Displaying items by tag: Houston braces

A malocclusion, also known as a “bad bite”, affects children and adults the same, but when we see malocclusions in adults, they aren’t sudden or brand new. Most of the time, adults have a bad bite because they had one as a child and either didn’t want to wear dental braces, or had trouble affording them. These days, though, Houston braces are much more affordable than they used to be. They are also lighter and more subtle so adults don’t have to feel as self-conscious about wearing dental braces. When our South Houston dentists’ adult patients are hesitant about metal braces, ceramic Houston braces are a great alternative.

What Makes Ceramic Dental Braces So Appealing, Especially To Adults?

The main reason why our adult patients may favor ceramic Houston braces over metal Houston braces is that ceramic braces blend into the teeth more than metal ones. Ceramic braces consist of tooth-colored brackets or, in some cases, clear brackets. The archwire ranges in color from silver, white, or frosted, as opposed to dark gray like those used along with metal brackets. These variations in color also blend in with the teeth.

Are Ceramic Braces As Effective As Metal Dental Braces?

Although Houston Invisalign Clear Aligners are the go-to method of correcting the alignment of the teeth when you want something subtle, Invisalign works best on very minor cases. Ceramic braces, on the other hand, are an effective option for mild-moderate malocclusions. Although metal braces work for virtually all levels of severity, ceramic dental braces are similar because each individual bracket is glued to each tooth, and they are all bound together by the archwire. The archwire is the key component that puts pressure on the teeth to move them to the correct position. 

Keep in mind, though, that even though ceramic braces are similar to traditional metal braces, they aren’t quite the same. If you participate in high-contact sports, for example, ceramic braces may not be ideal and our South Houston dentist will recommend metal braces instead.

Our South Houston Dentist Offers Affordable Houston Braces

If you feel like it’s time for you to get dental braces, please book an appointment with our south Houston dentist for an initial dental Houston braces consultation. We will evaluate your bite and determine if ceramic braces are suitable for your needs.

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If your child is nearing middle-school age, then chances are they will start seeing many classmates undergo Houston braces treatment. This is a very common age at which to begin wearing dental braces because most–or all–of their baby teeth have fallen and their adult teeth have completely emerged. Some pre-teens and teenagers may wear Invisalign Clear Aligners, while others may wear ceramic or metal dental braces because our South Houston family dentist said that type of treatment would work best. So, why does Invisalign only work for some and not others?

Invisalign Clear Aligners Are Made Differently Than Other Houston Braces

Unlike our ceramic Houston braces or metal Houston braces, Invisalign doesn’t have any wires or metal. In fact, Invisalign Clear Aligners are simply transparent, thin, and flexible plastic that is molded to your child’s teeth and gradually pushes their teeth toward the correct alignment. Teeth that are correctly aligned are healthier and promote better oral health in general, which is why it’s important to undergo Houston braces treatment if necessary.

Why Our South Houston Family Dentists Only Recommend Invisalign To Some And Not Others

Houston Invisalign Works Best On Minor Cases

The type of Houston dental braces we recommend to our patients depends on how severe their malocclusion is. Severe malocclusions are most efficiently and effectively treated by metal dental braces because they are the strongest option available. This is also why metal Houston braces work on virtually all cases. 

Invisalign, on the other hand, is best suited for our South Houston dentist patients with mild malocclusions (bad bites) that don’t need as dramatic of a correction.

Our South Houston Braces Dentist Patients Get The Most Out Of Invisalign Treatment By Being Disciplined

Because Invisalign is removable, this is a flexible treatment, but our patients can’t let flexibility become an excuse for being lazy or irresponsible. Patients must wear their Clear Aligners for 22-24 hours a day, which means they need to be careful not to lose, misplace, or forget to wear their aligners. This is crucial for Invisalign to work properly so patients don’t need a second correction in the future. Patients who worry they may be forgetful or lack the necessary discipline will often have a better experience with ceramic dental braces or metal dental braces.

Our South Houston Family Dentist Offers Effective Invisalign Treatment

If you would like to know whether Invisalign is suitable for your child, then please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist. We’ll begin with an evaluation and discuss their needs so that we can develop the best custom dental treatment for them that ensures a beautiful smile for the rest of their life.

