Displaying items by tag: Houston dentist

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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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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Many of our Houston braces patients are children and young teenagers. Dental braces are essential for good dental health and a healthy bite, otherwise, a variety of problems may occur if you don’t get braces. Prior to treatment, parents often ask our South Houston family dentist what age their child needs to be beforehand. Here is what we advise. 

Don’t Wait Until Adulthood to Get Houston Braces

Although it is perfectly acceptable to undergo dental braces treatment as an adult, treatment often lasts longer than it does in children. This is because children’s mouths and heads are still growing, so their teeth are more moldable. Most Houston braces treatments take place between ages 8 and 14 because, by this age, kids should have lost most or all of their baby teeth, but depending on the severity of their malocclusion, we may want to start earlier and set a timeline for you. For example, if their bite is really severe and treatment will take 3 years, you may wish to start at age 10 so that they can be done with their dental braces treatment by age 13 or 14. 

Get an Early Houston Braces Evaluation

In many cases, especially if we have been treating you and your child for years and have been able to see how your child’s teeth develop, we might recommend your child comes in for an orthodontic evaluation when they’re around 7 years old. Our trained family dentists will be able to draw conclusions on how the teeth and jaw will develop and if/how braces treatment will help. We will also be able to determine whether interceptive treatment will be necessary, in the event that your child’s malocclusion is one that will likely worsen over time. This involves using orthodontic appliances as an early treatment. In some cases, there won’t be a need for Houston braces once the interceptive treatment has concluded. 

Houston Braces For Kids at Centra Dental in South Houston

Dental braces today are much more subtle and comfortable than they used to be, so regardless of which age your child begins treatment, we will determine the type of braces that work best for them to achieve a healthy, straight, and beautiful smile. If you think it might be time for your child to get braces, please book an appointment so we can begin with our consultation.

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Can your teeth be as clean when wearing dental braces as they are without them? Absolutely. In fact, when you undergo your Houston braces treatment, your teeth will likely be cleaner than you would have ever imagined. You may have known how to take care of your teeth prior to braces, but when wearing either metal braces, ceramic dental braces, or Invisalign, your routine will change. This is what our South Houston family dentists recommend to ensure your teeth remain in pristine condition.

Brush Your Teeth More Often

It is crucial that you brush your teeth more often when you are undergoing Houston braces treatment because the surfaces of your teeth are no longer fully exposed, thanks to the plastic aligners covering them or the metal or ceramic brackets glued to the surface of your teeth. Our South Houston dentists recommend that you carry a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that you can always have a toothbrush handy, even when you’re running errands or are at school or work. 

Rather than only brushing twice a day, we recommend that you first do a thorough oral rinse after each meal and then brush your teeth after each of them. Doing so ensures there is no food left between your teeth, protecting you against decay. We also recommend swishing a fluoridated, alcohol-free mouthwash before bed once your teeth are well-brushed. This will encourage stronger, healthier teeth while you undergo your Houston braces treatment. Yes, it may be extra work, but your teeth will thank you. 

Gently Floss Every Day

Nowadays there are several different kinds of floss that are dental braces-friendly available on the market. You must floss your teeth every night before bed, just like you did before your dental braces. While we understand it may be harder to floss with braces, flossing keeps your teeth squeaky clean and healthy. If you are unclear on how to floss effectively, please let us know. Our team of dentists will happily show you.

Visit Centra Dental in South Houston For Your Dental Check-Up Every Six Months

Much like how your dental cleanings are important when you don't have braces, they are even more important if you are currently undergoing braces treatment so that we can keep an eye on your progress and your health. If you are wearing Houston braces, please book an appointment today so that, together, we can give you the straight, beautiful smile you deserve.

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Monday, 13 January 2020 23:01

Can Adults Get Houston Dental Braces Too?

Although a majority of our South Houston dental patients that undergo dental braces treatment are children, we get a fair amount of adult patients, as well. Just because getting braces earlier may be better, does not mean getting braces later is out of the question. Adults can, and should, wear braces as well if they have a malocclusion.

Malocclusions Affect People of All Ages

Different malocclusions warrant different Houston braces treatments. If you had a malocclusion (bad bite) as a kid, then chances are it did not go away when you became an adult. If left unaddressed, malocclusions will cause multiple problems for your dental health. Such problems include headaches, tooth decay, gum disease, speech impairments, and difficulty chewing and digesting. Dental braces help correct these issues, even if the correction takes a little longer.

Centra Dental Offers Multiple Houston Braces Options for Adults

Today, dental braces are much more subtle and lightweight than they used to be, so adults and teenagers alike can wear them without feeling as self-conscious. We offer metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign to suit different types of malocclusions, as well as different patient preferences.

Invisalign

For adults with minor malocclusions, Invisalign may be favorable as the most flexible and subtle treatment option because it helps adults feel less worried about a child-like appearance.

Ceramic Dental Braces

On the other hand, adults who suffer severe malocclusions may benefit from either metal braces or ceramic braces. Ceramic braces are the next most subtle treatment option, as both the brackets and the archwire blend in with the color of the teeth more easily. They work effectively on mild to moderate cases.

Metal Dental Braces

Metal braces, while more subtle and comfortable than they used to be, are still a bit noticeable. However, they work on all malocclusions, especially on the more severe cases. Our metal braces can move teeth vertically, align teeth that are higher than they should be, and also rotate teeth.

Centra Dental in South Houston Helps Adults Achieve a Healthy, Confident Smile

If you are an adult hoping to straighten your teeth, please book an appointment with us so our dentists can complete your orthodontic evaluation. We will address your concerns and help you decide on the best treatment plan for you.

