Category

Orthodontics

young girl with braces

Children’s Braces: First Phase Orthodontics

By Children's orthodontics, Orthodontics, sacramento ortho

young girl with bracesWhat do you think of when you hear the word orthodontics? Many people envision preteens and teens with big smiles full of chunky metal brackets and wires. But did you know, children can begin orthodontic treatment as young as six years old? The American Dental Association recommends children visit an orthodontist by age seven. Depending on your child’s dental development, he may recommend children’s braces or other interceptive treatments, such as:

  • Headgear
  • Spacers
  • Functional appliances
  • Specialized retainers
  • Expansion appliances
  • Braces on selected teeth

First phase orthodontics is also referred to as early intervention orthodontics. It is typically followed by a second stage of treatment when the child is older. Phase one typically makes phase two much shorter and less complicated.

Reasons for Children’s Braces

Kids need braces and other interceptive treatments for a wide variety of reasons. A pediatric dentist may be the first to notice that your child could need orthodontic treatment. He or she will recommend you visit an orthodontist who can decide if treatment is needed, when treatment is necessary, and which devices would be the most beneficial.

Though it may seem like children’s teeth are less important than their permanent teeth, they aren’t! Your child’s first set of teeth will directly affect how their adult teeth develop. Here are some reasons for children’s braces:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • An overbite
  • An underbite

Many times, tooth and jaw problems are inherited, but they also occur as a result of an accident or a bad habit like thumb sucking.

Types of Children’s Braces

You may be surprised to hear that traditional metal braces aren’t the only orthodontic option for children. While traditional braces may be recommended, other options are available. Types of children’s braces include:

  • Ceramic: Instead of metal, brackets can be made from ceramic. This material is more discreet but not as strong as traditional braces.
  • Clear aligners: Invisalign® now makes aligners for children. Talk to your child’s orthodontist to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment.
  • Lingual: This braces option is secured to the back of the teeth, not the front, to be more discreet.

For children, traditional braces are often the best choice. They are extremely effective and require much less responsibility.

Remember, braces aren’t the only orthodontic treatment an orthodontist recommends. In fact, braces might not even be necessary. Talk to your child’s orthodontist about the pros and cons of all treatment options before deciding what’s best for your little one.

Benefits of First Phase Orthodontics

Choosing to treat your child’s dental problems early offers numerous potential benefits, including:

  • Positive jawbone growth
  • Improving the width of the top and bottom arches
  • Reduced need for extracting permanent teeth
  • Reduced or eliminated need for jaw surgery
  • Lower risk of trauma to jutted front teeth
  • Gains space for erupting teeth
  • Improves the position of first molars
  • Improved speech problems
  • Reduces risk of impacted permanent teeth
  • Shortens phase two treatment
  • Improves aesthetics
  • Heightens self-esteem

Visit an Experienced Orthodontist

If your pediatric dentist has recommended your child to an orthodontist, make sure the ortho has years of experience with children’s braces and other interceptive treatments.

Our board-certified orthodontists love serving the families of Auburn, CA and the surrounding areas. Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott love helping children achieve beautiful, healthy smiles through gentle orthodontic care, but they will only recommend it when it’s beneficial. Call our office today at (916) 924-8970 to schedule a complimentary evaluation.

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.

up close photo of woman wearing clear bracket braces

Clear Bracket Braces and Other Inconspicuous Orthodontic Treatments

By Blog, Clear Bracket Braces, Invisalign, Orthodontics

up close photo of woman wearing clear bracket bracesThe choice between living with crooked, gapped, or crowded teeth and chunky metal braces isn’t an easy one. Most teens and adults can’t decide which is more embarrassing. Thankfully, there’s a third option! Clear bracket braces are just one of the more discreet orthodontic options available to those seeking to align their smile.

Want to learn more? Read this blog to discover everything you need to know about the most inconspicuous orthodontic options.

Clear Bracket Braces

Also called clear ceramic braces, this orthodontic treatment functions just like traditional metal braces. Aside from their discreet appearance, ceramic braces offer these advantages:

  • Highly effective: Clear braces are as effective as traditional metal braces for treating mild to severe dental issues like overbite, misalignment, and gapped teeth. There is a bracket secured to each tooth and a wire running through each bracket. These wires are tightened regularly to apply gentle pressure that moves teeth into the proper positions.
  • Use of epoxy: This bonding adhesive is not as hard on the enamel as the bonding material used for metal braces so you’re less likely to experience sensitivity once the braces are removed.
  • Less responsibility: Clear aligners can be difficult to keep up with, and if they aren’t worn for at least 22 hours a day, they aren’t effective. Ceramic braces can’t be removed, so the only thing you have to remember is to maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Comfort: Metal brackets scratch and irritate the soft tissues inside the mouth. Ceramic is much smoother so you don’t have to use wax as often.

