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Chipped Tooth

What is a Chipped Tooth and How to Fix a Chipped or Broken Tooth?

By Orthodontics

Getting a chipped tooth is something very common that can happen to anyone regardless of age, given the right circumstances. Some people will be more prone to suffering from a broken tooth due to the shape of their jaws, their teeth, etc. Luckily for everyone, fixing these injuries is relatively easy, even in more extreme cases where big portions of the tooth are lost. There are many ways to fix or even replace missing teeth, all of which allow the user to live a normal life and even start or continue their specialized orthodontic care with almost no problem.

How Orthodontic Problems Can Cause Broken or Chipped Teeth

Many factors can lead to broken teeth. It can be something as simple as a fall or taking a hit while you are playing a sport; either way, the possibility of chipping a tooth is much greater when an orthodontic problem is present.

Malocclusion, or bad bite as it’s commonly known, is the term used to refer to baldly aligned or angled teeth. This non-optimal positioning pits the teeth against each other, creating more pressure between them and thus making them weaker over time and more susceptible to break on impact.

Throughout the types of bad bites, we’ll see, that the extra wear and pressure on the teeth are consistent.  Thus, having any of these will greatly increase the probability of breaking or chipping a tooth by either a powerful impact, as stated previously, or just weakening the teeth to the point where they cannot withhold day-to-day activities. Here are some of the most common bad bites in people.

Protrusive Incisors

This type of malocclusion happens when the upper teeth are protruding forward in relation to the lower teeth. There are a lot of reasons this can happen, the regression of the lower jaw, the constant sucking of a finger, nail-biting, etc.


It occurs when either the lower or upper jaw protrudes from the other, generally, we use this term to refer to the protrusion of the lower jaw. The placement of the jaw misaligns the teeth, making them prone to more wear than needed.

Retrusive Incisors

“Retrusive incisors” refers to a condition where the teeth are angled toward the inside of the mouth instead of being straight down as usual. As stated in OralHealth, having retrusive incisors can restrict movement and extra wear.

Edge-To-Edge Bites

As the name implies, this happens when the bottom and upper front teeth align and collide when closing your mouth. It can interfere with one’s chewing and creates more pressure in the affected area.

How to Fix a Broken or Chipped Tooth?

Fortunately, there are tons of ways of fixing a broken or chipped tooth. Depending on how much of the tooth has been chipped or broken, the dentist will decide what approach is best, usually between bonding, dental cap or crown, dental veneers, and root canal therapy.

The fastest and least intrusive treatment is dental bonding. A dental health specialist will commonly use dental bonding when a small portion of the enamel, the outer covering of the teeth, has been chipped. Your general dentist will use a sticking agent on the tooth before they place the resin; once they have applied the resin, they will shape the resin and harden it by using a blue light. Once the process is over, the bonding material tends to be unnoticeable.

For more serious injuries, a dental cap or crown may be a better choice. This additional piece helps cover a larger portion of the tooth, and we could use various types to fit your needs and goals better. To accommodate the crown, your dentist may need to grind away a part of what’s left of the tooth. This treatment can take a few visits, as they will need x-rays to check the tooth’s surroundings and make a model for the crown.

Regardless of the approach taken, the patient can still have orthodontics applied. Given braces and dental crowns as an example, the orthodontist will apply braces to the dental cap wearer, although, the type of braces they end up using will most likely be different from someone who doesn’t have a crown. Orthodontists take this decision to prevent any damage to the dental cap itself; of course, there are some risks that damage might happen, but the possibilities of that are low.

On the flip side, if someone has a chipped tooth without treatment and wants to get braces, they can get them, but a dentist will have to fix their tooth first with one of the previously mentioned treatments. If you or anyone you know has a chipped tooth problem and wants to get it fixed don’t hesitate to contact us or request an appointment.

brushing with braces

Interdental Brushing for People with Braces

By Orthodontics

Proper brushing techniques are the key to maintaining a healthy smile with braces. Read this blog to learn how interdental brushing can improve your oral health.

