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.

toddler boy holding a blue mouthguard to reduce teeth grinding

Have you heard your child grinding his teeth at night?

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics, Teens

toddler boy holding a blue mouthguard to reduce teeth grindingDo you ever go into your child’s bedroom at night hoping to hear the sweet sounds of easy breathing but instead hear the harsh sounds of gnashing and grinding teeth? The sounds, which are caused by bruxism, can be alarming and concerning.

Should you be worried? Do you need to bring your child to the dentist immediately?

The truth is that bruxism can be quite common in kids. And most outgrow it by the time their permanent teeth come in.

But there are times treatment is warranted. Keep reading to find out what Dr. David Markham at Markham Orthodontics has to say about children who grind their teeth.

Why is my child grinding his teeth?

The medical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching is bruxism. Experts estimate that approximately 20-30 percent of children have bruxism. It usually occurs during deep sleep phases, but some children grind away all night or even during the day.

Most kids who grind their teeth don’t even realize they are doing it. Usually, it is the parents or siblings who identify it by hearing them grinding their teeth.

With some patients, coming up with a reason for their bruxism can be difficult. But there are known contributors to consider.

Common causes of grinding teeth in children include:

  • Misaligned teeth can increase the risk of bruxism.
  • Stress—especially anger or nervous tension. Children are sensitive to their surroundings, and things like starting a new school, worry over grades, changes in routine, parents going through a divorce, or fighting with a friend or siblings can bring on bruxism.
  • A response to pain. Just like people tend to rub sore muscles, sometimes children grind their teeth to ease the pain of teething or an earache.
  • Hyperactivity or a competitive, aggressive, or “Type A” personality.
  • Certain medical conditions or medications. Some conditions are linked to bruxism, such as GERD, cerebral palsy, night terrors, and epilepsy.

What are the possible negative effects of grinding teeth?

Again, most children grow out of bruxism by the time their permanent teeth come in. However, there can be negative effects that may warrant treatment.

If your child has any of the following, you may want an evaluation for possible treatment:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Facial or jaw pain
  • Frequent headaches or earaches
  • Overly sensitive teeth
  • Clicking or popping in the temporomandibular joint
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Wear to tooth enamel
  • Soft tissue damage, such as the inside of the cheek

What is the treatment for a child who is grinding their teeth?

If the cause is related to stress, tension, anger, or fear, sometimes the parents can help alleviate this by talking with their child. When children receive reassurances and know they can talk about their feelings and concerns, and that their parents hear them and want to help, it can work wonders.

If related to hyperactivity or an aggressive, competitive, or “Type A” personality, a relaxing bedtime routine may help. Consider a warm bubble bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music right before bed.

In more extreme cases, children may need professional help. This may include treatment such as counseling or biofeedback.

If the above measures don’t help and your child experiences damaged teeth, facial or jaw pain, or frequent headaches or earaches, your dentist may prescribe a nightguard to protect the teeth and keep them from grinding.

The night guard is similar to a protective mouthpiece athletes wear, but it is customized to mold to your child’s teeth. It can take some getting used to, but most children who wear them regularly find it harder to sleep without it than with it. And positive results can happen quickly.

If Your Child is Grinding His Teeth

Even though most children outgrow bruxism, the wisest choice is a thorough dental evaluation to determine the extent of damage and discuss treatment options.

Call Markham Orthodontics at (916) 924-8970 today to schedule a complimentary evaluation.

Invisalign vs Conventional Braces

By Blog, Braces, Invisalign

How Invisalign® Revolutionized OrthodonticsInvisalign vs Standard Braces (What are the facts?)

At Markham Orthodontics, we are frequently asked by patients if they should choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces. We are asked this question so often that we thought it would be a good idea to address the question in this blog. We will describe the pros and cons of Invisalign so you can be informed about which option is right for you.

Invisalign: 

Pros

  • More discreet than braces
  • Can be removed when eating
  • Boosts self-esteem
  • Brushing and flossing are easy
  • Check-in appointments are quick
  • Better for enunciation
  • Faster results in many cases

Cons

  • Limited by complex issues
  • Requires that patients maintain and wear their aligner

As you can see, the benefits of Invisalign far outweigh the cons. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Click here to listen to this testimonial from one of our patients, Kayla, who recently came to us wanting to know if Invisalign was right for her. We have also put together a more in-depth explanation below if you’re still unsure about which option is right for you.

More Discreet Than Braces

We are all familiar with traditional braces. They are a part of many of our childhood memories. While they do a great job straightening teeth, they don’t do much for our self-image. Invisalign will give you all the benefits of conventional braces, and you won’t have to worry about how they look. Invisalign is designed to be completely unnoticed, so you can smile with confidence wherever you are.

Comfort

Another benefit of Invisalign is that you get to take them out when needed. It is much easier to rest at night when you don’t have braces pressing against the inside of your mouth, which can create painful sores.

Boosts Self-Esteem

You will feel your self-esteem rise daily as you see your perfect smile come to life. And you don’t have to wait until “the braces come off,” either. Because Invisalign clear aligners are transparent, you can start feeling the confidence of a new you in a fraction of the time of conventional braces.

Brushing and Flossing Are Easy

Your daily brushing and flossing routine won’t change. You don’t need interdental brushes, because you won’t have brackets or wires on your teeth. Just take out your aligner and go for it! Afterward, replace the aligner. You should wear Invisalign for 22 hours per day for ideal results.  

Check-in Appointments are Quick

You won’t have braces for Dr. Markham to clean and test one by one. When you go to your scheduled check-in, you just sit down in the chair and remove your Invisalign mouthpiece. The dentist will assess your progress and give you the next few sets of aligners in your treatment plan. 

Better for Enunciation

Gone are the days when getting the smile you deserve meant sacrificing speaking engagements or getting up close and personal in conversations. Would you believe that Kayla had her Invisalign in while she was making her video? She spoke clearly and with confidence because she knew that her Invisalign was working in secret to give her a beautiful smile.

Faster in Many Cases

While not all cases are the same when it comes to getting the smile you deserve, Invisalign has been shown to work faster than conventional braces. Treatment time is usually 18 months or less.

Call and make your appointment today.

Our dentists give each patient a one-on-one experience where their needs and concerns are listened to and properly addressed. We would love to have you come to our office where we can meet you and see if Invisalign is a good option. Call to set up an appointment at one our three locations today!

Your Sacramento Ortho Explains the Difference Between Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists

By auburn ortho, Orthodontics, sacramento ortho

orthodontist vs oral surgeonGeneral dentists, endodontists, periodontists, prosthodontists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons are a few of the more common oral healthcare providers we are familiar with.

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.

Aside from attending dental school and holding memberships in dental organizations, oral surgeons and orthodontists have distinct differences. 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 about the differences between these two professions.

Education

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.

Orthodontists

After completing dental school, an orthodontist’s residency is focused on properly aligning teeth. The aim goes beyond delivering beautiful smiles. Orthodontists are tasked with helping patients speak, bite, and chew with ease.

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

Common orthodontic issues include:

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

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, he or she 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 he or she will understand your specific needs and goals.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you are in need of 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.

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.