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How to Choose the Right Braces Colors

By Braces

Starting your treatment with braces is a big step towards ensuring your dental health. Fortunately, we can offer a wide variety of better-looking options with today’s technology that can be fun and a great way to express ourselves. Simultaneously, you’ll be looking great and taking care of your oral health. Of course, your orthodontist will be your best guidance throughout your orthodontic journey.

Depending on the reason why any patient needs braces, their treatment length will vary. Some people wear them for months, while for others it can last years. Regardless of your treatment goals or your specific set of circumstances, when you wear braces, you can make them part of your personality and your look. You can get colored braces, clear or ceramic braces, or traditional metal braces.

You can combine your braces with colored rubber bands that will make you feel and look your best!

So let’s dive into all the gamma of colors and possibilities we have for you.

Choosing the right color braces for you involves knowing yourself and choosing the best color combination for you.

Our ortho Sacramento office offers a wide variety of materials and colors to choose from. Make sure to select the ones that will highlight your personality and enhance your looks.

What Are the Different Types of Braces?

In terms of materials, let’s take a brief look at the differences between metal and plastic braces.

Knowing about the materials used in the manufacture of various types of braces will help you how to select the ones that will make you feel confident, make your teeth look whiter and healthier, and that will combine with your skin tone.

If you want to highlight your personality and make a statement, metal braces are always a good choice as they are usually made from stainless steel.

You can go with the plastic braces for a more subtle and elusive look. Mostly made from polycarbonate, they come in light or dark shades and are great for the professional look.

Brace Colors

Before diving into the color palette, we need to consider some important points, such as your diet (foods and drinks), as some food and drinks may stain your rubber bands. And the color of your natural teeth, if your natural teeth are not completely white (which, let’s be truthful, nobody has completely white teeth).

Based on this, we can now jump into the colors and consider that darker colors in bands will help you neutralize the stains and off-color effect.

Additionally, let’s look at some subconscious associations with color:

  • White usually evokes feelings about peace, purity, and cleanliness.
  • Yellow is young, happy, and fun.
  • Orange means autumn, warmth, and enthusiasm.
  • Red in western cultures is associated with passion, anger, passion, and love.
  • Purple is related to wealth and royalty.
  • Blue expresses stability, professionalism, trust, and intelligence.
  • Green is nature, calmness, and good luck
  • Black is sophisticated, represents the night, and can be deadly.
  • And finally, multicolor is international and inclusive.

Ideas and Combinations

  • If your objective is to make your teeth look whiter, choose darker colors.
  • For a bright and radiant smile, red or light blue will help.
  • A more serious approach will mean avoiding bright colors completely and staying with the natural neutral colors and silver/gray shades.
  • Fun combinations for kids and young adults are achieved by matching the color bands with your outfit.
  • Seasons, holidays, and parties are great ways to show your fun side. The color of your favorite team, red and green for Christmas, Blue for Hanukkah, Orange for Fall/Halloween, Gold for the new year, or a color that matches a cause at the office, are just a few ideas.
  • Some also like to match their rubber bands with the color of their eyes to make them pop up.
  • As we mentioned earlier, you will also have to consider that some colors might enhance stains such as yellow, so a way to neutralize this will be by wearing clear or silver bands instead.

Changing Braces Colors

Our orthodontists will tighten the wires at each visit, which means you can change your color when you want. We typically recommend changing your color every four to eight weeks, but most of all, enjoy your fun color brace journey, as it is a precious one towards your beautiful new smile.

Remember that Dr. Markham is your best orthodontist in Sacramento! With the help of his experienced staff, he provides high-quality, affordable dentistry and oral health care services delivered in state-of-the-art dental offices.

Feel free to contact us here for further information, or come and visit us in our Sacramento office.

Types of Orthodontic Appliances You Can Get in Sacramento, CA

By Braces, Invisalign, Orthodontics, Retainer

orhtodontic treatment

The success of any orthodontic treatment depends on the orthodontist’s skill and patient compliance. Patients must wear their appliances as instructed to ensure the teeth and jaws move into proper alignment. “Appliance” is the word used to describe braces and other devices used to move the teeth into their desired positions.

Anything new that is attached or placed in your mouth can take getting used to, but the benefits far outweigh any initial discomfort. Orthodontic appliances apply a gentle force which can cause some initial discomfort but remember, this means the teeth are moving into place. Plus, the benefits of the appliances far outweigh any tenderness.

Dr. David Markham is a board-certified orthodontist, skilled at creating beautiful smiles and happy patients, in the Sacramento, CA area. The Markham Orthodontics team provides superior orthodontic treatment and top-notch customer service to patients of all ages.

Braces Are The Basics of Orthodontic Appliances

At Markham Orthodontics, we are delighted to offer our patients a variety of braces types to choose from. After a careful evaluation with our dentists and based on your orthodontics needs and budget, we will be able to offer you any of the following ones.

