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Different Kinds of braces

Different Kinds of Braces to Choose

By Blog, Invisalign, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

different kinds of braces

Dr. Markham and the team at Markham Orthodontics know there are different kinds of braces to choose from and making a decision to start your orthodontic journey to straighter and healthier teeth is easier said than done. Everything, from choosing the best orthodontist in Gold River to deciding the right orthodontic device, can be confusing and even stressful.

However, that is why today, we will go through the ins and outs of orthodontic treatment and the devices you can choose from. Since there are many different types of orthodontic braces available and each type uses several components and materials, we will take a closer look at each type individually.

The first thing you need to know is that all the types of braces work to achieve the same goal; they all realign your teeth to enhance chewing, biting, and aesthetics. Ultimately, they give you, the patient, that perfect, healthy, and bright smile you have always wanted to see reflected in the mirror or in pictures. Now let’s start.

What Are the Different Kinds of Braces to Choose?

The two main types of braces available are removable and fixed devices. As the names suggest, you can remove these appliances from your mouth at any time, while fixed devices require special tools and an orthodontist.

Though fixed dental braces are helpful when correcting severe alignment issues, removable devices are popular because they afford the wearer more freedom during the length of their treatment.

Within these two types, you can find many options to choose from, each with its own pros and cons and pricing. After learning about your different options, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist and discuss which suits your specific smile needs.

Traditional Braces

This type is the most common, and therefore the least expensive option. Also known as metal braces, these are the braces that most come to mind when we hear the word “braces.”

Metal Braces

Made with metal brackets and wires, this type is responsible for giving patients the dreaded metal-mouth look. However, with advances in technology, today’s traditional braces are actually smaller and more appealing than those of the past. The cost of this option can vary anywhere from $3,000 to $7,500.

Ceramic Braces

This type works the same as the traditional braces we are so familiar with, plus the addition of a great benefit. Made with tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend into your teeth. These braces are the more appealing counterpart part of metal braces.

However, being less noticeable comes with a price that ranges from $2,000 to $8,500. One of the biggest disadvantages of ceramic braces is that because their more appealing material is more sensitive than traditional metal, these braces can stain easily if you don’t pay attention to proper oral hygiene and certain dietary restrictions.

As you can see, both traditional metal and ceramic braces fall into the category of fixed orthodontic devices. Because these devices remain bonded onto your teeth, they can only be applied, adjusted, or removed by your orthodontist. Let’s move on to the removable category.

Invisalign for Teens and Adults

Invisalign or clear aligners are a system of aligning trays that consists of a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners. These aligners are removable, giving you the most flexibility and freedom.

With clear aligners, diet restrictions are a thing of the past. Since you will be removing them to eat, oral hygiene also becomes easier to keep up with. However, this option may not suit everyone, especially younger patients who might forget to put their aligners back in after eating or even lose their aligners. The cost of clear aligners ranges from $3,000 to $7,000.

As a general rule, you should keep in mind that most orthodontists believe the average length of time for orthodontic treatment is anywhere from six months to two years. The actual length of treatment is always specific to each individual patient. Because we all have different smile needs, always make sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions for best results.

Now, after you complete your orthodontic journey and you finally see your brand new, straight smile, it is completely normal to think you finished everything. However, even after your braces come off, you still have one more step to complete.

Retainers

After you complete your orthodontic care, you should wear a retainer to keep the teeth in their new position. Because teeth naturally shift with time, these appliances help prevent this “shifting back” from happening.

As the name suggests, retainers basically retain their teeth from moving. Within the retainer category, there are 3 different types you need to be familiar with.

Clear Retainers

Clear retainers are clear trays, which look much like clear aligners. These retainers ensure that the teeth stay in position because of the vacuum-formed hard plastic that accurately prevents shifting.

Traditional Retainers

Unlike clear retainers, traditional retainers only use acrylic or plastic, and they have metal wires. Making them the less appealing retainer type.

Fixed Retainers

A fixed retainer is an appliance that remains in the mouth. Usually, the orthodontist bonds them to the teeth, and as such, they don’t need any adjustments. A fixed retainer is great for patients who are afraid of removing and losing their retainers.

Finding Your Smile in Gold River

The perfect smile is definitely something worth working towards; however, there is a lot to consider before starting orthodontic treatment. At Markham Orthodontics, we are committed to providing top-quality orthodontic care but also to ensuring all of our patients feel comfortable and secure with our treatment options and at our office. We will answer all your questions so you know which options suit you best; out of all the different kinds of braces, you’ll want to choose the ones that fit your lifestyle the best.

That is why we would like to meet you in person and help you through the process of achieving the smile of your dreams. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham, please contact us. We look forward to meeting with you.

