Having braces must have felt like an eternity, but once you get them removed you will see just how worth it those two or three years were. However, for many years to come, you have to keep your teeth looking as beautiful as they did the day you got your braces removed. This will ensure that your investment was worth it and that you can properly enjoy your new smile. Here are ways our South Houston dentists recommend you take care of your teeth following the removal of your dental braces.

Wear Your Retainer

This is the most important thing you can–and must–do after you’ve completed your Houston braces treatment. None of our patients like to hear this, but upon completion of your treatment, you must wear another orthodontic appliance known as a dental retainer.

For adults who wore dental braces, their teeth will tend to shift back to their original position, causing their malocclusion to come back since there are no more wires or brackets to hold your teeth in place. For kids who wore braces, they still have some growing to do and so do their jaws, which means their teeth will also shift again. Retainers are designed to prevent this.

Our South Houston dentist often recommends our patients wear their retainers all day and night, except for when it’s time to eat and when it’s time to brush your teeth and floss, for about a year after they got their braces off. This extra time will ensure your teeth fully settle into the soft tissue in your mouth so they won’t shift again. Once the year is up, we may instruct you to wear your retainer at night time only.

Keep Up a Good Daily Cleaning Routine

Now that your teeth are straight, we’re certain you would like to show off your new smile more and more. To keep it looking pristine, we recommend the following:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also make sure to replace your brush every few months, once it looks frayed.
  • Floss every night to ensure nothing is stuck between your teeth. This will be even easier now that you don’t have any brackets or wires in the way.
  • Use a fluoridated mouthwash to offer extra protection against cavities while also strengthening your enamel and freshening your breath.
  • Clean your retainer every day before you put it on again when it’s time to go to bed. This will ensure that it is always clean and that there are no bacteria that will get stuck on or behind your teeth.

Centra Dental in South Houston Wants to Give You Your Best Smile

By wearing your retainer as directed, practicing exceptional dental hygiene every day, and coming in for your semiannual routine dental cleanings, you are on your way to a beautiful, healthy smile for life. Now that it’s a new year, please book an appointment with us so we can clean your teeth and answer any more questions you may have about dental care after Houston braces treatment.

Getting dental braces is very exciting, but it can also be daunting for some, especially with so many rumors and myths that are believed. Our South Houston dentists gathered some of the most common myths in order to offer our professional input and dispel these myths.

Myths and Facts Our South Houston Patients Should Be Aware Of


Myth #1: Your Braces Will Rust Over Time

While we understand why this might be a commonly held belief about braces since water and metal never mix, our Houston braces are made out of titanium, which is biocompatible and does not rust.

Myth #2: You Can’t Play An Instrument While Wearing Braces

This is a wide held worry amongst our teenaged patients who are in the school band or orchestra, especially if they intend on applying for scholarships to university. However, there is no need to worry. Although it may feel a bit awkward to play at first, it is still perfectly doable after adjusting and they will not inhibit your ability. 

Myth #3: After Braces, Your Teeth Will Be Straight Forever and You Don’t Have to Take Extra Precaution

It is true that braces will successfully straighten your teeth, but your teeth will only remain straight if you wear your retainer as directed by our Houston braces dentists. Not doing so will make it very easy for your teeth to shift back to their previous position.

Myth #4: Braces Won’t Work For Adults

While we do recommend children and teenagers get braces at a young age, adults also benefit from braces. Their treatment may take a bit longer, but braces are just as effective at straightening their teeth and giving them a healthy smile.

Myth #5: Playing Sports While Wearing Braces is Dangerous

Much like Myth #2, our teenaged patients who play sports and plan on applying for scholarships may worry about how dental braces will impact them. The good news is that student athletes can still play sports–they just need to make sure to wear a fitted mouthguard.

Myth #6: Rubber Bands Aren’t As Necessary as Dentists Make Them Seem

Unfortunately, many patients don’t see how rubber bands work, since they are so small and seemingly insignificant. However, they are a crucial part of your dental braces treatment, so it is imperative you wear them as directed, otherwise, your treatment will take longer.