Orthodontic treatment can make it difficult for a patient to clean their teeth. This can lead to plaque build-up around the teeth, brackets, and wires. To counteract this, the orthodontist will give specific instructions on how to brush properly to prevent cavities, gum disease, and dental stains. In addition to using a traditional toothbrush, he may also recommend interdental brushing—another highly effective method for maintaining a healthy smile.

An interdental brush (IDB) is a small, specially designed brush used to clean between the teeth or brackets where a traditional toothbrush can’t reach. Those without braces use an interdental brush to clean between the teeth, but orthodontic patients also use them to clean around and between the brackets and wires on their teeth.

Read this blog to learn how to use an interdental brush properly and how interdental brushing is beneficial for people with braces.

How To Use an Interdental Brush

Before purchasing an IDB, be sure to ask your orthodontist which size will work best for your smile. Interdental brushes come in various sizes—correlated by the color— to benefit all types of smiles.

Orthodontic patients should use the interdental brush one time per day after brushing with a traditional toothbrush.

To properly utilize an interdental brush, follow these instructions:

  1. Move the appliance up and down on either side of the brackets
  2. Pass the brush along the orthodontic wire when moving from one tooth to another, continuing to move it up and down
  3. Rinse after each use
  4. Replace the brush when it begins to look worn

The Benefits of Interdental Brushing

Aside from helping patients maintain good oral health, an interdental brush provides several benefits, especially when compared to dental floss.

The advantages of interdental brushing include:

  • Easy use
  • Patient compliance
  • Higher motivation
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Safe to use

Often, orthodontists instruct patients on using dental floss to clean between their teeth and brackets. It can be a complicated process that many patients won’t give a second thought about when they leave the orthodontist’s office.

IDBs offer all of the same advantages along with the simplicity of use. Patients with dexterity issues have a greater appreciation for this appliance because there are variations of the brush with a long, bent handle.

brushing with braces

More Ways to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Braces offer so many benefits and provide patients with beautiful smiles! However, braces also require proper care and responsibility. To ensure you have the best orthodontic experience, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard food
  • Avoid foods that require biting into
  • Do eat soft foods like dairy, bread, grains, seafood, cooked vegetables, and fruits
  • Rinse with salt water when you’re mouth feels tender or sore
  • Learn how to fix a loose wire
  • Utilize wax to relieve irritation
  • Wear a mouthguard

If you follow these tips and other specific instructions from your orthodontist, you’re sure to have a great orthodontic experience. Along with having a beautiful smile at the end of treatment, you’ll also have a healthy one!

The Importance Of Oral Hygiene

It doesn’t matter if you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces or not. Oral hygiene is essential, more so than patients tend to believe. Dental hygiene is vital to an individual’s overall health and well-being.

Untreated oral diseases may increase the risk of adverse health conditions. Thus, maintaining good oral hygiene is important in improving your oral health and overall well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Poor oral health is associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Oral disease is also associated with risk behaviors such as using tobacco and consuming sugary foods and beverages”.

It’s important to think of your mouth as the door that leads to the internal parts of your body. Your mouth also serves as a starting point for detecting early symptoms of systemic diseases. Diabetes, for example, often starts to become noticeable with a mouth lesion or gum infection. Furthermore, patients who have periodontal disease have a greater risk of suffering from heart disease.

Lastly, poor oral hygiene can also be a determining factor in the cause of:

  • Bacterial Pneumonia
  • Infective Endocarditis
  • Cancer
  • Sepsis

As you can see, keeping your teeth and mouth clean can help to have a beautiful smile and prevent many severe health conditions. However, don’t be alarmed; all you need to do is keep a good oral hygiene routine.

How To Keep A Good Oral Hygiene Routine

At Markham Orthodontics, we understand that keeping a good oral hygiene routine can be difficult and maybe even confusing, even more so while you have braces. So, let’s take a look at some things you can do and how to do them correctly.

