with lifelong benefits. Contact Markham Orthodontics online to schedule an appointment. You can also learn more about your treatment options when you call (916) 924-8970.

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.

Different Kinds of braces

Different Kinds of Braces to Choose

By Blog, Invisalign, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

different kinds of braces

Dr. Markham and the team at Markham Orthodontics know there are different kinds of braces to choose from and making a decision to start your orthodontic journey to straighter and healthier teeth is easier said than done. Everything, from choosing the best orthodontist in Gold River to deciding the right orthodontic device, can be confusing and even stressful.

However, that is why today, we will go through the ins and outs of orthodontic treatment and the devices you can choose from. Since there are many different types of orthodontic braces available and each type uses several components and materials, we will take a closer look at each type individually.

The first thing you need to know is that all the types of braces work to achieve the same goal; they all realign your teeth to enhance chewing, biting, and aesthetics. Ultimately, they give you, the patient, that perfect, healthy, and bright smile you have always wanted to see reflected in the mirror or in pictures. Now let’s start.

What Are the Different Kinds of Braces to Choose?

The two main types of braces available are removable and fixed devices. As the names suggest, you can remove these appliances from your mouth at any time, while fixed devices require special tools and an orthodontist.

Though fixed dental braces are helpful when correcting severe alignment issues, removable devices are popular because they afford the wearer more freedom during the length of their treatment.

Within these two types, you can find many options to choose from, each with its own pros and cons and pricing. After learning about your different options, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist and discuss which suits your specific smile needs.

Traditional Braces

This type is the most common, and therefore the least expensive option. Also known as metal braces, these are the braces that most come to mind when we hear the word “braces.”

Metal Braces

Made with metal brackets and wires, this type is responsible for giving patients the dreaded metal-mouth look. However, with advances in technology, today’s traditional braces are actually smaller and more appealing than those of the past. The cost of this option can vary anywhere from $3,000 to $7,500.

Ceramic Braces

This type works the same as the traditional braces we are so familiar with, plus the addition of a great benefit. Made with tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend into your teeth. These braces are the more appealing counterpart part of metal braces.

However, being less noticeable comes with a price that ranges from $2,000 to $8,500. One of the biggest disadvantages of ceramic braces is that because their more appealing material is more sensitive than traditional metal, these braces can stain easily if you don’t pay attention to proper oral hygiene and certain dietary restrictions.

As you can see, both traditional metal and ceramic braces fall into the category of fixed orthodontic devices. Because these devices remain bonded onto your teeth, they can only be applied, adjusted, or removed by your orthodontist. Let’s move on to the removable category.

Invisalign for Teens and Adults

Invisalign or clear aligners are a system of aligning trays that consists of a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners. These aligners are removable, giving you the most flexibility and freedom.

With clear aligners, diet restrictions are a thing of the past. Since you will be removing them to eat, oral hygiene also becomes easier to keep up with. However, this option may not suit everyone, especially younger patients who might forget to put their aligners back in after eating or even lose their aligners. The cost of clear aligners ranges from $3,000 to $7,000.

As a general rule, you should keep in mind that most orthodontists believe the average length of time for orthodontic treatment is anywhere from six months to two years. The actual length of treatment is always specific to each individual patient. Because we all have different smile needs, always make sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions for best results.

Now, after you complete your orthodontic journey and you finally see your brand new, straight smile, it is completely normal to think you finished everything. However, even after your braces come off, you still have one more step to complete.

Retainers

After you complete your orthodontic care, you should wear a retainer to keep the teeth in their new position. Because teeth naturally shift with time, these appliances help prevent this “shifting back” from happening.

As the name suggests, retainers basically retain their teeth from moving. Within the retainer category, there are 3 different types you need to be familiar with.

Clear Retainers

Clear retainers are clear trays, which look much like clear aligners. These retainers ensure that the teeth stay in position because of the vacuum-formed hard plastic that accurately prevents shifting.

Traditional Retainers

Unlike clear retainers, traditional retainers only use acrylic or plastic, and they have metal wires. Making them the less appealing retainer type.

Fixed Retainers

A fixed retainer is an appliance that remains in the mouth. Usually, the orthodontist bonds them to the teeth, and as such, they don’t need any adjustments. A fixed retainer is great for patients who are afraid of removing and losing their retainers.

Finding Your Smile in Gold River

The perfect smile is definitely something worth working towards; however, there is a lot to consider before starting orthodontic treatment. At Markham Orthodontics, we are committed to providing top-quality orthodontic care but also to ensuring all of our patients feel comfortable and secure with our treatment options and at our office. We will answer all your questions so you know which options suit you best; out of all the different kinds of braces, you’ll want to choose the ones that fit your lifestyle the best.

That is why we would like to meet you in person and help you through the process of achieving the smile of your dreams. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham, please contact us. We look forward to meeting with you.

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