Clean Braces

How to Clean Your Teeth When You’re Wearing Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics

At Markham Orthodontics, we understand the need to feel confident and comfortable every time you look in the mirror or every time you take a picture at a family gathering or an outing with friends. If you are ready to work towards the smile of your dreams, we are here to help you every step of the way until you reach your goal of a brand new, happy, healthy, and perfect smile.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are currently four million people wearing braces in the U.S, with approximately one million of them being over the age of 18.  While braces are the go-to option for those looking to get a straighter, more aesthetically appealing smile, they can be quite an adjustment. But, with Dr. David Markham, you can rest assured that your teeth are in good hands.

Along with the rest of the Markham Orthodontics team, Dr. Markham has compiled a list of useful tips to help you keep your braces in the best shape possible. After all, the better you take care of your braces, the better your results will be when treatment is complete.

How Can I Thoroughly Clean My Teeth While Wearing Braces?

Because the road to perfect teeth requires dedication and effort, we want to make sure to give you all of the information to be successful and so that you can keep your new smile for a lifetime.

So, even though you have decided on getting braces, you may have some questions that go beyond already knowing that brushing your teeth is important, so let’s take a look at how a general practice is different with braces.

Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is imperative for the proper care of your teeth and braces while undergoing your orthodontic treatment. Brushing is the cornerstone to great oral health, so let’s get started.

Brush Properly and Brush Often

To start, rinse your mouth with water before brushing. This practice can be very helpful in removing debris and food particles from around your brackets before brushing. If you use either a manual or electric toothbrush, we recommend dividing your mouth into four sections and brushing each quadrant for at least 30 seconds.

Holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, brush gently above, below, and between your brackets in circular motions. Don’t forget about the chewing surfaces of your teeth. During this step, an interdental brush might be your best friend because it can allow you to get to any hard-to-reach places between your teeth and your brackets or wires.

Brushing your braces requires a little more time and effort. Instead of brushing two or three times per day, you’ll need to brush after every meal, including snacks. For best results, we recommend you use fluoride toothpaste and a brush with soft bristles or a toothbrush made specifically to use with braces.

Keep in mind that by a general rule, you should brush for at least 2 minutes and also include the roof of the mouth, the gum line, and the tongue.

You should generally replace a toothbrush every three to four months. However, braces can cause a toothbrush to fray quickly, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as it starts to show signs of wear.

Floss, Floss, Floss

Attempting to floss with braces can be a challenge. But, it’s an important part of your oral hygiene routine that you shouldn’t overlook. Flossing can help remove any excess plaque or food particles that can still be stuck in between teeth even after brushing, reducing the likelihood of bacteria forming in your mouth.

If you will be using regular dental floss, there is a tried and true method to use with braces, but this method will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Thread the floss between the main wire and your teeth. It helps to be in front of a mirror so you can watch the thread to make sure it’s going where you’d like it to.
  • Wrap the ends of the floss around your index fingers to make handling the floss easier.
  • Gently press the floss between two teeth and slide it up and down along the sides of both teeth. If you’re doing the top teeth, make an upside-down U shape: Go up the side of one tooth to the gum line, and then go down the side of the other tooth.
  • Remove the floss and gently unthread it from behind the wire. Be careful not to pop the floss out of the tooth. You might accidentally knock the wire and pop it out of the bracket.
  • Move to the next pair of teeth and repeat the process.

Consider a Floss Threader

If regular floss isn’t doing the job, floss threaders can be helpful since they are reusable and allow you to reach easily underneath the wire and along the curve of the gumline.

Floss threaders are inexpensive but indispensable tools that you can find at your local grocery store or pharmacy in the oral care section. To correctly use floss threaders, follow these simple steps:

  • Pull a piece of waxed floss through the eye of the floss threader.
  • Insert the point of the plastic needle under the wire of your braces. Gently pull the floss through the wire. Hold the floss threader in one hand.
  • Wrap the floss around your index fingers to give you more control over the thin thread.
  • Gently press the floss between the two teeth, and slide it up and down along the sides of both teeth. If you’re doing the top teeth, make an upside-down U shape: Go up the side of one tooth to the gum line, and then go down the side of the other tooth.
  • Gently pull the floss out from between the teeth, and pull the floss out from behind the wire.

Avoid applying too much pressure on your teeth when flossing, as you wouldn’t want to cause any damage to your braces!

Steer Clear of Certain Foods While Wearing Braces

Wearing braces doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. But, certain dietary adjustments need to be made to ensure you have a smooth orthodontic treatment process. Avoid smoking, sugar-packed drinks, and eating anything sticky, crunchy, hard, or chewy. Foods with these types of textures can likely bend or break the wire in your braces or lead to tooth decay in hard-to-reach areas.

