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

The Pros and Cons of Manual Toothbrushes

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

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

The Pros and Cons of Electric Toothbrushes

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

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

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

Which Toothbrush do Our South Houston Dentists Recommend?

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

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.

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.

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.

You may be surprised to learn that good oral hygiene in your baby begins before their first tooth appears. Just because you don’t see any teeth in your baby’s mouth, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth begin to form in your baby’s mouth during the second trimester of pregnancy. In fact, your baby already has 20 primary teeth at birth, with some teeth fully developed in the jaw.</>

Here are a few tips from our Houston dentists on how to care for your young child or baby’s teeth:

• Before your baby starts teething, clear away any harmful bacteria in their mouth by wiping their gums with a clean, moist washcloth.

• When your baby begins to have teeth, use an infant toothbrush with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to brush them. You want to use such a small amount of toothpaste in order to minimize the amount your baby may swallow. Remember to use fluoride toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association's (ADA) seal of acceptance.

• At about age 2, teach your kid to spit while brushing. Do not give your child water to rinse out their mouth, as this increases the chances of them swallowing toothpaste.

• Once your child reaches 3 years old, increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste to about the size of a pea. Again, you want to minimize their chances of swallowing too much toothpaste.

• Before they are at least 8 years old, make sure to always supervise your kid when they brush, as before this age they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.

Reminder From Our Houston Kids Dentists: Practice Good Feeding Habits!

If good feeding habits are not practiced, even babies can develop tooth decay. For instance, putting a baby to sleep with a bottle can harm the baby's teeth, as sugars from juice or milk can remain on a baby's teeth for long periods of time. These sugars can eat away at the enamel, thus creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Babies with bottle mouth often have pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth. Severe cases of bottle mouth can develop cavities that require extraction of their front baby teeth.

Start Off Right With A Visit To Our Southwest Houston Dental Clinic

We recommend that you bring your child into our dental clinic in southwest Houston once they turn 1-year old. At this first visit, our kids dentist will conduct a mouth exam designed for babies and explain proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Visits to our Houston dental office allows our kids dentists to detect any problems early, while helping your kid get used to seeing the dentist. Our kids dentists are trained professionals in kids' oral health. Therefore, you can be sure your kid is in good hands. Contact our southwest Houston dental office today to set up an appointment.

For many, fear of going to the dentist is a real thing. In fact, approximately 10 to 20 percent of U.S. adults have dental anxiety. This fear can impact not just the condition of a person’s teeth and gums, but their overall health as well. That’s why it’s so important for parents to alleviate any fears of going to the dentist in their kids at a young age. The following tips will help ease your child’s anxieties and pave the way for stress-free visits to our southwest Houston dental office:

Bring Them To Our Kids Dentist Early In Life

Children should see a kids dentist as soon as their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. Bringing in your kids while they are still babies gets them familiar with the environment and procedures of our Houston dental clinic. In addition, starting dental visits at a young age not only benefits their oral health, but builds trust with our kids dentist as well.

Prepare Them For Their Visit To Our Houston Dental Office Ahead of Time

A great game to play with your child to help them get ready for their dental visit is “dentist”. Role-play with your child, and let them examine your teeth and pretend to clean them and vice versa. By playing “dentist" at home with your child, you can help them better understand what will happen when they arrive at our dental office.

Motivate Them By Offering Small Rewards For Listening To Our Kids Dentist

As a parent, you are aware that rewarding good behavior motivates kids to be cooperative. Offering a small reward such as: a new small toy, their favorite healthy snack, or extra playtime can go a long way in making sure your child behaves in the dental chair and listens to our kids dentist. Also, making their dental visit an excursion by going to the park or movie before or after seeing us can help get them excited about their dental visits.

Here at Centra Dental in southwest Houston, our Houston dentists are ready to work with you to help alleviate any anxieties your child may have about seeing the dentist. Call us today to set up an appointment.

