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sacramento 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.

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.

man with braces

What to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist

By Orthodontics, sacramento braces, sacramento ortho

man with bracesIf you are seeking orthodontic care for you or your child, you aren’t just looking for any orthodontist—you’re looking for the best orthodontist. Many orthodontic treatments take years, so you’ll want to find an ortho who you can build a trusting relationship with. Of course, you’ll need to consider logistics like location, business hours, and accepted insurances, but there are a few more questions you should ask before making your choice.

Before choosing your orthodontist, consider these questions:

What kind of education does the orthodontist have?

All orthodontists are required to have a bachelor’s degree, usually in science, plus four years of dental school and three to five years of specialized orthodontic education. Once this intensive training is complete, they must take an exam, which contains 27 different subjects pertaining to orthodontia, through the American Association of Orthodontics.

Passing the exam doesn’t mean their education ends. Orthodontists, like Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott, complete additional hours of continuing education each year to stay up to date on the latest technology and techniques. Dr. Markham also gives lectures and presentations to his colleagues throughout the year.

What types of treatment do they offer?

Not every orthodontist offers the same treatments. If you want a specific type of braces, such as Invisalign®, check out the services tab on their website or call to ask a staff member. Today, some orthos offer accelerators to shorten treatment time, which is a huge benefit.

Does the orthodontist have experience with cases like mine?

You want to make sure whichever orthodontist you use knows exactly what he or she is doing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good orthodontist will respect your concern and be happy to provide easy-to-understand answers.

During your initial consultation, ask the orthodontist to explain your case and how he will achieve your goal, whether that’s better occlusion, straighter teeth for a more attractive smile, or better oral function. (You can have all three, you know.) Ask to see pictures before and after pictures of similar cases, so you can get an idea of what your smile will look like at the end of your treatment.

What are others saying about this orthodontist?

Google and Facebook reviews may tell you everything you need to know about an orthodontist. If he or she has the best education, but bad people skills or an uncomfortable office environment, you’ll probably want to look somewhere else. Patient care should be at the top of your orthodontist’s priorities. If it is, it will be evident in the reviews. (Note that most doctors in any discipline will have a few negative reviews, especially about billing. This is to be expected and should not scare you off. Just be sure that you understand the financial aspect of your treatment before engaging an orthodontist.)

Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today

Before committing, you can go to free consultations with your short list of potential doctors. Many orthodontists offer free initial consultations. During these appointments, you will meet the doctor and other team members. Look around and get a taste for how the office is run and what patients in the lobby are saying. In your consult, be sure to ask what is most important to the orthodontist and how he or she would address your case.

Schedule a complimentary braces consultation with Dr. Markham, and you’ll quickly discover a warm, welcoming environment where the staff and patients feel comfortable. Our entire team works together to give patients a consistently positive experience. Contact our Sacramento ortho office today to schedule your appointment.

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.