How do Dentists Put Braces on Teeth?

By auburn ortho, Braces, Clear Bracket Braces, sacramento braces, sacramento ortho

Young Asian girl with bracesAt Markham Orthodontics, our top priority is helping our patients achieve a healthy smile that can increase their self-esteem. As adult and children’s orthodontists, Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott provide exceptional, gentle orthodontic care to patients in the Sacramento area. We offer traditional metal braces, clear bracket braces, and Invisalign® to help you attain a straighter smile. Our offices are conveniently located in Natomas, Gold River, and Auburn. Call us to schedule an appointment today.

If you or your child is getting bracket braces, you may be wondering what the process is like. Here is how dentists put on braces:

Step 1: Cleaning

Before our orthodontists begin the process, your teeth should be squeaky clean and dry. One of our friendly hygienists will gently remove any plaque and tartar from your teeth with a professional cleaning.

Step 2: Securing the Brackets

Based on what you or your child has decided, you will either receive metal brackets or clear ceramic brackets. These ensure that the wires on your teeth stay in place.

To secure the brackets, a tiny amount of bonding adhesive is placed on the center of each tooth, lightly dried, and set using a blue light. Our orthodontists will then affix the brackets directly on the glue. Any excess glue will be removed, and your dentist will use the blue light again to ensure a strong bond.

Step 3: The Bands

To anchor the braces, an appropriately-sized band is placed around your back teeth. Glue is applied to the metal bands, and your orthodontist will slide the bands over your back molars.

This part of the process requires some pressure, but your orthodontist will be as gentle as possible to guarantee your comfort.

Step 4: The Arch Wire

Next, a strong wire is threaded through each bracket to connect them and provide the force your teeth need to move into their correct positions.

Small rubber bands called ligatures are then attached to your brackets to keep the wire in place. Whether you have metal or clear braces, these rubber bands can be any color you choose.

Once they are all placed, the wires are snipped to prevent them from irritating your gums and cheeks.

Tips for Afterwards

This process takes anywhere from one to two hours, leaving the rest of the day for you to rest and get used to your new braces. Here are some tips to help your first days with braces be more comfortable:

  • Eat soft foods like boiled vegetables, pasta, soup, yogurt, and pudding.
  • Brush with a gentle toothbrush after each meal
  • Use dental wax to alleviate irritation.
  • Rinse your mouth with saltwater help heal any sores
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications for soreness

After your first few days with braces, your mouth will start to feel normal again. Make sure to follow all your orthodontist’s instructions on how to continue taking care of your teeth with braces.

Contact Our Office Today

As adult and children’s orthodontists, Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott look forward to building relationships with people of all ages. We can’t wait to get to know you and help you love your smile. To learn more about the benefits of braces and which option is right for you, visit our website.

Ready to schedule your initial consultation? Contact our Natomas, Gold River, or Auburn office today. 


Woman's smile with clear dental braces on teeth

Everything You Need to Know About Clear Bracket Braces

By Braces, Clear Bracket Braces, Orthodontics

Woman's smile with clear dental braces on teethCrooked teeth bothering you? Do you want straighter teeth and a more attractive smile? If you’re a teenager or adult, you may think that braces would destroy your sophisticated appearance. We understand!

The decision to get braces isn’t always simple, but patients today have a wide range of treatment options. If the thought of traditional metal braces makes you cringe, consider clear bracket braces. This treatment has become popular among teen and adult patients because of its durability, discreet appearance, and effectiveness.

In short, you can have straighter teeth without obvious metal braces. That’s great news.

Ready to start treatment now? Call our Auburn, Gold River, or Natomas orthodontic office today to make an appointment with Dr. David Markham. He will work with you to create a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan to give you a healthy, gorgeous smile.

At Markham Orthodontics, we offer clear bracket braces made of transparent ceramic, as well as traditional metal braces and Invisalign®. Each treatment has advantages and disadvantages. To learn more about clear ceramic braces, keep reading!

