Displaying items by tag: Invisalign

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

How At-Home Braces Treatment Works

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

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

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

Clear Aligners Aren’t Effective For Everyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is it Like to Wear Invisalign Clear Aligners?

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

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

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

How Severe is Your Malocclusion?

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

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

Discipline

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

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

Hygiene

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

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

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

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

What Are Hawley Retainers

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

Pros and Cons of Wearing Hawley Retainers

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

Pros of Removable Retainers

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

Cons of Removable Wire Retainers

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

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

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

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020 01:45

Myths and Facts About Houston Braces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Houston braces are a good idea if you have a malocclusion, which means your bite isn’t ideal and risks being detrimental to your health. An unideal bite is one that consists of crooked teeth, crowded teeth, extra teeth, or even an overbite or an underbite. Although some of our patients may be familiar with crooked and crowded teeth, others may not know much about overbites and underbites. Here is how they can be identified and what problems arise from them. 

Overbite

An overbite often presents itself as “buck teeth” and is one of the most common reasons our south Houston dentist patients need braces. This type of bite occurs in patients whose upper jaw–and consequently, upper teeth–protrude further outward than the bottom jaw and teeth. Now, to be clear, we want some overlap, as this prevents your enamel from wearing abnormally. In doing so, your teeth are stronger and better protected against cavities.

How Does Having an Overbite Affect Your Teeth?

An overbite can easily cause you to have difficulties speaking, much like other malocclusions. Overbites have also been known to cause difficulty with chewing. This is because many of our patients with overbites regularly deal with biting their tongues and cheeks when they try to chew their food. Overbites may also damage your gums and your other teeth because of the improper bite pattern. How severe your overbite is will dictate how severe these side effects are, but thankfully our metal braces and ceramic Houston braces can correct this.

Underbite

A patient has an underbite when their lower teeth tend to protrude outward and are further out than the upper front teeth. You might compare this to a bulldog’s teeth. Because of the abnormal alignment of the teeth, this can cause cosmetic insecurities as well as other dental health problems.

How Does Having an Underbite Affect Your Teeth?

Some underbites are rather minor, but others may be severe. Similar to an overbite, though, the more severe the underbite, the more severe the problems. 

Underbites make it harder for you to chew because the jaws are not clasping around food like they are supposed to. Another problem that results from an underbite is that this makes it harder for you to speak properly. The worst issue that can occur is that you experience pain in your mouth and face due to your misaligned jaws. If unaddressed, the pain can worsen and disrupt your day-to-day.

Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston Correct Bad Bites

These are common reasons why our patients need dental braces. If you or your child have a bad bite, then please book an appointment with our South Houston family dentist. We will complete an evaluation to determine which kind of braces are best for your unique case.

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A common worry that many of our South Houston dentist patients have when they are about to undergo dental braces treatment is that they won’t be able to clean their teeth properly, resulting in cavities. This is simply not true, and here is how you can ensure that your teeth remain extra healthy throughout treatment. 

Brush Your Teeth More

Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste is one of the most important things you can do to keep your teeth healthy. When you wear braces, though, you should brush your teeth more often because the face of the tooth is no longer completely exposed, so it’s easy to miss some spots. Our South Houston dentists recommend that you rinse your mouth out with water after every meal and snack you eat and then brush immediately after. This will help make sure that no food particles get stuck in the brackets of your metal dental braces and ceramic dental braces. If you wear Invisalign, this will ensure there is no food stuck in between your teeth that then becomes trapped by your clear aligner trays. Rinsing and brushing often are great ways to prevent cavities. Just be sure you don’t use whitening toothpaste, or you may risk your teeth being uneven in how white they are.

Floss Slowly and Carefully

Flossing is the second thing you can do to ensure your teeth remain healthy and cavity-free. It may be a challenge, but flossing is a MUST. Today, there are several different kinds of braces-friendly floss and our South Houston family dentists are more than happy to teach you how to properly floss while wearing braces.

Be Diligent in Coming to Your Houston Braces Appointments With Our Dentists

Much like how you care for your teeth by coming in for cleanings twice a year, the same rule stands when you wear braces. By coming in for your semiannual teeth cleanings, we can double-check on the progress of your braces treatment, along with your overall dental health, and clean your teeth more deeply and thoroughly than you would at home. If you would like to come in for a cleaning and more tips on taking care of your dental hygiene while wearing braces, then please book an appointment with us. We look forward to embracing your smile!

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At our South Houston family dentist office, we are often asked by our adult patients if they can benefit from Houston braces just as much as our younger patients do. The short answer is: yes. In fact, we highly encourage adults to wear dental braces if they have crooked teeth and/or a malocclusion, otherwise known as a “bad bite”.

Malocclusions Affect Kids and Adults Just the Same

There are different kinds of malocclusions, each with different dental braces treatments. If you had a malocclusion as a teenager, then chances are it did not go away when you became an adult. 

If you do not fix your bad bite, this will cause an array of dental health issues. This problems may include, but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Speech impairment
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty digesting

As adults, getting Invisalign Clear Aligners, ceramic braces, or metal braces will certainly correct these issues, though it may or may not take longer than it would for a child. Regardless, properly aligned teeth are vital, no matter how long it takes to achieve this.

