Over the last decade, Invisalign Clear Aligners have risen in popularity among our South Houston family dentist patients. Metal Houston braces may work for all types of bad bites (malocclusions), but Invisalign can be just as effective at straightening your teeth, so long as our South Houston dentist recommends Invisalign as an effective treatment for you. Here is how you can make sure Invisalign works for you as best as it possibly can.

Remove Your Clear Aligners At Meal Times

Invisalign Clear Aligners are a highly flexible orthodontic treatment, so it’s no surprise that one of the greatest perks that come with Invisalign is that the clear aligners are removable, unlike the metal Houston braces our South Houston dentist also offers. 

In addition to removing your aligners when it’s time to eat, we also recommend avoiding crunchy or excessively chewy foods, as your teeth will temporarily be tender and sore each time you get a new set of Invisalign.

Brush Your Teeth More Often

Much like with regular dental braces, it’s important to brush your teeth after each snack and meal to ensure no food gets stuck in between your teeth, as this gets in the way of your Invisalign clear aligner trays and disrupts how they move your teeth. Flossing nightly is also crucial so you don’t let any food sit in between your teeth and cause cavities.

Wear Invisalign As Directed By Our South Houston Dentists

Invisalign must be worn for 20-22 hours a day, which includes the time you spend sleeping. This helps ensure that your teeth are constantly being shifted into the necessary position to create a straight smile that will last a long time. If you wear them as directed and maintain proper dental hygiene, you may be able to skip the Invisalign on a special occasion.

Our South Houston Family Dentists Want to Ensure Your Invisalign Treatment Is Successful

If you are planning to start Invisalign, please book an appointment with us so we can examine your teeth and determine an appropriate treatment plan. We want to ensure Invisalign gives you the straight, healthy smile you deserve for life.

When your child is at or near the age of 10, dental braces may be considered. When you and your child come visit our South Houston family dentist for their teeth cleaning, we will be able to tell you when it may be a good time to begin Houston braces treatment. While your kid may be excited to wear dental braces and get a beautiful smile, we understand there may be a sensation of overwhelm when it comes to all the steps involved in treatment. Because of this, we have put together this guide on what to expect with Houston braces.

Phase 1: Your First Houston Braces Consultation

Before getting dental braces, your child must come in for a consultation in which we will advise them on what treatment may work best for them. Most braces dentists conduct their consultation in two parts: 

  • Gathering materials
    • We will gather x-rays, photographs, and/or digital scans or molds of your child’s teeth
  • Evaluating the materials
    • Once gathered, our South Houston braces dentist will study the material and then share our findings with you and examine the bite. At this point, we may recommend a proper treatment plan, including how long to wear dental braces for and what type of dental braces will best meet your child’s needs–ceramic braces, metal braces, or Invisalign.
    • We will also address any concerns you may have about treatment.

Phase 2: Getting Houston Braces

After the consultation, we will schedule a future appointment with your child so that our South Houston dentist can place the braces on your child’s teeth. Here’s how this appointment works:

  • Step 1: Thoroughly clean and dry the teeth so that the fitting goes smoothly
  • Step 2: Apply orthodontic bonding glue to the teeth and attach the brackets, which are either small metal or ceramic pieces that we affix to the front of the teeth one at a time. After each bracket is applied, we will utilize a curing light to dry the glue and move onto the next tooth.
  • Step 3: Place the wire across the brackets. This is what applies gentle pressure to the teeth so they gradually move toward the correct alignment

What Comes Next?

Over the next few weeks and months, your child will get used to wearing braces. They’ll barely notice them until it’s time to see our South Houston dentist again to tighten them, which we will do at predetermined periods of time that are based on your child’s personal treatment plan. Tightening the wire helps ensure the teeth are continuously moving where they should. Some slight soreness is to be expected after the initial fitting and after we tighten your braces, but it is easily manageable and will fade in a short period of time.

In Need Of Houston Braces?

