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toddler boy holding a blue mouthguard to reduce teeth grinding

If You heard your baby 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 sacramento ortho, auburn ortho, Orthodontics

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 sacramento ortho, Orthodontics, sacramento braces

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.

What Are My Options for Braces?

By sacramento ortho, auburn ortho, Orthodontics

woman with bracesWhat do you think of when you hear braces? Colorful, bulky metal brackets? Awkward middle schoolers? Well, think again. As braces have become increasingly popular with both preteens, teens, and adults alike, traditional metal braces have become more discrete in nature. We offer a wider range of orthodontic options.

At Markham Orthodontics, we offer traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces, and Invisalign® to those seeking to improve and straighten their smile. If you’re looking for orthodontics in Sacramento, our team of dental professionals offers top-notch, gentle service to patients of all ages. Dr. David Markham and Dr. Steven Scott are prepared and excited to work with you to achieve a beautiful, straight smile. Contact our Sacramento, CA dental office today at 916-924-8970 to schedule an appointment.

Here are the three types of braces we offer:

1. Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional braces have become more inconspicuous over time. That, and the fact that traditional metal braces offer a variety of benefits, convinces many people to choose them. Here are some of the advantages of choosing traditional metal braces:

  • They are less expensive than other orthodontic options.
  • They require less responsibility and discipline from the patient.
  • They treat more complex orthodontic issues.
  • They provide quicker results compared to Invisalign®.

Don’t write off traditional braces because of assumptions about their appearance. Ask Dr. Markham or Dr. Scott to show you pictures of patients they have treated with traditional metal braces so you can have a realistic and accurate idea of how they look.

2. Ceramic braces

Clear ceramic braces are an effective alternative to traditional metal braces, especially for those who are more self-conscious about their smile. There are many other benefits of ceramic braces, including:

  • Durability
  • Customizable arch wire
  • Easily removed
  • Don’t damage tooth enamel
  • Work faster than Invisalign®

Keep in mind that while these are effective, they are vulnerable to staining and aren’t as strong as traditional braces. Ceramic braces are also more expensive than traditional braces. However, many adult patients are willing to pay a little more to have braces that are highly effective and have low visibility.

3. Invisalign®

Invisible aligners have become increasingly popular among older patients and for good reason. Patients are able to avoid brackets and wires altogether while achieving a beautiful smile.

Invisalign® requires that patients wear the custom-made plastic aligners over their teeth for 22 hours a day. New aligners are created and placed every two weeks to continually shift the patient’s teeth.

Major advantages of Invisalign® include:

  • No food or drink restrictions
  • Easy maintenance
  • Aesthetically pleasing and discreet treatment

Some disadvantages to invisible aligners include:

  • More orthodontic appointments
  • More expensive in some cases
  • Can’t be used for serious orthodontic problems
  • Require more dedication and responsibility on the part of the patient

Many patients believe the benefits of Invisalign® far outweigh the disadvantages, and they are a proven treatment for a wide range of alignment issues. Find out if you are a candidate for invisible aligners by visiting with one of our experienced orthodontists.

Contact Us for Orthodontics in Sacramento

Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott are prepared to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Through careful examination and listening to your preferences, they can decide which type of braces are right for you.

Contact our friendly team today at 916-924-8970 to schedule your initial consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists.

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