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Chewing gum can be detrimental to orthodontics.

Chewing Gum and Orthodontic Treatments

By Braces

Chewing gum has never been good friends with dentistry or orthodontics. The same happens with candy in general. It wasn’t until recently that these types of snacks were popularized unsugared.

And we all know sugar is the true enemy of your teeth. You probably have heard somewhere that sugar can damage the tooth enamel and contribute to oral bacteria issues or gum disease. And yes, it’s all true; you should take it easy with your sugar consumption.

But it is also imperative to say that this fact doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat sugar, candy, or gum. People often see things as black or white, and this is a gray matter. Science has shown that we, humans, need a bit of every food group and sugar is one of them.

The thing is, we are used to abusing sugar daily. Candies and chewing gum used to have much more sugar than we need daily. That’s why specialists recommend avoiding them in general.

Nowadays, we have alternatives, healthy alternatives. Sugar-free gum and candies are becoming more and more popular by the day. People are now more aware of the consequences of snacking too much.

The situation with gum used to be twice as complicated as with candy. Chewing gum also constitutes a problem due to its texture, hard and sticky. For orthodontic patients with metal braces or invisible aligners, chewing gum is risky.

Can You Eat Gum With Braces?

Gum can get stuck between your archwires and bend them. In some cases, this can affect your treatment, but it won’t be necessary to set a new appointment before your next check-up.

Nowadays, archwires are often made of a more flexible metal that can take the chewing of gum without bending. We would still recommend avoiding gum in general since it can be hard to be sure about the materials of your archwires.

Chewing gum can also cause detached brackets, which is obviously not good for your orthodontic treatment.

All of these are problems with easy solutions. However, it’s best for you if you avoid chewing gum all the time and have a different snack instead.

What Kind of Gum Is Good for Teeth?

When unsugared candy was invented, the world changed its curse. Sugar-free gum is a much healthier alternative, and sometimes it is even recommended by dentists and orthodontists because the chewing exercise can be helpful in certain cases and increases saliva production.

If we leave patients with braces apart, chewing gum does not suppose a threat to your teeth except for the sugar it contains.

As we all know, sugar can damage the tooth enamel, which is the protective coat of your teeth. If the tooth enamel is weak, you can easily be at risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Eating sugar constantly hurts your oral health more than you can imagine. Chewing gum covers your teeth with sugar, and that’s how it damages your enamel.

Can You Chew Gum With Invisalign?

This question has two answers. One of the many benefits of starting orthodontic treatment with clear aligners is that you get to eat almost everything you want since your teeth can be freed in a matter of minutes.

Having the opportunity to take off your orthodontic appliances whenever you want to eat is amazing. But let’s not forget the immense importance of wearing your Invisalign aligners for as much as possible.

You literally should take them off only for eating and brushing your teeth. So, if you want to chew gum, you have to take off your aligners, and this means you can only enjoy gum for a few minutes a day.

If you chew gum with Invisalign in your mouth, you will probably have a hard time when the gum gets attached to the appliance. Remember eating with your aligners on can break your dental molds.

What if Gum Sticks to My Brackets?

This is more common than you think. People usually believe “this won’t happen to me,” and of course, it happens to them too. Traditional braces and gum are better when not mixed.

You can first brush the affected area with your usual tools for oral hygiene: toothpaste and a toothbrush. Interdental brushes for braces are very useful as well since you can reach difficult parts with them.

The gum might not come out entirely, but you should keep trying, and it will surely come out in a day or two maximum. Call your orthodontist’s office if you can’t get rid of it.

Doubts About How to Take Care of Your Braces?

Set an appointment with your team of specialized orthodontists in Sacramento, California. Your teeth will thank you.

Can an Orthodontic Treatment Be Done Without Tooth Extraction?

By Braces

For some of us, it may seem odd to have teeth removed for orthodontic treatments. People are under the impression that tooth extraction can negatively affect your denture’s functioning. You should know this is not necessarily true.

Dentists and orthodontists have many reasons to suggest tooth extractions, and deciding whether to do it will always be your decision. If you trust your orthodontist, this process should not be a problem.