Getting kids to take care of their teeth can sometimes be like, well, “pulling teeth”. When it comes to oral heath, some of the biggest challenges parents often face involve getting their kids to brush properly (if at all), floss daily, or to stay away from sugary drinks and snacks. Here are some pediatric dentistry tips from our southwest Houston dental office that encourage your kids to take better care of their teeth.

Encourage Your Kid to Choose Healthier Food Options

Food items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, cheese, and lean meats are better for your child’s teeth than cookies, candy, or chips. Unfortunately, kids often need a lot of persuasion to choose from the healthier options. Young children are also hesitant when it comes to eating food that is unfamiliar to them. Here are some suggestions from our kids dentists on how to make eating healthy fun:

• Include your kid in purchasing your food, and have them help in the preparation of it.

• Allow your child to bring their favorite stuffed animal or doll to the dinner table on certain occasions. Young children often become more willing to try unfamiliar food when they first “feed” it to their furry friend.

• Have healthy food options such as carrot sticks, apple slices, or cheese cubes ready to eat whenever they need a snack. When children are hungry, the last thing they want to do is have to wait for you to prepare their snacks. Having healthy options immediately ready to satiate their hunger goes a long way in creating healthy eating habits.

Get Them To Look Forward To Seeing Our Houston Dentists

Getting your child into the habit of visiting our dental clinic in southwest Houston contributes greatly to their oral health, as our kids dentists can help educate your child on the importance of taking care of their teeth, while encouraging them to practice good oral hygiene habits. Here are some tips to help make them look forward to seeing us each time:

• Start early, so your child sees visits to our southwest Houston dental clinic as a normal part of life. Our Houston dentists recommend that you bring your child into our dental office as soon as their first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday.

• Turn visits to our Houston dental office into fun excursions by going to the movies, the park, children’s museum, or some other fun place before of after their appointment.

• Before their appointment, read children’s books to your kid that talk about how going to the dentist is not only important, but fun as well.

Although encouraging kids to take better care of their oral health can often be challenging, our Houston dentists are here to help. Our priority is helping your child maintain a healthy mouth through good dental habits, while enjoying the process. Contact Centra Dental in southwest Houston today to set up an appointment.

Most two-year-old toddlers have never visited a dentist. In fact, only 25% of children have seen a kids dentist by the age of five. This fact is both surprising and disturbing, and it’s no wonder that the most common chronic childhood disease in the country is tooth decay.

We here at Centra Dental in southwest Houston strongly urge parents to stay on top of their child’s oral health. Pediatric dentistry is an important aspect of your child's health, as it has been proven that better oral health contributes to better overall health in a child.

Why Your Child Needs To See Our Kids Dentists ASAP

Beginning from when your child is just a baby, they are often exposed to food and liquids that can damage their oral health. Baby formula, certain foods, milk, and juice are all full of sugars that can promote tooth decay.

In addition, when young kids drink from baby bottles and sippy cups, chances of decay are increased, as drinking from these containers constantly expose sugar to the child’s teeth, especially the front teeth.

Tooth decay can lead to severe pain and even infection when left untreated. In fact, the decay can become so severe that the only treatment option is tooth extraction.

At our southwest Houston dental clinic, our dentists recommend that you reduce your kid’s exposure to sugary liquids, while keeping up with their dental maintenance. Bringing them into our dental office for regular checkups and cleanings will ensure that they have a healthy mouth and better overall health.

When to Bring Your Child to See Our Kids Dentists

Our Houston dentists recommend that you bring your child in for their first dental visit as soon as their first tooth begins to show, or no later than their first birthday.

When you bring your child into our Houston dental office, we will thoroughly examine your child’s mouth and look for any issues that may cause problems with their dental development. Our dental experts will also advise you on tooth decay protection and prepare a regular dental maintenance program.

Centra Dental is committed to giving your child a healthy mouth, as we understand a healthy mouth = a healthier child. Therefore, if you live in southwest Houston or the surrounding areas, contact our dental office today to set up an appointment for your kid.