Benefits of Clear Bracket Braces

Many adults love this option because of its discreet appearance, but there are more advantages of ceramic braces.

  • Effectiveness of traditional braces: Ceramic braces work like traditional braces in that each bracket is attached to a tooth, and a wire runs through the brackets. Adjusting the wire in particular areas allows us to use gentle pressure to move teeth. Metal or clear bracket braces work well for people with issues like overbite, misaligned teeth, and gapped teeth.
  • Use of epoxy: The bonding adhesive for ceramic is not as harsh on tooth enamel as the adhesive required for metal braces.
  • Less patient responsibility: Remembering to clean clear aligners regularly and wear them 22+ hours per day can be difficult for Invisalign patients. Because aligners are removable, they can get misplaced or inadvertently thrown away. With ceramic braces, all you need to do is maintaining good oral hygiene, and we’ll show you how.
  • Comfort: Although they are made of brackets and wires like traditional braces, clear ceramic braces do not scratch and irritate the soft tissues of the mouth like metal. Patients typically don’t need to use wax as often.

Disadvantages of Clear Bracket Braces

There are only two common complaints:

  1. They are more expensive than traditional braces.
  2. They stain easily.

As for cost of clear bracket braces, we believe the benefits are worth it! We also want you to have the braces of your choice no matter the cost, so we offer payment options that suit just about any budget. To learn more about financing, call the office to talk with a member of our staff today.

There are a few things you can do to prevent clear bracket discoloration:

  • Limit the amount of coffee, tea, and sodas you drink or use a straw for all dark beverages.
  • Brush after meals.
  • Floss after meals.

If you maintain these practices, staining is less likely.

Contact Our North Sacramento Orthodontist Offices Today

Our team at Markham Orthodontics loves to help patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smiles, and braces are one of the most effective ways we do that. If you are interested in clear bracket braces, call our office today at (916) 924-8970 to set up your appointment with Dr. Markham.

Enjoy Discreet Orthodontics with White Braces

By Blog, Braces, Orthodontics

If you have concerns about the prominence of traditional metal braces then you may be an ideal candidate for white braces. Unlike traditional 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.

Are White 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 parent of a teenager, 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 are needing to correct significant levels of teeth misalignment, Dr. Markham may recommend metal brackets to avoid appliance breakage. 

Caring for Ceramic Braces

Special care should be taken any time you are wearing braces. Additional care will be needed for maintaining ceramic braces. Unlike metal, ceramic material can become discolored for the same reasons that teeth can become stained. 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. 

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.

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.

Young woman portrait with dental braces

Budgeting for Braces

By Braces, Invisalign, Orthodontics

Young woman portrait with dental bracesWe love to see our patients flashing their healthy, new smiles after their braces come off. However, the thought of paying for them keeps many people from experiencing that joy. At Markham Orthodontics, we want everyone to know that feeling. Because of that, we are happy to provide you with information about the several types of braces as well as their average prices so you can decide which braces will work for you and your budget. Continue reading to learn more about the average cost of braces or contact us at (916) 924-8970 to discuss with our friendly staff about your payment options.

Traditional Metal Braces

This effective and affordable option is what most people think about when they hear the word “braces”. Made from heavy-duty stainless steel, these braces are equipped to correct problems for patients with severe crowding issues, spacing issues, or issues with bottom teeth. Although they aren’t the most visually appealing, patients who choose traditional metal braces benefit greatly from the strength metal braces offer.

Depending on your insurance coverage, the average estimated cost of these braces is between $3,000 and $5,000. This also depends on the personal treatment plan Dr. Markham creates for you.

Clear Braces

With all the benefits of traditional metal braces, clear braces are a newer, low-visibility option. Instead of metal brackets, the brackets are made from ceramics to match the color of your teeth. The only downside to this option is that the clear brackets may become stained over time.

This option can range anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 depending on your personal plan and insurance coverage.

