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When Invisalign Clear Aligners first took off in the 2000’s, there was quite a bit of skepticism. How could lightweight plastic ever straighten someone’s teeth? However, it did not take long for Invisalign to pick up and for dentists all over the country to see how well Invisalign Clear Aligners work. Today, they are a viable alternative to metal Houston braces and are sought after by many South Houston teens.

How Does Invisalign Compare to Metal or Ceramic Houston Braces

Metal and Ceramic Braces

Metal braces have been the go-to method for correcting malocclusions for decades upon decades. Ceramic braces, although newer, work much in the same way that metal Houston braces do. When it comes to non-Invisalign braces treatments, metal and ceramic braces work by gluing either metal or ceramic brackets to the patient’s teeth and then running what is called an “archwire” across each of those brackets. This wire is then regularly adjusted with different levels of pressure, which helps gradually move the teeth in order to correct a malocclusion.

Invisalign Clear Aligner Treatment

Invisalign, on the other hand, doesn’t involve wires or brackets. Instead, the patient will have different sets of clear aligners, each with a slightly different shape. They will wear each set for a few weeks at a time as they go through each phase of alignment. It’s important to note that while metal braces work for any and all cases, no matter the complexity, Invisalign works best for milder cases.

Our South Houston Teens Love Invisalign

Many teenagers favor Invisalign because it’s barely noticeable when they smile or talk, which ensures the self-conscious teenager doesn’t draw any unwanted attention. Additionally, our teen-aged patients enjoy more flexibility with Invisalign, as clear aligners can be taken out at mealtimes, but they have to be worn for 22 hours a day. However, if they keep up a good oral hygiene routine, they can afford to skip them for some special occasions, like prom.

Invisalign at Centra Dental in South Houston

Invisalign is a highly favored orthodontic treatment these days. If you think your teen may be a candidate for Invisalign, please schedule a Houston braces consultation. Our skilled dentists will answer all of your questions regarding possible Invisalign treatment.

If you have a malocclusion, such as overcrowding or an overbite, then Houston braces may be the solution you need in order to have a healthy smile that you are confident with. While metal braces are the most common orthodontic appliance for correcting a bad bite, ceramic braces are a potential alternative for our adult patients.

Why Do Adults Pick Ceramic Braces Instead of Metal Braces?

The main reason why we see some of our patients choose ceramic braces as opposed to metal braces is that they are less noticeable on your teeth than traditional metal. Ceramic braces use tooth-colored or beige brackets for darker teeth, or white brackets for lighter teeth, and in some cases, clear brackets. This way they can easily blend in with the natural teeth. This offers a huge advantage for our adult patients who would rather experience a more subtle treatment.

How Do Ceramic Braces Compare to Metal Braces and Invisalign?

Quite often, if you are seeking a more subtle treatment, your first choice would be Invisalign Clear Aligners, but we typically recommend Invisalign to those who have very mild malocclusions. However, ceramic braces are a viable option for a variety of bad bites and are highly effective for many different cases, mild or not.

Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces in that each individual ceramic bracket is cemented to each tooth, and are all bound together by a wire that runs across your entire dental arch. This wire is the key component that puts pressure on the teeth to move them to the correct position. Nowadays, you can even pick the color of the archwire and decide between silver, white, or frosted, which will blend into the teeth even better. If your particular case requires rubber bands, you can choose to get them in a color that also matches your teeth for a nearly invisible treatment.

We do have to warn you, however, that ceramic braces are durable now, but they aren't quite as durable as traditional metal braces, so if you participate in high-contact sports, then ceramic braces may not be ideal and instead, metal braces will be the better option in order to avoid costly repairs. Additionally, because ceramic braces are not as strong, treatment may take a little bit longer.

Come to Centra Dental For Affordable Adult Houston Braces

With so many options for braces these days, we recommend you book an appointment with us for a braces consultation. At this appointment, we will carefully evaluate your teeth and help you decide if ceramic braces are the right treatment plan for you. 

