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As you approach the end of your Houston braces treatment, whether you’ve been wearing metal Houston braces, ceramic dental braces, or Invisalign, we’ll have a conversation about how to maintain your new smile with a retainer. There are different types of orthodontic retainers and we’ve previously talked about traditional removable retainers known as Hawley retainers. This time, we’ll discuss the less common bonded retainers.
What Are Bonded Retainers
Bonded retainers are permanent retainers made of wire that is shaped to fit the new alignment of your teeth. Similar to metal or ceramic Houston braces, they are cemented to your teeth with a dental-grade glue, except instead of being on the front of your teeth, these retainers are glued behind your teeth. Many family dentists or orthodontists around the country tend to bond them behind your lower teeth only, and they can only be removed by a dentist or orthodontist.
Although rare, our South Houston dentist will only recommend a bonded retainer following Houston braces treatment if the patient won’t follow our guidelines on how to properly wear a removable retainer.
Pros and Cons of Wearing Permanent Bonded Retainers After Houston Braces Treatment
Much like how ceramic braces, metal dental braces, and Houston Invisalign Clear Aligners each has positives and negatives, retainers do as well.
Pros of Bonded Retainers
- Bonded retainers are a worry-free method for keeping your teeth straight because you don’t have to abide by a certain schedule, which means you don’t run the risk of making your teeth crooked or separate again.
- No one can tell you’re wearing a permanent retainer, so there is no need to feel self-conscious about it
- Wearing a permanent retainer doesn’t affect your speech, which is common with other types of retainers.
Cons of Wearing Permanent Retainers
- Flossing is harder when wearing a bonded retainer because it gets in the way of the string. This causes plaque build-up and possibly gum disease
- The metal might irritate your tongue or gums
Our South Houston Family Dentist Will Determine if a Bonded Retainer is Right For You
As you or your child near the end of Houston braces treatment, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so we can take your needs into account, decide if a permanent retainer is a good idea for your particular case, and have your retainers made. We look forward to giving you a smile you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although metal dental braces are by far the most common malocclusion treatment option for our South Houston dentist patients, ceramic braces are growing in popularity–and for good reason. Here is how they compare to metal braces and when we recommend them to our patients.
What Are Ceramic Houston Braces Like?
Ceramic dental braces are very similar to metal dental braces, except the brackets that are placed on the teeth are either clear or tooth-colored as opposed to silver.
The archwire, which is placed across the brackets in order to put gradual pressure on them to move the teeth into the correct position, ranges from silver to white, or frosted. This enables the braces to further blend into the teeth for a natural appearance.
When Do Our South Houston Family Dentists Recommend Ceramic Braces
When compared to Invisalign, another method for correcting a malocclusion that we offer at our office in South Houston is Invisalign Clear Aligners, ceramic braces straighten the teeth faster–in about 18 to 36 months. Invisalign can take about a year, and even longer if a patient’s personal case is more complex.
How severe and complicated our patient’s malocclusion is will play a major role in determining which type of Houston braces are the most suitable for their case, so we often recommend metal braces to our patients in need of the most complicated corrections, and recommend ceramic braces to our patients whose bites aren’t severe and are more on the mild to moderate side of the spectrum. Of course, we could also recommend Invisalign in mild-moderate cases, but some patients worry they may lose their Invisalign Clear Aligners or get a bit lazy in their treatment, so they tend to prefer ceramic braces.
In addition to bite correction and patient discipline, we also factor in lifestyle and age. If a patient looking into ceramic braces is an athlete and/or is still a child whose adult teeth haven’t fully emerged, then we may refrain from recommending ceramic Houston braces because they tend to be more fragile than traditional metal Houston braces.
Centra Dental in South Houston Offers Affordable Ceramic Houston Braces
If you would like to correct the alignment of your teeth and think ceramic braces may be right for you, then please book an appointment. We will happily complete an orthodontic evaluation to address your concerns and needs so that we can design the best custom treatment plan for you.