If it’s time for your child to get braces, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so we can begin with the consultation. Rest assured that we will answer any and all questions and ensure treatment goes smoothly. We look forward to embracing your smile!

Most patients who undergo dental braces treatment mistakenly believe that once the braces are off, there’s nothing else to do besides show off that new smile for the rest of their life. You can get to that point, but only when some extra measures are taken.

Remember That Your Teeth Can Still Shift After Houston Braces Treatment Is Complete

Dental braces–whether in the form of metal dental braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign–work because they are constantly applying pressure to your teeth and pushing them in the direction they need to go in order to become straight. When your dental braces come off, your teeth no longer have that pressure guiding them, which means they can shift and undo all the work your investment did.

Aside from natural shifting, there are some situations that can otherwise contribute to your teeth becoming crooked again, such as:

  • Teeth grinding
    • A condition in which many of our South Houston family dentist patients may grind their teeth or clench them tightly. Over time, this will cause your teeth to become crooked again. Some retainers help prevent this, but otherwise, a nightguard can help as well.
  • Wisdom Teeth
    • Wisdom tooth removal is very common these days. Wisdom teeth are extra teeth that a patient may have which, if not removed, will start to crowd the teeth and force their way above the gum line, which will push all your other teeth in different directions.

Protect Your Teeth After Houston Braces

In order to make certain the time and money you invested in wearing Houston braces wasn’t all for naught, we ask that you wear orthodontic retainers. Usually, we will recommend our South Houston family dentist patients wear retainers 24/7 for about a year, with the exception of meal times and brushing your teeth. This is because it takes roughly a year for your teeth to settle into the soft tissues in your mouth. By settling into the tissues of your mouth, this will help your teeth preserve their new alignment. 

Different Retainers For Different South Houston Braces Patients

At our South Houston family dentist office, we know that every patient and every bite is different. Depending on your particular case, we may recommend bonded retainers, traditional wire retainers, or transparent plastic orthodontic retainers. If you are nearing the end of your Houston braces treatment, please book an appointment with us so we can get you fitted for a retainer that will keep your smile straight and healthy.

Over 4 million people in the U.S. wear some form of dental braces. In fact, 25% of these Americans are adults, which makes Houston braces suitable for everyone. Here are the basics of Houston braces to prepare you and/or your child for your future treatment.

Why Get Houston Braces In The First Place

Contrary to popular belief, Houston braces are not purely cosmetic. Undergoing dental braces treatment helps correct issues associated with a “bad bite” (malocclusion) such as an overbite or underbite, crowded teeth, or extra teeth. These conditions make it hard to practice good dental hygiene, may cause speech problems, and may even make it hard to chew and eat safely. The cosmetic appeal of straight teeth is simply a bonus that our patients get to enjoy.

The Initial Houston Braces Consultation

Before getting Houston braces, you must first come into our South Houston family dentist office so we can examine your teeth and ask about any difficulties they may be causing you. With this consultation, we will be able to design a custom treatment plan, including what type of braces will work best and how long you should wear them. With our state-of-the-art technology, we are able to use 3D modeling to demonstrate how your teeth will shift throughout treatment.

Types of Houston Braces 

At our South Houston dentist office, we take pride in offering different kinds of braces that meet different needs. We offer Invisalign for mild cases, ceramic braces for moderate cases, and metal dental braces for severe cases. Which kind of dental braces we recommend will depend on your particular case.

Paying For Houston Dental Braces

Because dental braces aren't strictly cosmetic, we believe they should be accessible to all, which is why we offer braces for as low as $99 a month. We are also in-network with several different insurance plans so healthy teeth don’t have to break the bank.

Our South Houston Family Dentists Look Forward To Embracing Your Smile

With our passion for healthy teeth and beautiful smiles, our South Houston dentist is proud to offer dental braces for children and adults. If you are considering getting dental braces, please book an appointment so we can begin with a consultation and evaluation. We look forward to welcoming you to our office and giving you a smile you can wear confidently. 