Houston braces are a good idea if you need to have a malocclusion corrected. A malocclusion is also known as a “bad bite” and the term is used to describe any and all orthodontic problems. While our braces correct crowded teeth and an open bite, they also correct underbites and overbites.

Underbite

An underbite occurs when a patient’s lower teeth protrude outward and are positioned further out than the upper front teeth, similar to a bulldog’s teeth. Because of the abnormal alignment of the teeth, this can cause cosmetic problems as well as oral health problems.

What Problems Can an Underbite Cause?

Some underbites are quite minor, while others can be very severe, which means the severity of the problems associated with an underbite will vary from case to case.

A major challenge that can result from underbites is the difficulty of biting and chewing food because the jaws are not clasping around food like they should. Another problem, which can lead to great insecurity, is that an underbite makes it harder to speak properly. Untreated, there is a risk that a child with an underbite may have a tougher social life than their peers. The worst problem that can arise with an underbite is that the patient can experience pain in the mouth and the face due to their misaligned jaws. Left untreated, the pain can potentially worsen.

Overbite

An overbite, sometimes called buck teeth, is extremely common in our orthodontic cases. This malocclusion occurs when a patient’s upper teeth and jaw protrude further outward than the bottom teeth and jaw. Some overlap is normal and is, in fact, healthy, as it protects your teeth from abnormal wear of the enamel, which protects against tooth decay.

What Problems Can an Overbite Cause?

An overbite can easily cause certain speech impediments, much like other malocclusions. Overbites have also been known to cause chewing difficulties, and many patients with overbites regularly deal with biting their tongues or cheeks a lot by accident. Lastly, an overbite can cause damage to the gums and other teeth because of the improper bite pattern. The severity of these problems depends on how severe the overbite is, but thankfully they are an easy fix with braces. 

Affordable Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston

These are both very common reasons for needing orthodontic braces, not only for cosmetic purposes, but also to help our patients achieve their best dental health and a confident smile. If you or your child have an overbite or an underbite, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so that we can complete a consultation and help you decide on an affordable treatment plan. 

You’re about to complete your Houston braces treatment, so you must be super excited to show off your new, beautiful smile after wearing braces for the last couple of years! However, a common misconception is that once the braces are off, that’s it and no more work needs to be done. The truth is, once your braces are off, you still have to wear retainers for a number of reasons.

Your Teeth Can Still Shift After Braces

As adults, your teeth will have a habit of trying to shift back to the malocclusion you experienced prior to braces. This is because the wires and brackets are off and no longer holding your teeth in place. For kids who wear our Houston braces, as they grow, so do their jaws, which means their teeth will tend to shift as well. We have had some patients question why they had to undergo braces treatment just for their teeth to shift again, but as long as you wear your retainers, your teeth will remain properly aligned.

Our South Houston dentist often recommends our patients wear their retainers day and night for about a year, but how long you wear them will also depend on your particular case. You should take your retainers off when you eat and brush your teeth, but it’s imperative that you wear them at all other times. This will ensure that as your teeth settle into the soft tissues in your mouth and their new position along your jaw, they won’t become easily misaligned again.

Wearing Your Retainers Protects Your Investment In Houston Braces

Another reason to wear your retainers after completing your braces treatment is so that you can protect your investment. As we age, our teeth will naturally try to shift, but constantly wearing retainers for a year, and then transitioning to wearing them on most nights will make a big difference in the longevity of your beautifully aligned smile. If you are really responsible with your retainers, you may get to enjoy beautiful, straight teeth for the rest of your life.

Retainers After Houston Braces at Centra Dental

As you come close to the end of your treatment, our South Houston dentists will take impressions of your now-straight teeth so that we can fully customize your retainers to your new smile. If you have just received your retainers but feel like they don't fit well, resulting in a lot of discomfort, please contact us so we can make adjustments to ensure you're comfortable wearing them.

Good oral hygiene means coming to your dental cleanings with us twice a year, brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, and flossing every night. With your braces though, you have to take extra special care of your teeth and be strict on yourself when it comes to your dental hygiene routine.

