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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.

Tips to Prepare Your Child for Braces

By Blog, Braces, Teens

It’s hard to imagine a better gift to give to your child than a bright, attractive smile. Traditional metal braces can correct tooth misalignment, but the process requires your child to actively clean the metal wires and attachments throughout the treatment process. For some parents, constant reminders to brush after eating or to avoid certain foods can become tiresome.  

During your orthodontic consultation, Dr. David Markham, an experienced children’s orthodontist, will describe the steps needed to maintain and clean the braces. If you are planning to have your child undergo orthodontic treatments at our Sacramento, CA office, these helpful tips can ensure that your child is prepared to maintain his or her new braces.

Tips for Preparing Your Child for Braces

It is important to discuss metal braces before your child undergoes treatment at our clinic. Emphasizing how important these braces are can instill a sense of responsibility in your child. After all, not every family can afford orthodontic treatments. A sense of gratitude and excitement can help ensure that your child has a positive attitude before, during, and after the cosmetic treatment.

Your child may be anxious, or he or she may have questions for Dr. Markham. Have your child write down questions to bring to his or her consultation. Make a point to sit down and help your kiddo draft good questions, such as:

  • What do braces feel like?
  • Do they hurt?
  • How long will I wear them?

You can purchase interdental brushes, electric toothbrushes, and other oral hygiene supplies before your child has metal braces placed. Children often get excited when there is a special project to buy supplies for. Let him or her choose which color or brand they will use. A sense of ownership over good oral hygiene habits will ensure that they comply with Dr. Markham’s directions throughout the treatment process.

More Tips on How to Encourage Good Dental Habits Throughout the Treatment Process

Many of these tips came from actual parents through a blog by OralB.

  • Remind children of consequences: If your child chews on objects or engages in other habits that lead to snapping wires or loosened brackets, remind him or her that the braces may need to be worn for a longer period of time. If this is a recurring problem, please let Dr. Markham know as well.
  • Teach responsibility: For teenagers and older children with a source of income, tie costs into lost or damaged attachments and retainers. For teenagers, some parents have found success in addressing lost retainers with cost sharing for the replacements.
  • Set a to-do list: Purchase a small dry erase board and set it on the mirror in their bathroom. Tell your child to check off a small box each time he or she completes a thorough brushing and cleaning.
  • Remind your child about check-ups: Dr. Markham or one of our staff will ask your child if he or she has been carefully cleaning their new braces. Let your child know a week in advance that the check-up and questions about oral hygiene habits are only days away.  

Give Your Child the Gift of a Beautiful Smile!

Making sure your child’s teeth stay clean can prevent decay and cavities while ensuring that their smile is camera-ready as soon as the braces come off. Dr. Markham welcomes new patients. Contact us at (916) 924-8970 or visit our Sacramento, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham.

young teen with orthodontic treatments

When Will My Children Need Orthodontic Treatments?

By Braces, Invisalign, Orthodontics, Teens

young teen with orthodontic treatmentsOne common question we field at our Sacramento, CA office is, “When is a good age for my child to start orthodontic treatments?” Dr. David Markham regularly consults with parents about what age their children can begin Invisalign treatments or braces. He will base his recommendations on several factors. If you are curious about which factors may influence the age your child begins orthodontic treatments, this blog will help.

Factors That Influence Your Child’s Treatment Timeline

By age 8, 9, or soon after, the average child has lost most of his or her baby teeth, and the majority of permanent teeth have fully emerged. One factor that will impact when your child begins orthodontic treatment is the severity of the misalignment of your child’s teeth. Dr. Markham may recommend Invisalign or braces to address:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Dental crowding
  • Malocclusion (overbite or underbite)

The average age that children begin using braces is around 11. Beyond the severity of your child’s teeth misalignment, these factors may influence when your child begins orthodontic treatment.

  • Whether all of your child’s adult teeth have emerged
  • Whether your child is developmentally ready to clean and maintain braces
  • Whether your child has completed treatments to address jaw alignment that braces cannot address
  • Whether your child has completed early intervention orthodontics

Pinpointing the perfect age for braces can be difficult. Fortunately, there’s no expiration date on when braces can be placed. Each child’s mouth develops at different rates. Some children may have all of their adult teeth by age nine. Others may be new a few more years. The consensus is that early adolescence is an ideal time.

A Healthy Smile Starts With An Early Orthodontic Evaluation

In general, your child should have his or her first orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Although your child may still have adult teeth that are yet to emerge, this early evaluation will allow Dr. Markham to begin learning about the orthodontic needs of your child. An orthodontist like Dr. Markham has specialized training in straightening teeth that your family dentist may not have. During your child’s first orthodontic evaluation, Dr. Markham may:

  • Examine your child’s teeth and jaw
  • Examine your child’s bite (jaw alignment)
  • Take X-rays of your child’s teeth and jaws to see how they are positioned
  • Take a mold or impression of your child’s teeth

Dr. Markham is an advocate for early intervention orthodontics. By acting early, later orthodontic treatments may be less invasive and more effective. Examples of early intervention orthodontics include:

  • Tooth extraction (of baby teeth) to help adult teeth emerge easily
  • Use of a fixed or removable appliance to move teeth, reposition the jaw or hold adult teeth in place

Contact Our Office Today

There are many factors to consider when deciding what age is best for your child to undergo orthodontic treatments. We are proud to offer high-quality, precision orthodontic care in the Sacramento, CA, and Auburn, CA areas. If you would like to see what orthodontic treatment options are available for you, contact our practice to schedule a free consultation with our team! Contact our office online or call us at (916) 924-8970.

Which Type of Teen Braces Best Fits Your Needs?

By Braces, Orthodontics, Teens

Teen Braces

For generations, teenagers have relied on orthodontics to help them enjoy the aesthetic and health benefits of straighter teeth. Now, patients and their families can choose between different types of teen braces to best fit their needs.

If you’re new to the idea of getting teen braces for yourself or a family member, a visit with Dr. David Markham in Sacramento, CA, the area can get you started. In the meantime, why not read about the three main types of teen braces available at Markham Orthodontics?

Option #1: Traditional Metal Braces

When you hear the words “teen braces,” you probably envision braces constructed of metal brackets that hold the wire in place. After all, these were the only kind of orthodontics commercially available for decades.

These types of braces use wire-based tension to gradually shift teeth into the proper position. Eventually, all teeth are in perfect alignment. Wire braces work well and are still useful in many cases.

The upside to traditional teen braces is that they don’t require a lot of fuss. There are no aligner trays to remove or replace. On the flip side, they can make brushing and floss more difficult. They also limit the types of foods kids can eat because items like corn on the cob and popcorn can get stuck in the brackets. For those reasons, some teenagers prefer different forms of orthodontia like InvisalignⓇ.

Option #2: Invisalign

Unlike traditional braces, the Invisalign system uses custom-made clear plastic aligner trays to move the teeth. About every 10-14 days, teens switch to a new aligner tray, gently but firmly moving their teeth into predetermined locations.

Invisalign costs about the same amount as traditional braces, but can sometimes be faster. It also allows patients the freedom to remove their aligners when eating. Therefore, they have no restrictions on food. However, teens still have to take care of their aligner trays and brush their teeth completely after snacks and mealtimes. Depending upon the patient, this routine may be too demanding, in which case another type of orthodontics solution is often a better selection.

Teen Outside Braces for Every Patient

Every Sacramento orthodontics candidate has the same goal of a smile that’s brilliant and straight. With three excellent choices available, Dr. Markham can help you find the best type of teen braces. Contact the office today to set up an evaluation.

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