Ready For Dental Braces? Schedule a Houston Braces Consultation

If you plan on getting dental braces soon, please book an appointment so we can conduct our initial consultation and develop a treatment plan. We look forward to further educating you and helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

Invisalign Clear Aligners have certainly risen in popularity for our teenaged patients, as well as our adult patients since it initially emerged in the early 2000’s. Although metal dental braces are effective on all types of malocclusions–minor or severe, that isn’t to say that clear aligners are not just as effective for a minor malocclusion, which is the technical term we use to refer to a “bad bite”. Here is what our South Houston family dentists recommend in order for our Invisalign patients to get the most out of their treatment.

Remove Your Clear Aligners When It’s Time to Eat

Invisalign is known as a more 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 that we fuse to the teeth with a dental cement. Because clear aligners are made of plastic, you should not chew with them.

However, just because you don’t chew with them does not mean you can eat whatever you want. On the contrary, each time a patient receives a new set of clear aligners, their teeth feel more tender, so it is imperative to avoid crunchy and chewy foods. This is especially crucial within the first 48 hours of wearing new aligners.

Our South Houston Dentist Patients Need to be Responsible

Invisalign must be worn for 20-22 hours a day, which includes the time you spend sleeping overnight. This helps ensure that your teeth are constantly being shifted into the necessary position to create a straight smile. Now, if you wear them as directed and maintain exceptional dental hygiene, you may be able to wear them a little less by only skipping them on special occasions, such as a school dance or a wedding.

What is exceptional hygiene? Essentially, you need to take care to brush your teeth after every meal and snack to ensure no food gets stuck in between your teeth and held in by the aligners. Additionally, flossing nightly is crucial, and more dental cleanings may be necessary.

This all requires a lot of discipline, which is why some younger patients may instead wear metal or ceramic dental braces. In order to wear your Invisalign clear aligners as directed, you have to ensure you don’t lose them, misplace them, or become a little too comfortable to a point where you wear them less than the time our South Houston dentists recommend.

Centra’s South Houston Family Dentists Want to Ensure Your Treatment Goes as Planned

If you are planning to start Invisalign, or have recently begun treatment, please book a Houston braces appointment with us so we can examine your teeth and further explain a more detailed treatment plan. We want to ensure Invisalign gives you the straight, healthy smile you deserve.

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.


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.

Although we get many adult patients who seek Houston braces treatment, children are our most typical patient. Many parents start asking us what is the youngest age at which their child can get braces. Although this may vary case by case, here is what our South Houston family dentists recommend.

The Youngest Age For Houston Braces Patients

Dental braces treatment usually takes place between the ages of 8 and 14 because, at this time, most kids have lost all or most of their baby teeth. That said, the best time for your child to get dental braces greatly depends on how severe their malocclusion (bad bite) is. Some children may need braces for longer due to a really bad bite, so in some cases we may recommend they start closer to 8. Other children may not have as bad a case, so they can wait a bit longer and get fitted for braces closer to age 14.

Get an Early Orthodontic Evaluation at Centra Dental

Because everyone's mouth is different, we understand that a ballpark range of ages may not be the exact answer you were looking for. Because of this, our South Houston family dentists like to recommend that parents bring their child in for an orthodontic evaluation when the child is about 7 years old. Even though some children still have some of their baby teeth at 7, our trained dentists are able to draw conclusions on how their teeth and jaw will develop. At this evaluation, we will be able to tell when your child should get braces and if interceptive treatment will be beneficial. Interceptive treatment involves using dental appliances to complete early treatment if a patient’s malocclusion is one that can worsen the longer it’s left untreated.

Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston

Children are either excited about braces or dreading the experience, but dental braces today are much lighter in weight and more subtle in appearance 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 in the future. If your child is reaching age 7, please schedule an appointment with us to begin discussing their treatment.

We’ve previously discussed the best time to get braces. When you have decided it’s time to get braces, you will first want to schedule a Houston braces consultation with us. We understand that many kids and adults wish they knew more information when deciding whether or not dental braces were right for them, so here is what patients of all ages may expect throughout the course of their treatment.

The Initial Orthodontic Consultation for Houston Braces

When you come in for your braces consultation, we will gather x-rays, photographs, and molds of your teeth. After our South Houston dentists have taken the time to review the information, we will meet with you to discuss our evaluation and what it means for you. We will explain what we have found in your teeth and address certain concerns regarding the current alignment of your teeth, and the current state of your gums and bite.