Remember to Brush Your Teeth

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, taking at least about two minutes to do a great job.
  • Don’t forget to clean your tongue, which harbors bacteria, with a toothbrush or tongue scraper.
  • Use the proper equipment. Always try to use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can also use an electric or battery-operated toothbrush if preferred—polish your technique. Gently brush with circular short back-and-forth motions. Brushing too hard or with hard bristles can hurt your gums.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months

Don’t Forget About Dental Flossing

It doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first. What matters is you use flossing to reach the bacteria in the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line. However, when you floss, keep in mind:

  • Use about 18 inches of dental floss. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion.
  • Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion.

Don’t Skip Routine Appointments

Keeping routine appointments is very important. Make sure always to keep the scheduled appointments. During these appointments, your dentists will solve not only current problems but also prevent new ones.

  • Usually, we would recommend you have a cleaning and checkup twice a year or every six months, to be exact.

How Your Choice of Food and Drinks Affects You

Using an interdental brush or choosing the right brushes for braces will improve your oral care routine. However, when it comes to dental care, we are strong believers in the power that prevention has over correction.

You should always pay close attention to your dental hygiene routine and what you can do to improve it, but another area where you should spend some time is on planning your meals.

We’re not saying you should meal prep for the entire week, but you should gradually move away from some snacks and beverages that could damage your braces or hurt your dental health.

As the best orthodontist Natomas, Sacramento residents can find, we will share with you a comprehensive approach to your specialized orthodontic care. One major part is your diet during braces. What we choose to eat or the foods to avoid during braces is as important, if not more, than what we do to clean our mouths after a meal.

What Foods to Avoid With Braces?

These are some of the foods you should avoid at all times during your treatment with braces:

  • Popcorn,
  • Nuts:
    • Almonds,
    • Cashews,
    • Peanuts,
    • Pecans,
    • Pistachios,
  • Hard taco shells,
  • Sticky and hard candy,
    • Licorice,
  • Chewing gum,
  • Ice,
  • Corn chips,
  • Pretzels,
  • Hard cookies or crackers,
  • Sticky or hard chocolate,
  • Fibrous, hard, or raw vegetables:
    • Celery,
    • Carrots,
    • Corn on the cob,
  • Hard fruits:
    • Apples,
    • Pears,
  • Hardshell bread,
  • Croutons,
  • Pure black coffee,
  • Black tea,
  • Red wine,
  • White wine,
  • Tough meat.

The reason behind this recommendation is that such foods may break into smaller pieces or fibers that will get caught between your brackets and archwire or behind the brackets and peel them away causing some orthodontic emergencies. Some of the beverages on the list will cause staining, so users of clear braces or clear aligners will want to avoid them.

If you want to know how to identify orthodontic emergencies and what to do about them, click here.

There are other foods and drinks you should avoid for the first few days of your treatment with traditional braces and the days following an adjustment:

  • Ice cream,
  • Frozen yogurt,
  • Iced tea,
  • Hot soups:
    • Minestrone
    • Chicken noodle soup,
  • Hot tea
  • Hot coffee
  • Iced coffee

As you can see, most of the items on this second list are not necessarily beverages or foods that will damage your orthodontic appliances, but they will undoubtedly cause discomfort as your teeth might feel sore or be sensitive to heat and cold following an adjustment.

Which Is Better Floss or Interdental Brushes?

There is no straight answer about which is better; it mostly comes down to a personal choice. One thing that’s important is both dental floss and your choice of interdental brush.

One thing is certain: interdental brushes and dental floss help reduce the plaque-forming around your teeth and any chances of developing gum disease. Their purpose is the same and as they remove food debris from in between your teeth, they will help discourage harmful bacteria growth.

Some patients find interdental brushes to be better for their braces as they may have difficulties maneuvering around their mouth with dental floss wrapped around their fingers. Some senior patients might prefer an interdental brush over dental floss.

There is also fatigue associated with the adoption of additional oral care techniques. Many patients are tired of hearing about dental floss and don’t pay much attention to it. However, the novelty of interdental brushes seems to boost the attention that these little brushes for braces deserve.