A dentist may suggest removing your teeth when you have a crowded bite or crooked teeth, which are serious problems, believe it or not. Tooth decay is another common cause for extractions in cases where the damage has pierced the tooth or molars.

You should pay attention to your dental care routine to avoid tooth decay since it can turn into a delicate matter when cavities appear. Cavities usually mean losing teeth and the need to wear implants even at an early age.

Since cavities are a consequence of the tooth decay process, you must check your dental care routine and make a strict habit of following your dentist’s tips. Kids can be the principal affected by this issue because parents tend to think that since their children will be losing all of their teeth by the age of 6 or 7, it doesn’t matter if they ruin their baby teeth. But the truth is that cavities can damage your kid’s oral health and lead to infections.

Of course, it becomes irreversible when an adult with permanent teeth needs to get extractions due to cavities or perhaps to get orthodontic treatment like braces. In most cases, the dental expert’s suggestion will not suppose any damage to your lifestyle or denture.

Let’s break down when extractions are needed:

Why Would I Need to Have a Tooth Extracted?

There is plenty of reasons why your dentist may suggest getting rid of one or even some of your teeth. Here are some common and not-so-common explanations:

  • Baby teeth on adults: sometimes teens or young adults (21) still have primary teeth in their mouths. Usually, this means minimum extractions (1 or 2 teeth).
  • Tooth decay or cavities: when a tooth presents cavities, the deterioration process has gone too far, and the best alternative is to pull out the tooth and replace it with an implant.
  • Wisdom teeth: this last set of molars is like a roulette game because not everybody has them, and not everyone needs them removed. There are cases where a person only gets one or two of them. The thing is, if you don’t have the space for them, they can change the whole distribution of your bite.
  • Crowded teeth: this is orthodontics’ kingdom. Having your teeth too close or overlapping can be a serious problem, and this is why your orthodontist may want to create more space in your palate by extracting some teeth.

So, this last point takes us to the option of removing teeth before getting traditional metal braces.

Why Would I Need to Have a Tooth Extracted?

Tooth extractions are not a rule in orthodontics; it is not like it’s mandatory to have some teeth removed by an orthodontist. It is common, though. Whether your dental expert recommends extractions or not will depend on your particular case.

Traditional brackets are one of the primary reasons to have teeth removed because it is an orthodontic treatment often used to correct misalignment. When someone has a crowded bite, it’s usually because they do not have enough space for all of their teeth.

One of the best options to solve the problem is to create the space. You should not have gaps between your teeth after this since the braces will correct your denture.

Wisdom Teeth Removal for Braces

Unlike other teeth, wisdom teeth are the usual candidates for extractions. Since these two pairs of molars are not necessary for the correct functioning of your denture, extractions mean no trouble for you.

If you are planning or considering beginning orthodontic treatment and your X-Rays show wisdom teeth, your dental specialist will most likely suggest taking them out.

This is done as prevention because sometimes orthodontists don’t know for sure if the wisdom teeth will erupt, but once you have had braces or clear aligners, getting two pairs of new molars can throw all the previous work into the garbage.

If your wisdom teeth are yet to come out, it’s probably best to have them extracted before you start any other orthodontic procedure.

What to Eat After Tooth Extraction

Being submitted to teeth extraction can be uncomfortable and even painful. However, it is nothing to worry about since the pain will disappear in a few days, and you can eat lots of ice cream.

Yes, ice cream is one of those few things you can eat during the first one or two days after having a tooth removed. The cold will ease the pain you might be feeling and will help with inflammation in the affected area.

What else is good for you during this short period?

  • Soups: preferably cold ones. Bland or liquid diets that avoid chewing will save a lot of unnecessary pain.
  • Soft bread or bland meals: once you have gotten through the first two days, perhaps you would still like to take it slow with the recovery process. Boiled vegetables and bland proteins are good options.
  • Avoid crunchy or hard meals and super hot and spicy food. During this period, these are not your friends.

All of these recommendations are also good if you have orthodontic braces or aligners. If you’re new to the procedure, you may not know this yet, but the first days after you’ve been to your dentist’s office, you can experience mild to moderate pain in your gums.

