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Braces

man with braces

10 Tips for Orthodontic Braces Care

By Blog, Braces, 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 mouth guard

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

8. Use dental wax

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

9. Wear rubber bands appropriately

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

10. Know when to call your orthodontist

Contact your orthodontist if you experience any of the following:

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

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

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

close-up of braces

How much do braces cost?

By 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.

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!

Braces: Not Just for Teens

By Braces, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

black woman with braces

If the thought of braces gives you flashbacks to your awkward middle school years, you’re not alone. Many adults feel like braces are only for adolescents when, truthfully, braces are for everyone. In fact, more and more adults are improving their smile’s appearance, health, and function with braces. Whether you are 25 or 85, if you want to straighten your crooked or crowded teeth, braces are for you!

Looking for adult braces in Sacramento? Our highly-skilled orthodontists at Markham Orthodontics are passionate about providing patients with quality care and beautiful teeth. Contact our friendly staff today at 916-525-8566 to schedule an initial consultation.

Advantages of Adult Braces

As we advance in age, oral complications become more prevalent. Braces have the two-fold ability to correct your oral problems while enhancing your smile. Here are three issues braces can correct:

  1. Crowded teeth: Overcrowded teeth are much more difficult to keep clean and often cause cavities and gum disease. By straightening your teeth, the spaces where debris and bacteria hide will no longer be present. This provides you with a more beautiful and healthier smile.
  2. TMJ disorder: Temporomandibular joint disorder can cause headaches, joint stress, and muscle pain. Braces will correct your bite and allow your teeth to better align. This will reduce the likelihood of teeth grinding or clenching that causes TMJ disorder.
  3. Sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a physical obstruction in the upper airway. Braces can expand your upper and lower arches to make room for your tongue and surrounding soft tissues, thus allowing uninterrupted air movement.

When you visit with one of our orthodontists, he will examine your teeth and mouth for any issues while addressing them accordingly. He may suggest additional orthodontic treatments so you can have a healthy smile.

Types of Adult Braces

At Markham Orthodontics, we provide a variety of braces options to meet every need. Our most popular options include:

Traditional metal braces

The visibility of metal braces is a huge turn-off for most patients. However, as dentistry has progressed, many aesthetic improvements have been made. Our orthodontists offer brackets and wires that are less visible yet just as effective. Traditional braces are best for those with extremely crowded or crooked teeth, an overbite or underbite, and other more severe dental issues.

Clear bracket braces

Clear braces are essentially the same as traditional metal braces except that the brackets are made from ceramic, which can be a blessing and a curse. Ceramic is more aesthetically pleasing, but they are also more prone to staining and discoloration. However, these are still a great option for anyone who is concerned about the appearance of metal braces and dental issues that require the strength that brackets and wires provide.

Invisalign®

Clear aligners have become an increasingly popular choice for adult braces because of their discreet appearance. Invisalign® provides effective treatment for patients whose teeth need minor adjustments. The clear aligners afford patients the freedom to remove their aligners while eating. No more worrying about food getting caught between teeth and braces! However, because clear aligners are removable, they are easily misplaced, lost, or thrown away.

Contact Your Sacramento Orthodontists Today

Regardless of your age, braces can improve the health, function, and appearance of your smile. Learn more about life with braces and contact our team today at 916-525-8566 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert orthodontists.