Do Thorough Oral Rinses

Special oral rinses are very effective at helping wash away food particles that may have been left on your brackets. Our South Houston dentists recommend you complete mouth rinses after each meal, right before you brush your teeth. We also recommend you use a fluoridated mouthwash before bed, after you’ve finished brushing your teeth. This will encourage stronger, healthier teeth while you undergo your Houston braces treatment.

Brush Your Teeth More Often

Following regular oral rinses, it’s important to brush your teeth more often when you are undergoing Houston braces treatment because the surfaces of your teeth are no longer fully exposed. This is because of the metal or ceramic brackets that are fused to your teeth in order to hold the metal wire in place. Our South Houston dentists recommend that rather than brushing twice daily, you brush after each meal you eat. This will help ensure no food particles get stuck in between your brackets, which is great preventative care for avoiding cavities.

Our South Houston family dentists recommend you carry a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that you can always have a toothbrush handy. This way you can be sure to brush as often as necessary.

Floss More Carefully

Flossing is rather hard to do when your teeth are misaligned, but it’s also hard to do while you wear braces. However, it is an absolute MUST. Nowadays there are several different kinds of floss, and many of them are dental braces-friendly, so they are easy to use as well as effective. If you have a hard time though, our family dentists will gladly teach you how to floss properly.

Visit Our South Houston Office For Your Dental Check-Up

Much like how your dental cleanings are important when you don't have braces, they are even more important during your orthodontic treatment. We recommend you come in for a cleaning every 6 months for optimal health. If you are wearing Houston braces, please book your appointment today so that we can check on your progress, ensure your mouth and teeth are healthy, and complete a deep cleaning. 

Over the years, Invisalign has become a very popular orthodontic alternative to metal braces. This is due to their clear appearance, which helps our patients feel more confident and comfortable throughout their treatment. Because of this and many more reasons, Invisalign is well-favored amongst our adult Houston braces patients.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation. Once we determine that Invisalign is right for you, we will take impressions of your teeth. Afterward, with advanced technology, we will map out how we plan for your teeth to move throughout the course of your treatment. We will take everything to our dental lab so that in a couple of weeks, you will receive your clear aligners customized to the shape of your teeth and mouth.

You will wear your clear aligners for a few weeks at a time and then come back to our office to receive your next set of Invisalign. Over time, the Invisalign Clear Aligners will slowly move your teeth to the correct position, resulting in a beautiful, confident smile.

Why Our South Houston Dentist Patients Love Invisalign

There are many reasons why our adult patients love Invisalign as an alternative to metal braces. Here are the main reasons adults may tend to favor Invisalign Clear Aligners.

Clear Aligners Are Barely Noticeable

For one, clear aligners are barely noticeable. This is because they have no wires or brackets, so your treatment is subtle and won't be distracting when you talk or smile. Although some have fun adding color to their Houston braces, others care more about subtlety. 

They Allow For Some Flexibility

Second, Invisalign Clear Aligners offer more flexibility because they are removable. Your clear aligners should be removed for meals, but keep in mind that they need to be worn for at least 22 hours in the day. If you keep up good hygiene and habits, you can afford to take them out for some special occasions too.

They Are Effective (For Some)

Truthfully, metal braces are great for all cases, but Invisalign is great for the milder orthodontic cases we see, especially if you are highly responsible. Typical metal and ceramic braces are fused to the teeth with dental cement, so you have no temptation or need to remove them. The ability to remove your clear aligners means you need to be strict with yourself and not misplace them, forget to wear them, or skip a day or two.

Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston

Invisalign is a highly favored orthodontic treatment, and for good reason! If you think you may be a candidate for Invisalign, please contact us to schedule your braces consultation. Our skilled dentists will answer all of your questions regarding possible Invisalign treatment.

As most people know, orthodontic braces are meant to straighten teeth, but they do much more than just that. Each treatment plan we offer for Houston braces depends on what issues need to be corrected and is perfectly customized to the individual. Here are a couple of the reasons why our South Houston dentist patients may need affordable braces treatment.