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We’ve previously discussed how bonded retainers work and how traditional wire retainers work following Houston braces treatment. Retainers are a must after dental braces treatment because they keep your teeth in their new alignment while the teeth settle into the soft tissues. This process helps ensure the teeth remain straight and properly aligned for longer. If a patient doesn’t wear their retainers as our South Houston family dentist instructed them to, then it is much more likely that their teeth will separate again and go back to their previous alignment. Here is what translucent retainers are like.

What Are Clear Retainers

Clear retainers are very similar to Invisalign clear aligners, except the retainers don’t shift the teeth. These retainers are created by taking a mold of your new, perfect smile so that when you wear the retainers, they help retain the position of your teeth. These retainers are removable as well.

Clear plastic retainers are more common than bonded retainers, but they aren’t as common as traditional Hawley (wire) retainers. However they are still a great option for our patients if we determine that their teeth may benefit from this type.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Clear Retainers

Taking care of your teeth after you’ve completed your metal dental braces treatment, ceramic dental braces treatment, or Houston Invisalign treatment is key to wearing a healthier smile for longer. 

Pros of Clear Retainers:

  • Clear plastic retainers are nearly invisible, so patients won’t feel as awkward or self-conscious and may be more inclined to wear their retainers as directed
  • These retainers are often more comfortable than Hawley retainers
  • Because the plastic is so lightweight, your speech won’t be as affected as it can be with traditional wire retainers

Cons of Clear Retainers:

  • They cannot be readjusted or repaired; they can only be replaced
  • If exposed to excessive heat, clear retainers can warp in shape, therefore making it impossible to fit your teeth again
  • Over time, clear aligners can become discolored
  • If you don’t adhere to our recommendations for proper hygiene, then they can easily trap liquid or foods and result in cavities

Our South Houston Dentist Can Determine If Clear Retainers Are Suitable For Your Particular Case

If you or your child are finishing up with Houston braces treatment, then it’s time to discuss orthodontic retainers and which will work best for you. Please book an appointment with our South Houston Family Dentist so we can assess the progress on your teeth and determine what will best retain your new smile.

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Although we get many adult patients who seek Houston braces treatment, particularly with Invisalign Clear Aligners, our South Houston family dentist sees children more often. When families come in for their semiannual teeth cleaning, parents often ask us when their kid might be ready for braces, if early treatment is possible, and/or how much longer they should wait to avoid needing another alignment treatment in the future. This is what our South Houston family dentists recommend.

Early Houston Braces Treatment Is Good; A Second Treatment Is Rarely Necessary

Before we get into anything else, we want to address the common concern that many patients have: if their kid gets braces too young, won’t they need to get them straightened again in the future? 

Getting braces early, when your child is young, is a great idea because they're still growing, so their jaws are too. This makes their teeth easily moveable, which may help shorten the duration of their treatment. Some patients, however, require even earlier treatment known as an interceptive treatment. This type of treatment involves using orthodontic appliances to complete early treatment if a patient’s malocclusion is one that can worsen the longer it is left untreated. This may take place as a two-part treatment, but it’s possible for these cases to be resolved at once and they won’t need Houston braces again. On the other hand, the teeth will need to be corrected again if the patient wasn't responsible when it came to wearing their orthodontic retainers, and this is regardless of age.

The Youngest Age At Which Houston Braces Treatment Can Begin

Dental braces treatment usually takes place between the ages of 8 and 14 because by then, children have lost all or most of their baby teeth. That said, when your child should get dental braces also depends on how severe their malocclusion is and, consequently, which type of treatment they’ll need (Invisalign, metal dental braces, ceramic Houston braces). Some children may need Houston braces for longer due to a really bad bite, so we might recommend they start closer to 8. Other children may not have as bad a case, so they can wait a bit before getting braces and by then, it’s up to their personal preference.

Houston Braces For Kids at Centra Dental in South Houston

Today’s dental braces are much lighter in weight and more subtle than they used to be. With the many types of Houston braces we offer, we’ll find the method that works best for your child to have healthy, straight teeth. If you’re considering Houston braces treatment for your child, please book an appointment with us so we can start with an orthodontic evaluation. This will give our trained dentists, who regularly further their education, the opportunity to determine how your child's teeth and jaw will develop, and how dental braces will help. 