  • Chewy foods–bagels, licorice, pizza crust, barbecue ribs, chicken wings
  • Crunchy foods–popcorn, chips, ice, pretzels, lollipops, hard taco shells
  • Sticky foods–caramel apples, Starburst, Skittles, chewing gum, gummy candies, fruit roll-ups, toffee, peanut brittle
  • Hard foods–nuts, celery, hard candies, carrots, apples, corn on the cob, beef jerky

Now that you know the ins and outs of oral cleaning while undergoing orthodontic treatment with traditional metal braces, you’re ready for the next step.

Make an Appointment Today!

Making sure your teeth stay clean, carving out time to floss, and managing your eating habits are simple yet effective steps you can take to make sure you’ll have a camera-ready smile as soon as the braces come off. Ready to set your smile straight? Contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham. After all, obtaining a winning smile is a team effort.

Tips for Using Invisalign

By Invisalign

wpid-ortho-invisalign-niceassistant

Most people like the idea of wearing Invisalign because of how discreet they are. Others like this option because they are removable. Still, many patients come to the office attracted only by those perks and forget there’s still a lot to do to have a successful treatment with Invisalign.

More than one patient has come into our office and asked, “What can I do to help my teeth when wearing Invisalign?”

While everyone’s teeth and dental needs are different, there are certain things everyone can do to make wearing their Invisalign aligners a more rewarding experience. Always follow the list of instructions and tips from Drs. Markham and Scott, and add the following advice to your daily routine if you want to survive your first few weeks with your new aligners.

Invisalign Tips and Tricks

Let’s review a couple of tips you should keep in mind for your first few weeks of treatment and all the months that follow.

Please remember that your treatment may last for several months, and your success will largely depend on your habits.

Aren’t They Removable?

Yes. But these aligners are not removable in that you can take them off and forget about the appliance for hours at a time.

According to the official Invisalign FAQ, every patient should wear theirs anywhere between 20 and 22 hours per day. We’re not mathematicians here, but that means most of the day. And we mean it.

You should only take off your aligner trays when you eat or drink anything that could stain the aligners. Some fellow orthodontists even recommend you chew with them on, but we’ll leave that discussion for your next visit to our practice.

Follow the 48-hour rule when wearing your aligners. When you insert every new set of aligners, you should leave them in as much as possible during the first 48 hours. Your teeth will move more during this timeframe.

Keep It Clean

And so we return to the mighty subject of dental hygiene.

We will not stop mentioning this because some patients seem to magically forget about their toothbrushes as soon as we install a new appliance. Thankfully, this is not always the case with patients wearing Invisalign clear aligners.

Because the trays are removable, you can take them off to clean your teeth as usual. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride and brush your teeth for at least two minutes being careful not to press too hard onto each tooth.

Brush your teeth after every meal, even after your snacks.

Continue flossing every day. You should be flossing in any case. But it can be easy to assume that Invisalign will protect your teeth from bacteria. This is not true. Bacteria can get behind the aligners and affect the health of your teeth and gums, so keep up with your flossing schedule.

Rinse them only with water. Some people use other formulations to clean their aligners. In reality, denture cleaners, alcohol-containing mouthwash, and toothpaste can all damage your Invisalign trays.

Always ask us about teeth whitening. Our team at Markham Orthodontics knows how important it is for you to keep your teeth white and stain-free from the foods and drinks you consume daily. If you have attachments to your teeth, they will not whiten properly. Ask our office about teeth whitening when wearing your aligners; it might be best to wait until your treatment is complete.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for The…

You may experience slight discomfort while wearing your Invisalign aligners. You can take a pain reliever to help with the discomfort, but if you experience too much pain, please give us a call.

All patients should expect some level of discomfort. After all, your appliance is literally pushing away bone structures protruding from your gum line. Still, we make sure that we plan your treatment to avoid as much discomfort as possible.

Some over-the-counter painkillers should do the trick, but never be afraid to contact your orthodontist if the painful sensation is too much to manage.

Get in Touch With Us

The team at Markham Orthodontics is waiting for you at our convenient Natomas, Gold River, or Auburn, CA offices. Start your journey to a healthy and beautiful smile by scheduling an appointment right here.

Enjoy Discreet Orthodontics with White Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics

Let’s face it. Traditional metal braces are not for everyone. We may like them for their reliability, but they’re not necessarily everyone’s first choice when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Clear braces, however, do enjoy a better reputation among teenagers and some adults.

If you have concerns about the prominence of traditional metal braces, then you may be an ideal candidate for white braces. Unlike conventional metal braces, ceramic braces do not use metal brackets to adhere bands to teeth. Many adults and children prefer the orthodontic option because the attachments are discreet.