One point in favor of interdental brushes is they reduce bleeding gums. Even if you have no gum disease or gingivitis problems, some patients might still see their gums bleed when they use dental floss. The small interdental brushes for braces help clean your gums without causing additional bleeding.

Contact Our Sacramento Orthodontists Today

At Markham Orthodontics, Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott provide excellent, gentle care to patients of all ages. Our goal is to help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that they can’t wait to show off.

Call our friendly dental team today.

Your Sacramento Ortho Explains the Difference Between Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists

By sacramento ortho, Orthodontics

orthodontist vs oral surgeon

If you’re in need of care for your bite, jaw, wisdom teeth, or crowded teeth, you may be unsure about which dental professional you should visit—an orthodontist or an oral surgeon. This overview will clear common confusion regarding these two dental professions.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes several dental specialties. A few of the more well-known oral healthcare providers are:

  • General dentists,
  • Endodontists,
  • Periodontists,
  • Prosthodontists,
  • Orthodontists,
  • Oral Surgeons.

Aside from attending dental school and holding memberships in dental organizations, oral surgeons and orthodontists have different roles. How do oral surgeons and orthodontists differ? In a nutshell, an orthodontist specializes in straightening teeth, while an oral surgeon is the surgical specialist of the dental profession.

Continue reading to learn more about the differences between these two professions.

What Does Their Education Look Like?

Both oral surgeons and orthodontists are required to complete a bachelor’s degree and four years of dental school. Afterward, they complete a residency in their specialties.

Oral Surgeons

An oral surgeon’s four-year residency focuses on an in-depth study of the anatomy of the skin, bones, and muscles of the face, mouth, and jaws.

During this program, the residents learn plastic surgery, emergency medicine, and ears, nose, and throat medicine (collectively called otolaryngology). This four-year residency is specifically chosen and accredited by the American Dental Association.

Oral Surgeons are technically titled oral and maxillofacial surgeons. These doctors are specialists focusing on reconstructive surgery of the face, facial trauma surgery, the oral cavity, head and neck, mouth, jaws, and facial cosmetic surgery.


After completing dental school, an orthodontist’s residency focuses on properly aligning teeth. The aim goes beyond delivering beautiful smiles. Orthodontists help patients overcome problems with their speech, biting, and chewing.

Orthodontists focus on non-surgical treatments that realign a patient’s dental structures. We rely on orthodontic appliances such as braces and clear aligners to apply gradual force on patients’ teeth. This process ensures we will safely move your teeth and jaws until they reach the desired position.

The Conditions Treated

Oral surgeons and orthodontists treat a variety of dental issues, and they often work together to fix a common problem. For example, patients who have jaw or facial deformities or need corrective jaw surgery may require both specialists.

Both orthodontists and oral surgeons commonly refer patients to each other for specialized treatments.

Common Oral Surgical Issues Include:

  • Impacted wisdom teeth,
  • Tooth loss,
  • TMJ disorder,
  • Overbite,
  • Underbite,
  • Fractured jawbone,
  • Broken facial bones,
  • Cleft lip,
  • Sleep apnea.

What the Best Orthodontist in Natomas, Sacramento Treats:

  • Crowded teeth,
  • Gapped teeth,
  • Open bite,
  • Overbite,
  • Underbite,
  • Impacted teeth.

Oral Surgeon Vs Orthodontist

Most of the time, patients with jaw and facial deformities will need both oral surgery and orthodontic treatment.

When corrective jaw surgery is necessary, oral surgeons work together with orthodontists to develop comprehensive treatment plans. It’s essential to keep in mind that every individual is different, and so are their treatment needs for the perfect smile.

So, always follow your orthodontist’s treatment recommendations if you want the best results.

What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is what some people know as corrective jaw surgery or simply jaw surgery. This procedure serves to correct jaw and lower face conditions related to structure, growth, and airway issues.

