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close-up of braces

How much do braces cost?

By Blog, Braces, 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

What different kinds of braces can I choose from?

By Blog, Invisalign, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

different kinds of bracesWhen 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 growth and development of the jaw and correct problems caused by poor oral habits, such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking.

A 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 for 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
  • 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 day 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 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.

toddler boy holding a blue mouthguard to reduce teeth grinding

Have you heard your child grinding his teeth at night?

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics, Teens

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

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

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

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

Why is my child grinding his teeth?

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

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

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

Common causes of grinding teeth in children include:

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

What are the possible negative effects of grinding teeth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If Your Child is Grinding His Teeth

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

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

Invisalign vs Conventional Braces

By Blog, Braces, Invisalign

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

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

Invisalign: 

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

More Discreet Than Braces

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

Comfort

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

Boosts Self-Esteem

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

Brushing and Flossing Are Easy

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

Check-in Appointments are Quick

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

Better for Enunciation

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

Faster in Many Cases

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

Call and make your appointment today.

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

Enjoy Discreet Orthodontics with White Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics

If you have concerns about the prominence of traditional metal braces then you may be an ideal candidate for white braces. Unlike traditional 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.

Are White 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 parent of a teenager, 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 are needing to correct significant levels of teeth misalignment, Dr. Markham may recommend metal brackets to avoid appliance breakage. 

Caring for Ceramic Braces

Special care should be taken any time you are wearing braces. Additional care will be needed for maintaining ceramic braces. Unlike metal, ceramic material can become discolored for the same reasons that teeth can become stained. 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. 

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.

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.