Dental braces are often associated with children or teenagers. But what about adults? Can adults wear braces too? Simply put, of course! Braces are not just for kids, as more adults are choosing to have their teeth straightened than ever before. If you are an adult looking to straighten your teeth, you’ll be happy to know that Centra Dental is ready to meet your needs.

Why Would An Adult Need Dental Braces?

People often think of dental braces as purely a cosmetic dentistry tool. However, the function of braces goes beyond aesthetics. If you did not have orthodontic treatment as a child, you may suffer from an overbite or underbite, crooked or gapped teeth, or a misaligned jaw. As a result, health problems such as headaches, tooth decay, gum disease, or chewing and digestive issues can occur. Dental braces not only alleviate these health issues, but they leave you with a great smile as well.

Adult Dental Braces Options At Our Houston Dental Office

Here at Centra Dental in southwest Houston, we offer traditional braces and Invisalign clear braces.

With traditional braces, our Houston dentists glue 3M metal brackets to your teeth and tie them together with wires and small rubber bands. The braces are permanently attached to your teeth for the duration of your treatment plan and cannot be removed. Metal braces are preferred when complex procedures are required such as: aligning a tooth that is higher than others, rotating teeth, or moving teeth vertically. Because traditional braces are not removeable, you can be sure they are working 24/7 to correct all of your orthodontic issues.

Invisalign braces are clear plastic trays that are specifically fitted for your teeth. Adults are often reluctant to wear metal braces because they “don’t want to look like a kid.”. While it’s practically impossible to hide the sight of metal braces, Invisalign clear plastic trays are virtually unnoticeable, thus allowing adults to smile confidently without looking like a kid. In addition, Invisalign clear plastic trays are removeable, resulting in easier eating, drinking, and teeth cleaning.

If you are an adult looking to straighten their teeth, our Houston dental office is ready help. Our expert dentists and orthodontists will thoroughly discuss a treatment plan with you, while helping you decide whether traditional braces or Invisalign is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a braces consultation.

Approximately 4 million Americans wear dental braces, with children making up roughly 80 percent of wearers. For many American children, getting dental braces is more a question of “when” rather than “if”, as getting one’s teeth straightened is just another common part of growing up.

Health Benefits of Braces

Straightening one’s teeth is not just a cosmetic issue. Misaligned or crooked teeth can lead to significant medical issues such as: chronic headaches, bad digestion, gum disease, and tooth loss. Failure to invest a relatively small amount of money in braces can easily lead to exponentially larger medical bills in the future.

Despite the many cosmetic and health benefits a child receives from having straight teeth, there are still some parents who hesitate at getting their kid fitted for braces. The following are two of the top reasons for their hesitation, and how we here at Centra Dental address them.

Price of Dental Braces

This is perhaps the most common reason parents hesitate to get their kid fitted for braces. They may feel their kid’s teeth aren’t that bad and can’t seem to justify the cost. They are also not aware of the health issues related to having crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw.

Our Houston dental office always educates parents on the many health benefits of braces. We help the parents understand that by getting their child braces, they are making an investment in their child’s health. In addition, we are constantly offering great deals on dental braces, which also help parents overcome their hesitancy.

Pain From Dental Braces

Many parents are afraid that their child will experience pain from braces. There might be slight pain in the teeth or jaw in the beginning, but this is because the wires and brackets are new to the mouth and actively moving the teeth. An over-the-counter pain reliever such as Ibuprofen will easily relieve such pain symptoms, and soon the child’s mouth will adjust to the braces and no longer feel pain.

Contact Centra Dental For A Dental Braces Consultation

Our Houston dentists understand that for many parents, deciding whether or not to get braces for their kid is a big decision. This is why our dental office in southwest Houston makes a point of helping parents feel comfortable through education and great pricing. We are dedicated to your child’s overall health, so contact us today to set up a braces consultation.

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