Some of those problems include sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, and malocclusion problems arising from skeletal disharmonies. Other patients may also require jaw surgery when they suffer from orthodontic bite problems that cannot be easily treated with braces.

If a patient has other facial imbalances, disharmonies, and asymmetries, they may also require orthognathic surgery. These corrections can help improve the patient’s facial aesthetics and self-esteem.

Will You Need Oral Surgery?

No matter what your dental problem, often, the best place to start is with your orthodontist.

Oral surgery is invasive by nature. Orthodontists are more likely to offer conservative treatments to address common dental issues, meaning you will reap the same benefits without sowing as much of your time, money, and energy.

Your orthodontist will have your best interests in mind. They will refer you to an oral surgical specialist if oral surgery is necessary.

You may also want to ask your general dentist for advice on where to start. Your general dentist knows your oral health history, and they will understand your specific needs and goals.

If your teeth have been bothering you for some time now, make sure to get in touch with a general dentist first. You may want to visit someone like our friends from Maidu Dental before you commit to an interdisciplinary team and be subject to invasive surgery.

The journey toward oral surgery is not a fast one. The team will have to prepare and get additional information. We can’t get enough data just with a quick glance in your mouth. Be ready for some advanced imaging like x-rays. Let’s take a look at some scenarios that definitely require oral surgery.

Impacted Teeth

Teeth that cannot fully erupt for several reasons and remain trapped under the gumline are a significant danger to any patient. The most common cause of impacted teeth is Wisdom Teeth. If there isn’t enough space for your third molars to erupt, they will stay under the gumline and create additional complications.

As your gums grow sorer and sorer, you might also develop some infections. These pockets of infected material affect your surrounding teeth, cause significant pain, and even help erode the bone tissue anchoring other dental pieces. These cysts can destroy your oral health.

To avoid all this situation, or also as a way to correct it, you can trust a team of orthodontists and oral surgeons to remove your impacted teeth through oral surgery.

TMJ/TMD Treatment

Another reason why you might require oral surgery is problems with your joints. The little joint that connects your lower and upper jaws can suffer from something we call Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). People use those two acronyms interchangeably, but they’re not really the same.

The joint that connects your bones is the TMJ, whereas the disorder gets the name TMD.

As a community, dental health specialists have not determined what causes this problem. However, we have identified several risk factors, and we try to help all patients avoid them.

Treatments are usually limited to dealing with the most discomforting symptoms, but you might require oral surgery to correct your oral structures and alleviate the pain in extreme cases.

Dental Implants

Patients who require dental implants for cosmetic or restorative dentistry will require help from a maxillofacial surgeon.

Certainly, the treatment plan will come from another specialist, but when the dental crown or another implant requires installation, a surgeon will imbed a small anchor piece onto your jaw bone or palate. This is the standard procedure for dental crowns, bridges, and dentures.

Your dental health specialists will ensure you have healthy bones and periodontal tissues to anchor the necessary pieces and avoid additional complications.

What Are the Risks of Oral Surgery?

As with any surgery, oral surgeries involve some risks. Even the most common surgery for tooth extractions carries the risk of damaging nerves.

An extreme case involves the damage of facial nerves, leading to loss of feeling or sensibility around the area. However, this is extremely rare.

Common side effects you can expect after undergoing oral surgery are pain, bleeding, swelling, and occasional infections. These side effects are easy to treat and are often quick to disappear. Dental surgeons will usually prescribe antibiotics to prevent and fight off any type of infection.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you need orthodontic treatment, your Sacramento orthodontists at Markham Orthodontics are prepared and excited to help you achieve a beautiful, fully functioning smile.

Read our testimonials page to hear from our satisfied patients, and browse our website to learn more about our dental practice and the services we offer.

To schedule your appointment with one of our top-of-the-line orthodontists or for any questions, contact our friendly staff today at 916-525-8566.

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.

man with braces

10 Tips for Orthodontic Braces Care

By Braces, Blog, 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 Mouthguard

Mouthguards 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.

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