Many of our Houston braces patients are children and young teenagers. Dental braces are essential for good dental health and a healthy bite, otherwise, a variety of problems may occur if you don’t get braces. Prior to treatment, parents often ask our South Houston family dentist what age their child needs to be beforehand. Here is what we advise.
Don’t Wait Until Adulthood to Get Houston Braces
Although it is perfectly acceptable to undergo dental braces treatment as an adult, treatment often lasts longer than it does in children. This is because children’s mouths and heads are still growing, so their teeth are more moldable. Most Houston braces treatments take place between ages 8 and 14 because, by this age, kids should have lost most or all of their baby teeth, but depending on the severity of their malocclusion, we may want to start earlier and set a timeline for you. For example, if their bite is really severe and treatment will take 3 years, you may wish to start at age 10 so that they can be done with their dental braces treatment by age 13 or 14.
Get an Early Houston Braces Evaluation
In many cases, especially if we have been treating you and your child for years and have been able to see how your child’s teeth develop, we might recommend your child comes in for an orthodontic evaluation when they’re around 7 years old. Our trained family dentists will be able to draw conclusions on how the teeth and jaw will develop and if/how braces treatment will help. We will also be able to determine whether interceptive treatment will be necessary, in the event that your child’s malocclusion is one that will likely worsen over time. This involves using orthodontic appliances as an early treatment. In some cases, there won’t be a need for Houston braces once the interceptive treatment has concluded.
Houston Braces For Kids at Centra Dental in South Houston
Dental braces today are much more subtle and comfortable than they used to be, so regardless of which age your child begins treatment, we will determine the type of braces that work best for them to achieve a healthy, straight, and beautiful smile. If you think it might be time for your child to get braces, please book an appointment so we can begin with our consultation.
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!
We understand the excitement our South Houston patients feel when they finally get their Houston braces off, and we also understand the mild disappointment they may feel when they are told that they need to wear a retainer. However, a retainer is much more pleasant than dental braces and just as important. Here are the different types of retainers and how to wear them to get the most out of your new smile.
Different Types of Orthodontic Retainers
There are 3 kinds of orthodontic retainers and which we recommend you wear depends on your particular circumstances. Here is how they differ.
A bonded retainer is exactly what it sounds like. Bonded retainers are also called permanent retainers because, like dental braces, they are cemented to the teeth with dental-grade cement. Except, rather than being glued on the front of your teeth, they are bonded behind the teeth. Although most of our patients wear them indefinitely, we may also remove them after time has passed if they are causing excessive irritation or plaque build-up.
We often recommend bonded retainers to younger patients who may struggle to be responsible with their retainer or if we think the teeth will shift back to their crooked position too quickly and easily.
More common is the Hawley retainer. This type of retainer is removable and is also called a wire retainer. It’s made up of two parts, each made of plastic or acrylic, which the patient can pick the color for. The top portion is molded to the shape of the roof of your mouth and the bottom portion is molded to the back of your lower teeth. Thin, yet strong wire runs is attached to both parts. The upper retainer has a wire that runs across the front of your teeth, whereas the bottom retainer has a wire that hooks on top and around the teeth to keep them from shifting.
The last type of retainer is a transparent one. It is made similar to Invisalign in that it is removable and made of thin plastic, but this type is molded perfectly to the new alignment of the patient’s teeth.
How to Wear Different Retainers After Houston Braces
Now, for how long should our South Houston patients wear Hawley retainers and transparent retainers?
We often recommend wearing them at all times, except at mealtimes, for 6 months to a year. This is because the teeth will have a natural habit of trying to shift to the position they were in prior to braces if there is no longer anything holding them in place. Being diligent in wearing retainers right after will ensure that the teeth settle into the soft tissues in the mouth and their new position along the jaw. This keeps them from becoming easily misaligned again.
Centra Dental Will Ensure Your Teeth Remain Straight After Houston Braces
If you are nearing the end of your braces treatment, then please book an appointment with us so that we can determine the state of your teeth and recommend the appropriate retainers for your needs. We are passionate about embracing your smile and can’t wait for you to embrace yours.
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:
- 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.
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.