There are two types of braces in this category: Traditional metal and ceramic braces. Both of them remain attached to your teeth, and they must be applied, adjusted, and removed only by your orthodontist.

Metal Braces (Traditional braces)

This is the most common type of braces and the one that most people think about when they hear the word “braces.” It is also the least expensive option, so it is a considerable choice if you want to save some money. They are made with metal brackets but are actually much smaller than the ones used in the past. The look we have today is much more appealing, smaller, and more comfortable than in the old days.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces work the same as metal braces, plus the addition of great benefits, but they are made with the advantage of being tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend into your teeth. They are comfortable, and they are the better-looking counterpart part of metal braces.

The ceramic material does need maintenance, as it can stain easily, but if you follow good oral hygiene and some dietary restrictions, you will be good to go.

Invisalign Clear Aligner

Here, we have a variety of fun, effective and practical options.

Clear aligners are the talk of the town and for many good reasons. They are first of all good for teens and adults, and the easy custom-made clear aligners will straighten your teeth without anyone noticing. They are also removable, giving you the greatest amount of flexibility and freedom.

As you can remove your aligners, your dietary restrictions are not going to be as drastic as with fixed orthodontic treatments. They are not recommended to forgetful young patients, as they area treatment that requires wearing them constantly and young teens who might forget to put them back.


After you complete your orthodontic journey and you are delighted with your brand new straight smile, you will still have a step to complete, and it involves the use of retainers.

Retainers are devices used to keep the new position of the teeth as teeth gradually move over time.

Clear Retainers

Very similar to clear aligner trays, they ensure the teeth keep their new position by using a vacuum-formed hard plastic to prevent moving.

Traditional Retainers

Made of acrylic or plastic, they also have metal wires that make them easy to adjust.

Fixed Retainers

These retainers will be bonded to the teeth; as they cannot be removed, they don’t require adjustments. These are ideal for forgetful or distracted people afraid of keep losing their retainers.

Other Types of Orthodontic Appliances

The type of appliance prescribed to you will depend on your specific orthodontic needs and treatment goals. Several types of appliances are used for the duration of your treatment and are either fixed or removable.

Appliances used in orthodontics may include:


Temporary anchorage devices are tiny screws used to provide a temporary yet fixed point from which to apply the force needed to move the teeth. It allows for predictable tooth control.

Rubber Bands

The orthodontist may refer to these as elastics. Rubber bands attach to the brackets to apply enough gentle force to move the teeth and jaws. A wide range of colors is available, allowing patients to pick their favorite color, school color, or celebrate the holidays with different colors.

Chain Elastics

These are used to close spaces between the teeth.


If a patient is prescribed headgear, it will attach to the braces from the back of the head. It is easy to remove, most often worn at bedtime, and used to apply the extra force to move the teeth and jaws.

Herbst Appliance

This fixed appliance reduces overbite in patients by slowly moving the jaw forward and the upper molars backward. It is most often used by younger patients who are still growing.

Palatal Expander

The appliance “expands” or widens the upper jaw by putting pressure on the upper molars every time the orthodontist makes an adjustment. Once the desired expansion is achieved, the appliance will remain in place for a few months.


This appliance is used to complete the last few tooth movements needed to complete the orthodontic treatment.

Separators or Spacers

These are tiny rubber doughnuts that are inserted between your teeth to gently and slowly push them apart.

Mouth Guard

A mouth guard protects your teeth from injury during sports or other vigorous athletic activities.

Night Guard

A night guard is needed to prevent and stop patients from grinding or clenching their teeth.

Bite Plate

This is a small appliance made from acrylic material with metal clasps. These clip onto the inside of the top teeth. It is used before orthodontic treatment begins to correct a deep bite and prevents the back teeth from touching.

Habit Breaker Thumb Appliance

It is used to deter thumb-sucking habits and poor tongue posture.

Contact Us

If you are considering orthodontic treatment, check out our patient video gallery to see what other patients have to say about their Markham Orthodontic experience. Then call our office at 916-924-8970 for a complimentary evaluation or reach out to us online.

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.

Clean Braces

How to Clean Your Teeth When You’re Wearing Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics

At Markham Orthodontics, we understand the need to feel confident and comfortable every time you look in the mirror or every time you take a picture at a family gathering or an outing with friends. If you are ready to work towards the smile of your dreams, we are here to help you every step of the way until you reach your goal of a brand new, happy, healthy, and perfect smile.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are currently four million people wearing braces in the U.S, with approximately one million of them being over the age of 18.  While braces are the go-to option for those looking to get a straighter, more aesthetically appealing smile, they can be quite an adjustment. But, with Dr. David Markham, you can rest assured that your teeth are in good hands.