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You’ve probably seen commercials on television or advertisements on YouTube and other social media platforms that try to sell clear aligners over the internet, which the company then sends right to your home for a simple, affordable, at-home Houston braces treatment. Our South Houston family dentists are here to tell you to stay away from these kinds of products. Here’s why.

How At-Home Braces Treatment Works

These companies will usually start your treatment by sending you an impression kit so they can see how your teeth are currently aligned. After you send back the impression (which is usually done incorrectly), they claim to use 3D modeling to send you your clear aligners with a wearing schedule.

At-Home Clear Aligner Treatment is Not as Customized as it Should Be

When you come into our South Houston family dentist office for Houston braces treatment, we take impressions and utilize 3D modeling in order to visualize every single phase your teeth go through as we correct their alignment, and we’ll even show you our plan once we complete it. We also see you in-person every few weeks during your Houston Invisalign treatment so we can take the closest look possible and make any necessary adjustments to ensure you are on the right track of alignment. When you get clear aligners off of a website and send in your materials, they may follow up with you via telemedicine, but they can’t thoroughly examine your bite or your progress through a camera. To get the best results, you need to see the dentist in person.

Clear Aligners Aren’t Effective For Everyone

If you’ve read our blog, When Our South Houston Family Dentist Recommends Invisalign Clear Aligners, then you’ll know that clear aligners work best on mild cases. If you have a severe malocclusion, clear aligners found in mail-order kits may not be the best option. You may benefit more from ceramic Houston braces or metal Houston braces.

You May End Up Paying More Than You Would at Our South Houston Dentist Office

We already offer affordable Houston braces, as low as $99 a month. If you go through with mail-order clear aligner kits and treatment doesn’t go smoothly, you may have to pay all over again for a second correction at an orthodontist or dentist office. If the damage done to your teeth by mail-order clear aligners is bad enough, you may end up needing to under surgery or another dental procedure.

Centra Dental Family Dentist in South Houston Wants to Keep You and Your Smile Safe

Although mail-order/at-home braces treatment seems convenient and affordable, you are sacrificing quality for convenience and a healthy smile shouldn’t be about convenience. If you would like to undergo Invisalign Clear Aligner treatment, please book an appointment with our South Houston braces dentist so we can evaluate your teeth, discuss your needs and goals, and come up with a safe, affordable, and effective treatment plan that we can monitor for you.

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Once accessible to few, electric toothbrushes are now widely available on the market. Today, there are some electric toothbrushes that utilize wireless chargers and even have bluetooth capabilities that allow you to set hygiene goals and track how well you brush your teeth. Does this make electric toothbrushes better for Houston braces? Here’s what our South Houston family dentist has to say. 

Brushing Your Teeth With a Manual Toothbrush

Manual toothbrushes are the most common method for keeping up with your oral hygiene. They are certainly effective, so long as they’re used properly. In order to brush your teeth correctly, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and brush all surfaces of the teeth (front, back, and chewing edge) in slow and gentle, circular motions. Be sure to brush for 2 minutes, spending 30 seconds in each quadrant. 

Manual toothbrushes are readily available at grocery stores, pharmacies and even the dollar store, making them 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 correctly, so our South Houston family dentists advise parents to help their kids brush. When using manual toothbrushes it is very easy to start brushing a bit too hard, which can lead to pain and sensitivity in the gums. 

Electric Toothbrushes For Our South Houston Family Dentist’s Patients

The greatest benefit of electric toothbrushes is that they do all the work. They move the brush-head bristles in circular motion at the right pace with the right amount of pressure. All you need to do is gently glide it across your teeth. Some models even offer different modes and speeds for tongue cleaning, deep cleaning, and for patients with sensitive teeth and gums.

Can Houston Braces Patients Use Electric Toothbrushes

Our South Houston dentist’s Houston braces patients can use an electric toothbrush without worry. In fact, we often recommend them instead of manual toothbrushes to our patients who have begun their Houston braces treatment. The reason why is because electric toothbrushes make it easier to clean around your brackets and archwires if you wear metal dental braces or ceramic Houston braces. Research has shown that electric toothbrushes are also better at removing plaque, which is harder to do when wearing braces. By using an electric toothbrush, our Houston braces patients will effectively protect their teeth against cavities.