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Monday, 11 November 2019 17:04

Ceramic Houston Braces for Adults

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. 

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Tuesday, 05 November 2019 16:00

Houston Braces to Correct Overbites and Underbites

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. 

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With the new school year just beginning, many parents are still scrambling to complete their back-to-school-to-do lists. If you are a parent who is invested in their child’s academic success, you may want to add bringing them to see our kids dentist to your list, as a recent study from the University of Southern California found a link between oral health and classroom success.

While this link may come as a surprise to many parents, the research from the study shows that toothaches, cavities and other painful dental problems can cause difficulty focusing and concentrating, thus resulting in absences and poor performance. Furthermore, painful cavities can lead to difficulties in eating and speaking, resulting in self-esteem issues.

Preventive Care From Our Southwest Houston Dental Clinic

The best way to help your children avoid these problematic and painful issues is through preventive care. Our Houston dental office recommends bringing your child to see our kids dentists twice a year. Visiting our Southwest Houston dental clinic for preventive care has the added bonus of being able to ask our kids dentists for tips on establishing good dental hygiene habits.

Visiting Our Kids Dentists Isn’t The Only Preventive Measure

Dental check-ups at our Houston dental clinic are just one aspect of maintaining good oral health. It’s just as important your child practices proper dental hygiene habits. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and avoiding sugary snacks are dental habits every kid should be practicing.

Having good oral hygiene develops self-discipline and taking pride in oneself, qualities beneficial to a child’s academic performance. Contact Our Southwest Houston Dental Office Here at Centra Dental, our kids dentists understand that having a healthy mouth greatly contributes to a positive sense of self in your child, resulting in better performance in all facets of your child’s life – including academics. If you live in Southwest Houston or the surrounding areas, contact our Houston dental office today to setup an appointment.

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It's that time of year again! Kids across the Greater Houston area have either already returned to school or are about to. With the hustle and bustle of the school year just around the corner, it’s important that you bring your kid to our Southwest Houston dental office for a checkup as early as possible.

Why Visiting Our Kids Dentists Is So Important During This Time

Children often miss school due to dental issues such as abscessed teeth or infection. The best way to avoid missing school because of dental issues is through prevention. Here at Centra Dental, our kids dentists are ready to make sure your kid goes into the school year with great oral health.

Many schools require students to receive health screenings before they head back to class. Furthermore, if your child is entering the public school system for the first time, it is even more essential that they have a clean bill of health.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends parents start bringing their children to see the kids dentist at the age of one. We understand that this is not always possible, as a child’s teeth may not have started to come in yet. Therefore, our Houston dentists recommend bringing them into our Southwest Houston dental clinic at least by the age of two or three.

One of the most common dental issues found in kids are cavities. When cavities are not taken care of in a timely manner, they quickly can create serious infections or abscesses that require a trip to the emergency room or hospitalization.

Children with teeth issues can develop problems with confidence and self-esteem. This can often lead to problems with confidence and self-esteem. They see their friends with nice looking teeth while having issues with their own, thus causing them to become self-conscious about their mouth and not wanting to smile.

Protect Your Kids Oral Health At Our Houston Dental Clinic

Our Houston dental office is committed to your kid’s oral health and wellness. Our kids dentists want to give you peace of mind in knowing your child is entering the school year in good health. When it comes to taking control of your kid's oral health, the sooner the better. Therefore, contact our Southwest Houston dental office today to set up an appointment.

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Oral health is imperative to your child’s overall wellbeing, as a healthy mouth goes hand-in-hand with a healthy child. Unfortunately, cavities are one of the most common issues that negatively affect our children’s oral health. In fact, cavities are five times more likely to be found in our nation’s children than asthma.

Cavities occur when bacteria and food are not properly brushed away, causing acid to form on the tooth. The acid begins to soften the tooth’s enamel until a hole — or cavity — develops. Alarmingly, more than half of all children have cavities by the second grade! This is why here at Centra Dental, our kids dentists stress to parents the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth in their kids.

Tips For Preventing Cavities In Your Kids

Teach good oral hygiene habits early. Once your child is old enough to brush their teeth, make sure they brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpast. Consistent use of fluoride strengthens enamel, which in turn makes it difficult for acid to penetrate. Although most toothpastes contain fluoride, toothpaste alone cannot fully protect your kid’s teeth from cavities. Therefore, it’s important for you to remind your child to floss regularly as well.

While some towns fluoridate their tap water, some do not. If your town’s tap water is not fluoridated or if your family uses purified water, ask our kids dentists for fluoride supplements. Also, keep in mind that too much fluoride can cause teeth to discolor. Therefore, check with our Houston dental office before supplementing.

Limit or avoid certain foods. Sugary foods, such as cookies and candy (especially sticky gummies and taffies) can erode enamel and cause cavities. In addition, sugary drinks are just as bad for your child’s enamel. Therefore, if your kid eats and drinks any of these things, make sure they brush their teeth or at the very least, rinse their mouth to wash away the sugar. Have them do the same if they take a syrupy medicine, as these are often sweetened with sugar to make them more palatable to kids.

See Our Kids Dentists Regularly

In addition to the aforementioned tips, bringing your child into our Houston dental office to see our kids dentists for regular teeth cleanings and checkups are a big part of avoiding cavities. During these visits to our Southwest Houston dental office, our Houston dentists will help with teaching your kid the importance of good oral hygiene, while answering any questions your may have. We are committed to the health and wellness of your child, so contact us today to set up an appointment.

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