Along with the rest of the Markham Orthodontics team, Dr. Markham has compiled a list of useful tips to help you keep your braces in the best shape possible. After all, the better you take care of your braces, the better your results will be when treatment is complete.

How Can I Thoroughly Clean My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

Because the road to perfect teeth requires dedication and effort, we want to make sure to give you all of the information to be successful and so that you can keep your new smile for a lifetime.

So, even though you have decided on getting braces, you may have some questions that go beyond already knowing that brushing your teeth is important, so let’s take a look at how a general practice is different with braces.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is imperative for the proper care of your teeth and braces while undergoing your orthodontic treatment. Brushing is the cornerstone to great oral health, so let’s get started.

Brush Properly and Brush Often

To start, rinse your mouth with water before brushing. This practice can be very helpful in removing debris and food particles from around your brackets before brushing. If you use either a manual or electric toothbrush, we recommend dividing your mouth into four sections and brushing each quadrant for at least 30 seconds.

Holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brush gently above, below, and between your brackets in circular motions. Don’t forget about the chewing surfaces of your teeth. During this step, an interdental brush might be your best friend because it can allow you to get to any hard-to-reach places between your teeth and your brackets or wires.

Brushing your braces requires a little more time and effort. Instead of brushing two or three times per day, you’ll need to brush after every meal, including snacks. For best results, we recommend you use fluoride toothpaste and a brush with soft bristles or a toothbrush made specifically to use with braces.

Keep in mind that by a general rule, you should brush for at least 2 minutes and also include the roof of the mouth, the gum line, and the tongue.

You should generally replace a toothbrush every three to four months. However, braces can cause a toothbrush to fray quickly, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as it starts to show signs of wear.

Floss, Floss, Floss

Attempting to floss with braces can be a challenge. But, it’s an important part of your oral hygiene routine that you shouldn’t overlook. Flossing can help remove any excess plaque or food particles that can still be stuck in between teeth even after brushing, reducing the likelihood of bacteria forming in your mouth.

If you will be using regular dental floss, there is a tried and true method to use with braces, but this method will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Thread the floss between the main wire and your teeth. It helps to be in front of a mirror so you can watch the thread to make sure it’s going where you’d like it to.
  • Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers to make handling the floss easier.
  • Gently press the floss between two teeth and slide it up and down along the sides of both teeth. If you’re doing the top teeth, make an upside-down U shape: Go up the side of one tooth to the gum line, and then go down the side of the other tooth.
  • Remove the floss and gently unthread it from behind the wire. Be careful not to pop the floss out of the tooth. You might accidentally knock the wire and pop it out of the bracket.
  • Move to the next pair of teeth and repeat the process.

Consider a Floss Threader

If regular floss isn’t doing the job, floss threaders can be helpful since they are reusable and allow you to reach easily underneath the wire and along the curve of the gumline.

Floss threaders are inexpensive but indispensable tools that you can find at your local grocery store or pharmacy in the oral care section. To correctly use floss threaders, follow these simple steps:

  • Pull a piece of waxed floss through the eye of the floss threader.
  • Insert the point of the plastic needle under the wire of your braces. Gently pull the floss through the wire. Hold the floss threader in one hand.
  • Wrap the floss around your index fingers to give you more control over the thin thread.
  • Gently press the floss between the two teeth, and slide it up and down along the sides of both teeth. If you’re doing the top teeth, make an upside-down U shape: Go up the side of one tooth to the gum line, and then go down the side of the other tooth.
  • Gently pull the floss out from between the teeth, and pull the floss out from behind the wire.

Avoid applying too much pressure on your teeth when flossing, as you wouldn’t want to cause any damage to your braces!

Steer Clear of Certain Foods While Wearing Braces

Wearing braces doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. But, certain dietary adjustments need to be made to ensure you have a smooth orthodontic treatment process. Avoid smoking, sugar-packed drinks, and eating anything sticky, crunchy, hard, or chewy. Foods with these types of textures can likely bend or break the wire in your braces or lead to tooth decay in hard-to-reach areas.

  • Chewy foods–bagels, licorice, pizza crust, barbecue ribs, chicken wings
  • Crunchy foods–popcorn, chips, ice, pretzels, lollipops, hard taco shells
  • Sticky foods–caramel apples, Starburst, Skittles, chewing gum, gummy candies, fruit roll-ups, toffee, peanut brittle
  • Hard foods–nuts, celery, hard candies, carrots, apples, corn on the cob, beef jerky

Now that you know the ins and outs of oral cleaning while undergoing orthodontic treatment with traditional metal braces, you’re ready for the next step.

Make an Appointment Today!

Making sure your teeth stay clean, carving out time to floss, and managing your eating habits are simple yet effective steps you can take to make sure you’ll have a camera-ready smile as soon as the braces come off. Ready to set your smile straight? Contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham. After all, obtaining a winning smile is a team effort.

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, 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.

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