This is due to the pressure of the orthodontic appliances. After a short period, your teeth will get used to their new position, and the pain will go. But while you are experiencing this, you can find some comfort in ice cream and bland diets.

Can braces stain teeth?

How to Get Rid of Yellow Stained Teeth with Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics, Uncategorized

Imagine going through the hole braces treatment just to see that your teeth are now stained. Having an appealing smile is one of the main reasons people get braces, so finding out that you have to go through another treatment for them to be the same color again is just devastating. Here we’ll show you why teeth staining happens and how to avoid it.

Can Braces Stain Teeth?

Although the braces themselves aren’t the ones responsible, you can end up with stained teeth after having braces. As said, there is nothing in the appliance itself that will somehow stain your teeth. What stains your teeth is the accumulation of bacteria and plaque. According to Healthline magazine, when sugar and the bacteria in your mouth meet, they release an acid that’s damaging to your teeth’s outer layer, the enamel. When the enamel is exposed for a prolonged time to plaque and the acid within it, it starts to deteriorate. This deterioration is what causes the white spots on your teeth.

Regular permanent braces are really only responsible for making it harder for patients to clean their teeth properly. The many little crevices created between your teeth, brackets, and wire are great spots for bacteria to accumulate. Of course, with the proper tools and cleaning routine, discoloration or stains in your teeth can be completely avoided.

Fortunately, if your teeth do stain at the end of the treatment, some options allow your tooth to get back its uniform color. Some of the treatments are teeth whitening, remineralization, composite restoration, veneers, etc.

Can Invisalign Stain Teeth?

No, Invisalign won’t stain your teeth. Similar to what happens with braces, Invisalign, or any other clear aligner, isn’t the main cause of your teeth changing color; they are only a contributing factor. Lack of proper cleaning is almost always the main culprit when it comes to teeth staining.

When you wear clear aligners like Invisalign, orthodontists expect you to use them for around 20 to 22 hours a day. They will instruct you to remove them only when eating or for cleaning. This is where the problem may arise. If there is any food residue on your teeth when you put your aligners back on, they will stay there for hours at a time. This situation creates opportunities for plaque and acid to form, which will, in turn, start deteriorating your tooth’s enamel. Remember that deterioration of your enamel is part of what causes the stains.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

As we said previously, stained teeth are mostly a result of a lack of proper oral care. In this section, we’ll give you some tips for you to avoid stained teeth from your time with braces or Invisalign.

Regardless of the treatment, you are going through, it’s incredibly important for you to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. This helps eliminate most of the food residue and bacteria that may accumulate on your teeth throughout the day. To do this, you might want to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is an ingredient that helps in killing bacteria and reinforcing your teeth.

Consider cutting your sugar intake. Reducing your sugar consumption will help in avoiding plaque concentration in your mouth.

Proper Cleaning While on Braces

Specifically for braces, you should use a soft-bristle toothbrush and try to approach your teeth at a 45° angle; this helps in getting to the more difficult spots in between your teeth, brackets, and metal wire. Given the added difficulty in cleaning, the use of floss is more important than ever. Considering that brackets also make it harder to floss correctly, don’t be afraid of using tools such as a floss threader or a floss pick to get to those harder spots to reach.

Follow your diet strictly. Not doing so will not only damage your braces but will make it harder for you to clean properly, especially when it comes to sticky food.

Stay away from whitening products or treatments during your time with braces. With most products, your teeth will whiten normally except for the part to which the bracket is attached. When your orthodontist removes your bracket, it may leave behind a different shade square on your tooth.

Proper Cleaning Teeth With Invisalign

During your treatment with Invisalign, or any clear aligner, it’s important to remember to rinse them thoroughly every time you remove them. Ideally, you will also brush your teeth before you put your aligners back on. We understand that brushing your teeth after every meal is almost impossible, but you should at least rinse them and use mouthwash as well if you can.

Contact Us For  Free Consultation at Markham Orthodontics to Begin the Journey of a Lifetime!

If you wish to clear any doubt regarding your teeth staining during orthodontic treatment, contact us here. We will gladly help you in any way we can. Call us at +19169248970.

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 they 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 for your beautiful new smile.

Call Us Today For a Free Consultation at Markham Orthodontics

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.

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