Dr. David Markham offers multiple orthodontic treatments for patients in and around Sacramento, CA. If you are looking for an experienced and qualified dentist, Dr. Markham has an advanced degree in dentistry and a Certificate in Orthodontics in addition to his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of the Pacific.

Many patients have confessed they’ve been put off by how the stainless steel appliance looks in their mouths. Some have abandoned treatment altogether. In truth, orthodontics requires careful planning and setting your expectations. Your orthodontist is here to help you make the best decision.

Are Clear Braces Right for Me?

While Invisalign treatments continue to grow in popularity, there are still multiple benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatments through traditional braces.

Traditional braces give Dr. Markahm better control over the treatment process and the final cosmetic results. Braces are also better equipped to correct conditions like crowding and issues that pertain to the bottom teeth.

If you are the teenager’s parent, you won’t’ have to worry about patient compliance because the appliance is not removable.

During your consultation with Dr. Markham, he will guide you through the benefits of undergoing traditional braces vs Invisalign. If you decide to undergo traditional braces, you can opt for ceramic braces.

Ceramic braces allow you to feel confident when smiling or taking photos throughout treatment. Many of our Sacramento area patients who are reluctant to get braces opt for ceramic braces once they learn about the many benefits.

Ceramic braces generally come at a higher cost compared to metal braces. Patients will need to weigh pricing when considering this option. Metal braces tend to tolerate pressure and shifting better than ceramic braces can. If you need to correct significant teeth misalignment levels, Dr. Markham, an experienced orthodontist in Sacramento, may recommend metal brackets to avoid appliance breakage.

What are Ceramic Braces?

You may be familiar with, and perhaps not entirely like, conventional stainless steel dental braces. Fortunately, our ingenuity gave us ceramic braces in the late 80s.

The age of space exploration gave us some important advancements in materials science. Finally, some of the composite materials found their way to mainstream markets. Thanks to cooperation with NASA, we developed resistant materials that blended with our natural tooth color. You can learn more about that following this link.

The translucent material used to manufacture brackets and even the wires were revolutionary for teenagers at the time. These patients flooded orthodontists’ practices to get the discreet option, fix their smiles, and still look the part for their prom photo album.

In a nutshell, ceramic braces are a discreet alternative to stainless steel braces. They leverage the same design and function while providing you with the added benefit of being nearly invisible. There are a few caveats, such as requiring more attention to what you eat as these are more fragile than metal.

Your orthodontist will have some recommendations you should follow.

Caring for Ceramic Braces

You should take special care any time you are wearing braces. If you are wearing ceramic braces, you will have to be even more careful. Unlike metal, the ceramic material can become discolored for the same reasons that teeth can become stained.

If you are not careful about some of your choices of beverages, you might stain the clear brackets, defeating the purpose of a discreet appliance.

It is important to avoid or cut back on certain drinks and foods that can discolor teeth, such as tea, coffee, wine, and sports drinks.

Brushing after drinking these liquids can reduce the chances of discoloration occurring. Do not use whitening treatments to correct ceramic bracket discoloration. Investing in an electric toothbrush is another useful tool for preventing tooth discoloration.

You will likewise have to be careful about your dietary choices. The same restrictions apply to traditional and ceramic braces, but while metal braces can resist your occasional indulging in popcorn eating, ceramic braces will break faster.

Avoid those orthodontic emergencies and take good care of your braces.

Who Is a Candidate for White Braces?

Candidates for ceramic braces have all of their adult teeth and have stopped growing. If you wish to correct misalignment issues with your teeth in a discreet manner, ceramic braces are an ideal option.

Candidates should be willing to clean and maintain their braces to prevent unwanted decay.

Ceramic brackets are not as durable as metal, so individuals with significant misalignment may not be ideal candidates for this treatment.

Athletes or patients who require extensive mouth movements for their profession may be at a higher risk for breaking ceramic braces. If a bracket does break, Dr. Markham can fix the breakage during a visit to our office.

In short, you’re an ideal candidate if you are a mature patient who understands the risks and follows your orthodontist’s recommendations. Likewise, you should be a patient whose dental structures have already finished growing.

Enjoy Discreet Orthodontics with White Braces

There are few tradeoffs and many benefits to choosing ceramic braces for teeth straightening. During your orthodontic consultation, Dr. Markham will explain the benefits of white braces in detail. Many of our patients enjoy the discreet alternative to metal braces. To schedule your consultation with our office, please contact our staff online or call (916) 924-8970.

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.

Orthodontists

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, bite, 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 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 to improve facial aesthetics and self-esteem for the patient.

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.

The Right Treatment for You

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. If oral surgery is necessary, they will refer you to an oral surgical specialist.

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.

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.

 

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