Visit Centra Dental in South Houston to Check on Your Houston Braces Progress

Our family dentists at Centra Dental in South Houston highly recommend our Houston braces patients to brush their teeth with electric toothbrushes. Please book an appointment for your next cleaning so we can check that you’re brushing your teeth well and ensure your treatment is going smoothly.

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As you approach the end of your Houston braces treatment, whether you’ve been wearing metal Houston braces, ceramic dental braces, or Invisalign, we’ll have a conversation about how to maintain your new smile with a retainer. There are different types of orthodontic retainers and we’ve previously talked about traditional removable retainers known as Hawley retainers. This time, we’ll discuss the less common bonded retainers.

What Are Bonded Retainers

Bonded retainers are permanent retainers made of wire that is shaped to fit the new alignment of your teeth. Similar to metal or ceramic Houston braces, they are cemented to your teeth with a dental-grade glue, except instead of being on the front of your teeth, these retainers are glued behind your teeth. Many family dentists or orthodontists around the country tend to bond them behind your lower teeth only, and they can only be removed by a dentist or orthodontist. 

Although rare, our South Houston dentist will only recommend a bonded retainer following Houston braces treatment if the patient won’t follow our guidelines on how to properly wear a removable retainer.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Permanent Bonded Retainers After Houston Braces Treatment

Much like how ceramic braces, metal dental braces, and Houston Invisalign Clear Aligners each has positives and negatives, retainers do as well.

Pros of Bonded Retainers

  • Bonded retainers are a worry-free method for keeping your teeth straight because you don’t have to abide by a certain schedule, which means you don’t run the risk of making your teeth crooked or separate again.
  • No one can tell you’re wearing a permanent retainer, so there is no need to feel self-conscious about it
  • Wearing a permanent retainer doesn’t affect your speech, which is common with other types of retainers.

Cons of Wearing Permanent Retainers

  • Flossing is harder when wearing a bonded retainer because it gets in the way of the string. This causes plaque build-up and possibly gum disease
  • The metal might irritate your tongue or gums

Our South Houston Family Dentist Will Determine if a Bonded Retainer is Right For You

As you or your child near the end of Houston braces treatment, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so we can take your needs into account, decide if a permanent retainer is a good idea for your particular case, and have your retainers made. We look forward to giving you a smile you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

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We recently discussed when we recommend ceramic dental braces, but Invisalign is a more popular alternative that we offer. Here is how Invisalign compares to metal Houston braces and ceramic Houston braces.

What is it Like to Wear Invisalign Clear Aligners?

First of all, Invisalign Clear Aligners are made with a flexible plastic that is molded to your teeth in a way that gently and gradually pushes them into the correct alignment. Clear Aligners are transparent, so they go fairly unnoticed. They are also removable, which is one of their greatest benefits.

When Do Our South Houston Family Dentists Recommend Invisalign Clear Aligners?

We will take a few factors into consideration when determining whether Invisalign is right for a patient. Among these considerations are:

How Severe is Your Malocclusion?

We typically recommend Invisalign treatment if your malocclusion isn’t too severe or problematic. That isn’t to say that Invisalign cannot correct severe misalignment, but it will just take much longer. If your malocclusion is a lighter one, though, Invisalign treatment can take as little as a year.

When it comes to the severity of your malocclusion, we often recommend metal dental braces to our patients who need very complex corrections. As for ceramic braces, these are suitable for mild-moderate cases.

Discipline

Although Invisalign seems to be full of benefits, there are some factors that should be taken into consideration. Discipline is mandatory if you’re wearing Clear Aligners.

Just because Invisalign is removable, does not mean you should go long without wearing it. We tell our patients to wear their aligners for 22-24 hours a day, which means you need to take extra care not to lose, misplace your aligner trays, or forget them.

Hygiene

As with any type of Houston braces treatment, you must make sure to thoroughly brush your teeth after every meal and snack. This ensures no bits of food are left in between your teeth, which would get in the way of the aligners doing their job and would also make you more prone to cavities. 

Centra Dental South Houston Family Dentist Offers Affordable Invisalign Houston Braces Treatment

If you would like to correct the alignment of your teeth and think that Invisalign may be suitable for you, then please book an appointment. We will conduct a thorough evaluation and discuss your needs so that we can develop the best custom Houston braces treatment for you.