Crowded Teeth

Teeth crowding occurs when teeth are crooked and overlapping each other, either on the upper teeth, on the bottom teeth, or both. The truth is that some people simply have extra teeth, which don't fit in the mouth properly. This is a major cause of crowding and disrupts the natural way in which the teeth are supposed to erupt.

What Problems Can Crowding Teeth Cause?

When our patients suffer from crowding, we tend to see unusual wear patterns of their teeth. One of the biggest dental health problems caused by crowding is excessive plaque build-up. Although some patients who don't have extra teeth can still experience heavy plaque build-up, this is especially common for people who do have extra teeth because it's too difficult to get in between them when they brush or floss. Plaque build-up is the leading cause for cavities, so those who have crowded teeth can experience accelerated tooth decay.

Plaque build-up in crowded teeth has a domino effect. If the patient suffers from accelerated decay, they can also potentially suffer from gingivitis, or gum disease because there is too much bacteria stuck in between the gums that is left untreated. Aside from poor oral health, crowding can cause issues with patients' self-esteem. Additionally, severe crowding can lead to speech problems, which can disrupt their school, work, and their confidence as well.

Open Bite

An open bite is also known as an anterior bite. It occurs when the upper teeth and lower teeth slant out in the front, so they never touch once an individual's mouth is closed.

What Problems Can An Open Bite Cause?

Similar to crowding, open bites may cause the patient to have problems with confidence and speech. When it comes to speech challenges, those who suffer from an open bite will often struggle to pronounce several words because they develop a lisp. This type of malocclusion (bad bite) can also prevent the patient from chewing their food properly.

Another problem caused by open bites is abnormal wearing of the teeth because the back teeth are coming into contact more often than they should. This can eventually lead to discomfort and even cracking in the teeth.

Affordable Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston

These are both very common reasons for needing orthodontic braces, not only for cosmetic purposes, but also to help our patients achieve their best dental health and a confident smile. If you or your child have crowded teeth or an open bite, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so that we can complete a consultation and help you decide on an affordable treatment plan. 

If you have a pre-teen or teenager, chances are you've noticed that their friends have been getting braces. Perhaps you're considering them for your child, too. We encourage it while they are young because it's best for kids to get braces between the ages of 10 and 14. Here's why.

All Baby Teeth Have Fallen Out

When your child's milk teeth have finished falling out, the rest of their permanent teeth, which are also known as "adult teeth", have already begun to emerge. The greatest benefit to waiting until this age for dental braces is that, when your child's adult teeth have emerged, their jaw has become more stable. Before investing in Houston braces, we recommend you come in for an evaluation with our South Houston family dentists. Our skilled dentists will be able to spot out any potential issues that may arise before they actually do, such as crowding, excessive spacing, and overbites. If not addressed, these issues can cause problems that interfere with their day to day dental health. Coming in for a consultation will ensure our dentists plan the correct treatment for your child. One more reason we recommend for your child to get braces between 10 and 14 years old is because they will be much more comfortable throughout their treatment, as they will not have to worry about gaps and emerging teeth while wearing their braces.

Your Child's Head and Mouth are Still Growing

The most important reason why we tell our South Houston patients to get braces at such a young age is because at that age, their heads and mouths are still growing. This allows for very easy moldability, which results in straighter teeth in a shorter amount of time. Their teeth and jaws are still moving, so the braces they wear will smoothly guide their teeth into the right position. Although we also offer braces for adults, we find that sometimes their treatment can take a bit longer than their child's treatment. This is mainly attributed to the fact that for adults, their permanent teeth have been in place for far longer, so it will take some extra time and effort to guide them toward the correct alignment. 

Getting Houston Dental Braces Early Will Increase Your Child's Confidence in the Future

We understand that ages 10 through 14 are highly developmental years, so some of our patients may not be excited to get braces. However, the earlier they get them, the shorter the treatment. Additionally, when treatment is over and they see themselves with straight, healthy teeth and no discomfort whatsoever, it will be well worth it. We have seen children finish their treatment with a new level of confidence that positively impacts the rest of their lives. 

If you have a pre-teen or teenager, chances are you've noticed that their friends have been getting braces. Perhaps you're considering them for your child, too. We encourage it while they are young because it's best for kids to get braces between the ages of 10 and 14. Here's why.