The most common complaints about ceramic braces are (1) they are more expensive, and (2) they stain easily.

Most dentists and patients agree that the cost of clear bracket braces is totally worth it! To make this option more affordable, our dentist offers payment plans and options for almost any budget.

As for staining, patients should follow these tips to prevent discoloration:

  • Limit your intake of coffee, tea, and soda
  • Brush and floss after meals
  • Use a dentist-approved whitening toothpaste

Invisalign®

Adults and teens who are seeking the most discreet way to straighten their smiles often choose Invisalign clear aligners. This modern orthodontic option utilizes multiple sets of heavy-duty plastic aligners to gently move teeth into place. Most patients are suitable candidates for Invisalign but check with your orthodontist to make sure.

It’s important that Invisalign patients understand the amount of responsibility that comes with removable aligners. The ability to take out the aligners can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about uncomfortable metal brackets and food getting stuck in them. On the other hand, you do have to worry about misplacing, throwing away, and not properly using the aligners. Invisalign must be worn for at least 22 hours a day to achieve desired results. Your teeth and aligners must be cleaned after every meal as well.

Besides being nearly invisible, Invisalign clear aligners are extremely comfortable and effective. To learn more about how this modern orthodontic option can improve your smile, talk to your orthodontist today.

Other Orthodontic Options

At Markham Orthodontics, our team is passionate about helping you achieve the smile of your dreams in the fastest, most conservative way possible. In addition to clear bracket braces and Invisalign, we also offer the following options:

  • Six Month Smiles®
  • Fastbraces® accelerated treatment
  • AcceleDent®

Schedule an Initial Consultation

Contact an experienced orthodontist near you today to learn more about clear bracket braces and Invisalign. He will help you decide which option is best for improving your smile.

Contact our experienced and helpful team today at (530) 823-8771.

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.

man with Invisalign tray

Will an Invisalign orthodontist tell me if I need regular braces?

By auburn ortho, Clear Bracket Braces, Invisalign, Orthodontics

man with Invisalign trayAn orthodontist’s top priority is to help his patients achieve a perfectly aligned smile. Many patients are interested in clear aligners because of their discreet appearance and successful outcomes! However, not everyone is a suitable candidate for Invisalign®. When choosing an Invisalign orthodontist, be sure to select one that offers other orthodontic treatments as well.

While your preference is important, if you aren’t a good candidate for Invisalign, your orthodontist will recommend regular braces. No one wants to see you waste time and money on a treatment that will leave you with anything less than your desired results.

In this blog, we’ll discuss who is a candidate for Invisalign® and the other orthodontic options available to those who aren’t eligible.

Suitable Candidates for Invisalign

The good news is that Invisalign aligners can treat most orthodontic problems. These include minor to moderate cases of:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Gaps
  • Overcrowding
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Crossbite

Invisalign primarily corrects the position and placement of teeth, not the structure and positioning of the jaw. Due to this, severe cases of misalignment typically require traditional braces. However, orthodontic technology is continually improving so we predict Invisalign will be able to do more in the future.

Meeting with an Invisalign orthodontist in person is the only true way to know if you are a good candidate for clear aligners. Schedule your appointment today!

Other Considerations

Besides the current state of your smile, your orthodontist will also discuss other issues that may disqualify you from Invisalign treatment. Invisalign enables patients to remove their aligners while eating or speaking publicly. While this is one of the greatest advantages, it can also be the greatest downfall.

With more freedom comes more responsibility. Therefore, patients must wear their aligners appropriately and keep up with them.

To achieve desired results, patients must wear the aligners for at least 20 hours a day. Not wearing the aligners enough can lengthen treatment time and make it more expensive.

Patients who are too young to take responsibility for their aligners may be steered more towards traditional braces to avoid having to replace the aligners often.

It’s important to ensure that Invisalign is the best option for you before treatment begins. There is no wrong choice between clear aligners and traditional braces for those who qualify.

Not a candidate? Not a big deal!

If the words “traditional braces” make you think of giant silver brackets and wires, think again! Traditional braces are much more subtle than they used to be—and just as effective. Ask your orthodontist for braces with clear-colored ceramic brackets and customizable arch wire. Some orthodontists call these clear braces, but there is no other difference between the two treatments.

Clear braces are particularly popular for adult patients for the same reasons that clear aligners are. They both discreet, effective treatment, but clear braces often work faster than Invisalign. So if you’re looking for a quick treatment time, clear braces may be your best choice.

Discuss Your Options

When you meet with your orthodontist, he should discuss the pros and cons of each orthodontic option. Be sure to choose a practice, like Markham Orthodontics, that offers Invisalign AND traditional braces. This way, you know he is giving you the best advice and not just trying to keep you as a patient.

Our orthodontists are happy to help you make the best choice for your smile and lifestyle. Call our Invisalign orthodontist today at (916) 924-8970 to schedule an initial consultation.