We will go into detail about whether metal braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign Clear Aligners are the most suitable method for your particular case, as well as educate you about each phase of your treatment. Throughout your progress, we will continue to explain each phase of your treatment and answer any questions you may have as they come to mind.

Your First Houston Braces Fitting

After we have completed our consultation with you, we will schedule a future appointment where you get your braces. Here is the step-by-step guide to your fitting.

  • Step 1: Our South Houston family dentist will thoroughly clean and dry your teeth.
  • Step 2: We will apply an orthodontic glue to your teeth and attach the brackets, which will either be small metal or ceramic squares that we affix to the front of your teeth one at a time.
  • Step 3: Lastly, we will place the archwire over your brackets so our dental braces can do their job.

This process usually takes about 1-2 hours and your mouth may feel slightly sore afterward. This is normal and will gradually fade away over a week or so.

What Comes Next?

Over the course of the next few weeks and months, you will get used to having braces and barely notice them until it's time to tighten them.

Each time we tighten your braces, we do this to ensure they are guiding your teeth to the correct placement. You will feel a bit sore after these appointments, but the soreness will not last as long as it did after your initial fitting. Before you know it, you will have straight teeth and a confident smile.

Schedule an Appointment With Our South Houston Family Dentist

Whether you are an adult getting braces, or the parent of a teenager who is about to undergo this treatment, you can rest assured we will provide education and support the entire time. If you are considering dental braces, please schedule an appointment so we can complete our consultation. We look forward to giving you a beautiful smile.

The month is coming to a close, as is the year, and so is a memorable decade. Using your dental insurance now is a bigger deal than ever. It’s time to use your dental benefits while you still can.

Your Insurance Benefits Will Likely Expire on December 31st

Most insurance plans correspond to the calendar year, which means you and your family only have a few more days to take advantage of your dental insurance coverage. Most plans offer majority or complete coverage for dental cleanings, which we recommend you schedule with us twice a year. By offering coverage, your provider encourages you to come to our South Houston dentists so we can examine your mouth. When we closely examine your mouth, we can also spot any developing problems in your teeth, as well as the earliest hints of other health problems, such as diabetes and even different cancers.

Additionally, dental insurance plans also typically offer coverage for any treatments that can prevent your oral health condition from worsening. For example, dentures and partials are essential for our patients who are missing their permanent teeth. They can help improve our patients’ facial structure, help them speak more clearly, and help them eat all the healthy foods they need to. This means that they are crucial to overall health, so it’s likely that your insurance plan will offer some coverage for them. Similarly, dental crowns, bridges, and fillings help protect and preserve teeth that have experienced severe decay. By protecting the damaged tooth or teeth, crowns, bridges, and fillings can help protect the remaining healthy teeth, so there is a good chance your dental insurance plan offers coverage for these procedures as well.

Get Your Money’s Worth in Dental Benefits

Because your benefits expire on the 31st, your remaining benefits will not roll over and be added to next year’s benefits. Most dental insurance plans require a premium and/or a deductible before your benefits kick in, and these out-of-pocket costs will go to waste if you don’t redeem your benefits.

Most of Centra Dental’s Services are Covered by Your Dental Insurance

We want our south Houston patients to use all of their Dental benefits so they can be exceptionally healthy. This is why we are in-network with several insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Lincoln, United, and much more. If you have any outstanding treatment or dental check-up please book an appointment with us so we can schedule a visit with you before the end of the year.

Did you know that your dental insurance benefits reset each year? Most dental insurance plans last for the calendar year, meaning you will use all of your unused benefits after December 31, 2019. It’s also important to be aware that what is left of your benefits does not carry into the new year, so you will have to pay your insurance premium once again in order to gain access to new benefits. There is still some time left before your benefits expire, so here are just some of the services you should prioritize before the deadline.

Dental Services to Take Advantage of at Centra Dental in South Houston

Dental Cleanings

Most dental insurance plans offer some or complete coverage for two dental cleanings a year because they are the most important treatment you can get to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you haven’t received a cleaning in over six months, now is the perfect time. When you come in for your dental cleaning at Centra, we do a deep cleaning while carefully checking your teeth and gums. Many patients are surprised to find out that plenty of illnesses and diseases first show signs in the mouth, so we can catch the earliest symptoms and act accordingly.