All Baby Teeth Have Fallen Out

When your child's milk teeth have finished falling out, the rest of their permanent teeth, which are also known as "adult teeth", have already begun to emerge. The greatest benefit to waiting until this age for dental braces is that, when your child's adult teeth have emerged, their jaw has become more stable. Before investing in Houston braces, we recommend you come in for an evaluation with our South Houston family dentists. Our skilled dentists will be able to spot out any potential issues that may arise before they actually do, such as crowding, excessive spacing, and overbites. If not addressed, these issues can cause problems that interfere with their day to day dental health. Coming in for a consultation will ensure our dentists plan the correct treatment for your child. One more reason we recommend for your child to get braces between 10 and 14 years old is because they will be much more comfortable throughout their treatment, as they will not have to worry about gaps and emerging teeth while wearing their braces.

Your Child's Head and Mouth are Still Growing

The most important reason why we tell our South Houston patients to get braces at such a young age is because at that age, their heads and mouths are still growing. This allows for very easy moldability, which results in straighter teeth in a shorter amount of time. Their teeth and jaws are still moving, so the braces they wear will smoothly guide their teeth into the right position. Although we also offer braces for adults, we find that sometimes their treatment can take a bit longer than their child's treatment. This is mainly attributed to the fact that for adults, their permanent teeth have been in place for far longer, so it will take some extra time and effort to guide them toward the correct alignment. 

Getting Houston Dental Braces Early Will Increase Your Child's Confidence in the Future

We understand that ages 10 through 14 are highly developmental years, so some of our patients may not be excited to get braces. However, the earlier they get them, the shorter the treatment. Additionally, when treatment is over and they see themselves with straight, healthy teeth and no discomfort whatsoever, it will be well worth it. When kids finish their treatment, they experience a new level of confidence that positively impacts the rest of their lives. 

Several years ago electric toothbrushes appeared on the market as an alternative to manual toothbrushes. How do they compare in terms of effectiveness, though?

The Pros and Cons of Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes have been around for ages and are the default method for cleaning our teeth. They are quite effective, so long as the correct method is used. The correct way to brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush is to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush all the surfaces of the teeth (front, back, and chewing edges) in slow and gentle, circular motions. Be sure to brush for 2 minutes.

Manual toothbrushes are readily available at grocery stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, and even gas stations. Because of this, they are very inexpensive, easy to shop for, and easy to replace at the last minute. As for drawbacks, manual toothbrushes may be a bit tricky for younger children to use, so our pediatric dentists advise parents to help their kids each time they brush. When using manual brushes it is very easy to start brushing a little too hard, which can lead to pain and sensitivity in the gums.

The Pros and Cons of Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes, although more expensive, may be the better option for some, including for patients who wear braces. The biggest benefit of electric toothbrushes is that they do all the work. They move the brush-head bristles in circular motions at the right pace with the right amount of pressure. You just have to hold the brush.

Many electric options come with a built-in timer that goes off every 30 seconds to remind the user to move to the next area of their mouths. They also feature a timer that goes off at two minutes to let the user know when they can stop brushing. Some models even offer different modes and speeds for daily cleaning, tongue cleaning, and deep cleaning.

Interestingly enough, our South Houston dentists have found that electric toothbrushes may keep children more engaged, which will encourage healthy habits early on. At our patient's dental cleanings, we have found that those who used an electric toothbrush while wearing braces were getting a better clean with less effort. As for patients who didn't know how to properly brush their teeth at first, we noticed they had experienced a reduced amount of plaque after regularly using an electric brush. On the other hand, patients who were already brushing correctly with a manual toothbrush and switched to an electric one did not experience a major difference.

Which Toothbrush do Our South Houston Dentists Recommend?

Our general dentists and pediatric dentists at Centra Dental recommend both types of toothbrushes. At the end of the day, it is up to the individual to decide which method they are most comfortable with, as both are highly effective. Pairing regular teeth cleanings (twice a year) with proper hygiene will help in achieving pristine oral health.

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