Centra Dental in South Houston Offers Different Houston Braces Options for Different Adult Cases

Invisalign Clear Aligners

For adults with minor cases, Invisalign may be ideal because it is not only flexible in terms of wear and maintenance, but it is also the most subtle treatment we offer. This is great for adults who may not be pleased with the idea of wearing metal braces.

Ceramic Houston Braces

As an alternative treatment plan, adults with mildly to moderately bad bites may benefit from ceramic dental braces. This method is the next most subtle treatment option, since both the brackets and the archwire easily blend in with the color of your natural teeth. 

Metal Dental Braces

Metal braces are the least subtle treatment. However, they are lighter in weight and more comfortable than they used to be. Metal Houston braces 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 the teeth. This sounds rather painful, but rest assured you will not feel any pain. You will only feel slight soreness whenever we tighten the wire, but this should not last long.

Centra Dental in South Houston Gives Adults Straight, Healthy Teeth

If you're an adult hoping to correct your bite, then please book an appointment with us. We will complete our orthodontic evaluation, address your concerns, and design the best treatment plan for you.

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By now it’s no secret that Invisalign is a popular method for correcting a bad bite. Nowadays, more and more dentists are offering this in addition to traditional metal braces and ceramic Houston braces. If we offer all of these dental braces treatments, is Invisalign still the most effective option for your teenager?

The Difference Between Metal or Ceramic Braces and Invisalign

Metal braces have been the primary form of treatment for teeth and jaw alignment for many decades now. This is precisely why they are still trusted by many of our South Houston dentists’ patients today. Ceramic braces are very similar, but they differ in that they blend into the teeth more and while they are strong, they aren’t as strong as metal and can be fragile. Nevertheless, they are a very effective treatment for moderate malocclusions. 

When undergoing treatment with both metal or ceramic braces, our South Houston family dentist will regularly tighten the patient's wires to guide their teeth to the correct position. There is some initial discomfort, but it doesn't last long.

Invisalign, on the other hand, involves no wires. Invisalign Clear Aligners are much like clear plastic retainers that are made by completing a 3D scan of the patient's mouth. With our 3D scans, we are able to make different aligner trays that will gradually shift the teeth until they are straight. 

The Pros and Cons of Invisalign Treatment

The undisputed pro of Invisalign is that, because the aligner trays are clear, hardly anyone actually realizes that a patient is undergoing any treatment. This is perfect for the teenager who prefers a more subtle treatment and is a little self-conscious. Another factor that makes it so appealing is that your teenager can remove the trays for mealtimes. A third pro is that, compared to braces, there are much fewer consultations needed, since the aligners are already made.

When it comes to the downsides of Invisalign treatments, your teenager needs to be careful not to lose or misplace their clear aligners. Another downside that can be off-putting is that the ability to remove the aligners during meals means that the patient needs to be extremely disciplined, as Invisalign needs to be worn strictly for 20-22 hours a day. Patients also need to make sure that they thoroughly brush their teeth after each meal so they ensure no food particles put stress on the aligners, making it harder for the teeth to move where they need to. 

Visit Our South Houston Braces Dentist to See if Invisalign is the Best Treatment for Your Teen

If you think your teen may be a great candidate for Invisalign treatments, then please book an appointment with us. At this braces consultation, we will get a better understanding of what is the best treatment plan for your teen. 

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Invisalign Clear Aligners are quickly becoming the go-to alternative for certain patients who would prefer this method over metal or ceramic Houston braces, but many others still prefer to rely on traditional metal braces. Because of this, does that mean metal dental braces are better than Invisalign?

Metal Braces Compared to Invisalign Clear Aligners

Metal Braces

Metal Houston braces are the most traditional method for correcting a malocclusion. They are made up of brackets and wires and may involve rubber bands later in your treatment. Brackets are bonded to the teeth with a special dental-grade glue and then a wire is placed across the brackets in order to put pressure on the teeth so that they move toward their correct alignment, which we determine at your initial braces consultation.

Over the course of your treatment, our South Houston dentists will tighten your wires in order to continue to add subtle pressure, little by little. Eventually, you will have a beautiful, straight smile that you can feel confident in.

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign is very different from traditional metal dental braces. First and foremost, Invisalign doesn’t utilize any wires or brackets. Instead, this Houston braces treatment utilizes clear plastic molded to your teeth in such a way that gradually improves their alignment. You will get a new set of clear plastic aligners every few weeks, each of which shifts your teeth a little more.

So, Do You Pick Metal Braces or Invisalign? Which is More Effective?

One isn’t necessarily more effective than the other. Both methods work, but they simply suit different patient cases.

Invisalign works best for those patients who have a mild malocclusion. Metal braces, on the other hand, are more versatile and work on virtually all kinds of cases–from mild and simple to severe and complex.

When it comes to maintenance, metal braces are easier to deal with because they are glued to your teeth, so you just need to make sure you brush and floss enough. With Invisalign Clear Aligners, though, you need to be careful to wear them as directed, remove them only when necessary, clean them properly, and make sure not to lose them. This extra level of discipline makes some of our South Houston patients more inclined to investing in metal braces instead.

Our South Houston Family Dentists at Centra Dental Will Help You Determine Which Orthodontic Appliance Works Best For You

With the varied options we offer for Houston braces treatment, we understand wanting to be sure of your investment regardless if you are an adult looking into braces or are doing some research for your kids. If braces are in the near future, please book an appointment with us. We will complete a consultation to help you determine if metal braces or Invisalign will work best for you.

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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.

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