Invisalign ®

These popular, new aligners are an extremely popular option in orthodontic care today. Invisalign® requires more self-control and maintenance than the previous two options, but, in most cases, they are just as effective. Their popularity is due to a few things:

  • They’re invisible!
  • They can be removed while eating so you don’t have to worry about food getting caught in your brackets.
  • No brackets mean less irritation and discomfort for your mouth.

Many adults refuse braces because they don’t want to look like a teenager again. This option gives you the best of both worlds.

So, how much do they cost? The price for these ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. Some insurance views these as cosmetic treatments and won’t cover any cost for these types of braces. Our helpful, experienced staff can discuss with you about what your insurance will cover.

Payment Options

The cost of braces should never be a reason that our patients don’t get the care they need. We believe the benefits of orthodontic care are always a worthwhile investment for. Your oral care isn’t simply cosmetic, it can affect your overall health as well, and we don’t take that lightly.

To help our patients make this decision easier, we offer a few options to our patients:

  • Acceptance of most insurance plans
  • Acceptance of most credit cards
  • CareCredit® cards
  • Affordable payment plans

We are happy to sit down with you to discuss a payment plan that works for your budget, so you know what to expect before your first orthodontic appointment. We are also available to help you with any insurance billing and paperwork.

Don’t let the cost of orthodontic care stop you from achieving a radiant, healthy smile for you or your loved one. Contact us today to set up an appointment at our Sacramento, CA office to discuss your orthodontic and financial options with our friendly, experienced staff.

Smiling woman with ceramic braces

Braces vs. Invisalign®

By Braces, Invisalign, Orthodontics

Smiling woman with ceramic braces

If you are considering orthodontic solutions for you or your teen, you may have noticed there are more options on the market than just traditional metal braces. Traditional metal braces are what most people are familiar with, but at Markham Orthodontics, we also offer ceramic braces and Invisalign®!

To talk to Dr. David Markham about the best option for you or your loved one, contact our office online or call us at (916) 924-8970 today.

What should I know about these options?

We’re glad you asked. The first thing you should know is that each of these options are highly effective for straightening teeth. However, depending on the needs of your teeth, one option may be more effective than the other for you.


Whether you choose traditional metal braces or ceramic braces, the treatment and results are the same. The average treatment time for braces is two years but could be more or less depending on your needs.

Braces are more equipped to correct conditions like crowding and issues with bottom teeth. Patient compliance is also more likely since this type of appliance is irremovable. For these reasons, braces are often a recommended option for teens.

The most common complaint about braces is that they aren’t discreet like Invisalign®. But with ceramic braces, the brackets match the color or your teeth, making them much less visible. Ceramic braces are a great option for adults with more complex issues than aligners can handle.


One of the most popular, new creations in orthodontics is Invisalign®. These clear, removable aligners require much more self-control and a little more maintenance than traditional braces, but when worn continuously, will definitely get the job done.

Aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day, which means they are only taken off when eating and brushing. Along with brushing and flossing your teeth, you will also need to brush and rinse the trays each time you put them back on. Depending on your needs, these will be worn anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Aligner trays will also be replaced every two weeks to keep the teeth moving!

Some other major perks of Invisalign® are that you will have no issues with food getting caught in your brackets or difficulty while eating and there are no brackets to cause irritation and discomfort.

However, it is important to note that many people aren’t eligible for aligners because of certain issues or needs like:

  • Bridgework
  • Back tooth bite issues
  • The need to rotate canines or premolars
  • Moving teeth vertically

Although Invisalign® isn’t the best option for everyone, it could be for you! Contact us at (916) 924-8970 or visit our Sacramento, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham.

Payment Options

Thinking about the cost of braces or Invisalign® can be overwhelming, but we never want it to be a reason that our patients don’t get the care they need. We believe the benefits of orthodontic care are always a worthwhile investment to improve the lives of our patients. This is why we accept most insurance plans and offer affordable payment plans to our patients.

Don’t let the cost of orthodontic care stop you from achieving a radiant, healthy smile for you or your teen. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your orthodontic and financial options with our friendly, experienced staff.