After Houston braces, our patients have to wear orthodontic retainers in order to retain the new alignment of their teeth. There are several kinds of retainers available, each with different pros and cons. However, they all have one thing in common besides protecting your teeth from shifting again: they need to be cleaned. 

Why Your Retainers Should Be Cleaned

Because retainers are worn in your mouth after Houston braces, they can easily collect whatever is on your teeth, such as plaque, bacteria, and tartar. If you aren’t adamant about cleaning your orthodontic retainers, they may start to smell or taste really bad, which is unpleasant for you and may steer you away from wearing your retainers responsibly.

Bacteria are usually found in our mouths, which is why we have to keep them clean, but if illness-causing bacteria such as streptococcus is left to accumulate on your retainers, you may get sick with an infection.

How Should Retainers Be Cleaned?

Because every type of retainer is made of different materials, how you clean them will depend on this. However, here are some general tips and rules of thumb for each type.

Traditional Hawley Retainer and Transparent Removable Retainers

Brush your Hawley retainer or transparent retainer with lukewarm water after every meal with a soft toothbrush and be sure to brush your teeth as well, especially if you are in your first year after Houston braces. By brushing your teeth after every meal, you are ensuring no food particles get stuck in between your teeth and prevent your retainers from doing their job.

Consider asking our South Houston dentist at your next appointment if soaking your retainers in a special cleaning solution is an option. There are multiple options available, but we can recommend what works best for your retainers. We can also discuss how long you should soak them for, as you don’t want to soak them too long. Soaking Hawley retainers for too long may corrode the metal.

Bonded Permanent Retainers

Flossing is the best way to clean your bonded retainers, as they are fused to the teeth, so they cannot be removed and separately scrubbed. By flossing correctly, you will slide the thread between your teeth and around your bonded retainers. Our South Houston dentist will be more than happy to teach you the proper flossing technique. 

Visit Our South Houston Dentist To Learn More About Proper Retainer Care

If you are about to wear retainers or have been wearing them for some time, please book an appointment with us so we can check that you are taking proper care of your teeth and ensure that they have not shifted. We will help get you back on track to beautiful, straight teeth.


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

Brush Your Teeth More Often

First and foremost, it’s important to brush your teeth more often when you're undergoing Houston braces treatment. If you wear Invisalign Clear Aligners, you may be more prone to cavities if you don't brush your teeth enough because food can get stuck between your teeth and trapped in the aligners. When food is stuck between your teeth it poses as a barrier between the Invisalign trays and your natural teeth, impeding how Invisalign does its job.

Our South Houston dentists recommend that in addition to brushing twice daily, you also brush after each meal or snack you eat. This will help ensure no food particles get stuck in between your teeth, which not only allows Invisalign to do its job but also serves as a great preventative measure against cavities.

Our south Houston family dentists also recommend you carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you so you can always have a toothbrush handy. This way you can be sure to brush as often as needed.

Floss More Carefully

One of the benefits of Invisalign is that it’s removable, which makes flossing a lot easier than it would be if you wore metal Houston braces or ceramic Houston braces. Be sure to carefully floss every night before bed and even between meals to ensure that your clear aligners aren’t obstructed by anything. 

Do Thorough Oral Rinses

There are special oral rinses that our South Houston dentist patients who wear metal or ceramic dental braces can benefit from. Our dentists recommend you use a fluoridated mouthwash before bed after you’ve finished brushing and flossing your teeth to encourage stronger, healthier teeth while you undergo Houston braces treatment. Using a fluoridated mouth rinse has been proven to protect against cavities and strengthen the enamel in our South Houston family dentist patients.

Our South Houston Braces Dentists Can Help You Maintain Proper Hygiene While Wearing Invisalign Clear Aligners

If you Are currently undergoing Invisalign treatment 10 please book an appointment so that we can complete a dental check-up. We will perform a thorough teeth cleaning and check that you’re maintaining adequate hygiene and health. We look forward to embracing your smile! 

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.

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.

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.

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.