Major Dental Treatments

Some treatments, such as dentures, partials, dental crowns, and dental bridges, may take at least two visits to complete. Now is the perfect time to get started on those treatments, especially if you have already met your deductible. A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay in treatments before your dental benefits kick in. Once it’s paid, your coverage will take care of a portion of your treatment costs. This is ideal for these bigger treatments you may have been holding off on.

Centra Dental in South Houston Wants You to Enjoy Your Benefits

Don’t let your insurance premium or deductible go to waste. If you would like to receive any of these treatments before December 31st, please book an appointment with us. We will gladly fit you in so you can have maximize your benefits and have a healthy smile to show for it.

When working, most people receive dental benefits through their employers but may forget about the premium that both employer and employee must pay in order to keep a dental insurance plan. This premium is paid upfront, so the money is completely wasted if you don’t visit the dentist enough throughout the year. If you don’t go to the dentist before the end of the year, then you will lose the chance to use your benefits.

How Do Your South Houston Dental Benefits Work?

There are different kinds of dental insurance plans, each with different benefits. "Benefits" is the term we use to refer to coverage for different dental treatments, meaning your insurance will pay a portion of your treatments. Which dental insurance plan and benefits you get depends on your employer. However, most plans will offer substantial coverage for your routine dental cleanings, which should take place every 6 months. Other benefits you may have include coverage for root canals, crowns or bridges, dentures, and more, but this will depend on the plan you buy.

Dental Benefits Will Expire by the End of the Year

Insurance providers set a deadline of December 31st of each year. If you do not use your benefits by then, there is no roll-over, so you are unable to save multiple treatments for the next year when your insurance and premium reset. On the other hand, there is still some time to take advantage of your benefits. If you or your family have any of the aforementioned treatments outstanding, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment with our South Houston dentists to get those treatments completed. We want to make sure you get your money’s worth and can take advantage of all the benefits you have so you can be as healthy as possible.

Centra Dental Accepts Many In-Network Insurance Plans

We want our south Houston patients to get the most out of their dental insurance so they can take the best care of their teeth. This is why we make sure we are in-network with several insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Lincoln, United, and much more. If you have an outstanding treatment or dental check-up please book an appointment with us so we can see you before the end of the year.

Your dental insurance comes with benefits. These benefits are available in the form of coverage for a variety of dental procedures and treatments. However, it’s important to use your coverage before the end of the year, or else you and your family will lose it.

Dental Insurance Benefits For Your Family

Most insurance plans offer impressive coverage for procedures and treatments that are preventative in order to maintain proper dental health. These procedures typically include your dental cleanings, and your insurance covers two a year for everyone in your family. Your annual x-rays are most likely also covered as preventative care.

Other procedures, such as dental crowns, may also have substantial coverage with your insurance plan because they protect and strengthen a damaged tooth so that it doesn’t need to be extracted. Missing teeth can negatively impact your jaw and even your facial structure if not addressed in a timely manner.

Understand Your Dental Insurance Limitations

Most insurance companies may set a limit on how much they will pay out per year, per person. If you haven’t used their money’s worth of treatments by December 31, there is no rollover.

In addition to knowing your insurance’s limit, it’s also important to understand the deductible. With a deductible, your insurance will not offer coverage until you’ve spent the amount of your deductible. After it’s been paid, your coverage is good for the calendar year. Essentially, you’re paying a premium, so you must use your coverage benefits in order to get the most out of the money you have paid. 

Don’t Procrastinate on Treatments

We highly recommend that now that it’s December, you don’t avoid essential dental treatments. In doing so you not only waste money by having to deal with paying an all-new deductible to regain your benefits, but you also lose out on the opportunity to have your treatments at least partially paid for by your insurance. Not using your benefits before the end of the year also puts your overall dental health at risk by avoiding necessary treatments such as dental crowns, bridges, or root canals.

Centra Dental Accepts Different Insurances For Your Family Dental Needs

We want our south Houston patients to get the most out of their insurance so they can take the best care of their teeth. This is why we accept many in-network dental insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Lincoln, United, and much more. If you and your family have any outstanding dental treatments, then please book an appointment with us so we can schedule a visit with you before the end of the year.