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You’re approaching the end of your Houston braces treatment and whether you’re wearing Invisalign Clear Aligners, metal Houston braces, or ceramic dental braces, you are going to need to wear retainers after your treatment. You may wear them with reluctance, but you must wear your retainers in order to protect your investment in South Houston braces and keep your teeth straight. However, there are different types of orthodontic retainers that will meet different needs. In this blog post, we will discuss traditional retainers, otherwise known as Hawley retainers. 

What Are Hawley Retainers

Hawley retainers are also referred to as removable retainers or wire retainers. They are made of two parts and two components–the acrylic plastic and the metal wire components. The acrylic plastic is shaped to fit the roof up your mouth and behind your lower teeth. The wire component runs across your teeth. Together, these retainers hold your teeth in place while your teeth settle in the soft tissues of your mouth. How long you wear it will depend on your particular case, but our South Houston family dentist will recommend what works best for you.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Hawley Retainers

As with our Houston braces, there are pros and cons associated with each option.

Pros of Removable Retainers

  • Hawley retainers can be adjusted in case you need a better fit or if your teeth need a slight touch up in their alignment. 
  • Much like the wire that is placed across your Houston braces may break sometimes, Hawley retainers may break on a rare occasion as well, but the good news is that they are easily reparable. 
  • Both rows of your teeth will touch naturally, which makes this option a more comfortable one. 

Cons of Removable Wire Retainers

  • Because these retainers feel slightly bulky, your speech may sound off when wearing them.
  • The way the wire is laid across your teeth makes it rather noticeable when you speak
  • The wire may irritate your lips or cheeks when you first wear a removable retainer after your Houston braces treatment.

Our South Houston Family Dentist Will Determine Whether Traditional Removable Retainers Are Suitable For You

As you near the end of your Houston braces treatment, our South Houston family dentist will take impressions of your teeth so our lab can make your retainers. If we determine that Hawley retainers will work best for you, we will provide you with wearing guidelines. Please book an appointment with us for your next dental check-up so we can make the appropriate recommendation.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020 01:45

Myths and Facts About Houston Braces

Are you, or your child, the type of person who is excited about getting Houston braces and is looking forward to a brand new smile that can be worn confidently? Perhaps you or your child are worried about whether Houston braces treatment will be painful, especially if either of you has heard horror stories or believes some common myths. In this article, we will address some more myths about dental braces and explain the facts so you can feel more confident before you begin your South Houston braces treatment. 

Myth #1: If Houston Braces Move My Teeth, They Must Hurt

We aren’t surprised that this myth is still commonly shared today, since the idea of metal pushing your teeth sounds like it would hurt. However, today braces are far thinner and lighter in weight than they used to be, which has greatly minimized discomfort over the years. Now, regardless of if you choose Invisalign Clear Aligners, ceramic dental braces, or metal dental braces, there will be some minor soreness when you first get them since your teeth aren’t used to them. This will only be temporary though and shouldn’t be intolerable. If it comes down to it, this discomfort is nothing that icing and possibly over-the-counter painkillers can’t alleviate.

After a few days, you will adjust and feel just fine.

Myth #2: After Houston Braces, Your Teeth Will Be Straight For the Rest of Your Life

Although braces do straighten your teeth, all that hard work can be reversed if you don’t follow our recommendations for caring for and maintaining your new smile. This is where retainers come in. Retainers are an orthodontic appliance that must be worn after you finish your Houston braces treatment. We typically tell our patients to wear them all day and all night–except when they’re eating–for at least a year. Afterward, we recommend wearing them every night. This ensures your teeth remain straight and don’t easily become misaligned again.

Myth #3: You Have to Give Up a Lot of Your Favorite Foods When Wearing Dental Braces or Invisalign Clear Aligners

We do recommend you avoid sugary, sticky foods and drinks, as well as crunchy snacks, as this will minimize your risk of cavities and your risk of breaking your braces. Otherwise, you can eat as you normally would, but definitely take smaller bites of your food.

Ready for Houston Braces? Schedule a Consultation With Our South Houston Family Dentist

If you think it’s time for you or your child to begin South Houston braces treatment, then please book an appointment with us so we can begin with a consultation to develop the appropriate treatment plan.

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