Displaying items by tag: South Houston dentist

For some, getting braces is an exciting experience. Some kids can’t wait to have fun with changing the color of their Houston braces. Others can’t wait to see their brand new smiles. Some children start their treatment when they are younger, so they can’t wait to feel like one of the big kids. For other children, though, the mere idea of having braces is anxiety-inducing. Our South Houston family dentists want to assure you that, while your child’s fear and worry are normal, our dental braces are really nothing to fret over. Here are some things your child may like to know that may help them feel less scared.

Braces Are Really Common These Days

Years ago, not many children would get braces. Today, though, 4.5 million young children and teenagers undergo dental braces treatment. Braces serve more than just a cosmetic purpose–once the teeth are straight, children are much less at risk of getting cavities. By now, dental braces have become necessary in order to solve many problems that result from a malocclusion, otherwise known as a bad bite. 

Braces Are More Efficient When You’re a Kid

While adults can also get Houston braces, treatment is shorter and more efficient when it comes to children because they are still growing, which makes their jaw and teeth more moldable. Plus, the younger your child gets braces, the sooner they can show off their new smiles with confidence.

Braces Don’t Hurt

A common misconception about braces is that they hurt really badly. Rather than a painful, everlasting sensation, our South Houston dentist patients may feel some soreness when they first get their braces fitted, but this will gradually subside over the next few days. However, because everyone’s pain threshold is different, just know that the mild discomfort is nothing that over-the-counter painkillers and possibly an ice pack can't ease. 

We know that the idea of Houston braces “moving your child’s teeth” sounds scary, but this is done ever so gently and gradually. Kids don’t even notice or feel that their teeth are straightening until one day they wake up and see for themselves that their teeth are straighter. Additionally, today’s metal dental braces and ceramic dental braces are even lighter in weight than they used to be, so discomfort is much more minimal. We also offer Invisalign, which is as subtle as Houston braces treatment can get.

Come See Our South Houston Family Dentist When It's Time for Dental Braces

If you plan on getting your child fitted for Houston braces soon, please book an appointment. We will conduct our initial consultation, which will help us in developing their treatment plan. We will also further discuss any worries your child may have so they feel safe and positive when they get their braces for the first time.

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Most people receive dental benefits through their employers, but it may be confusing to some. Here is all that you need to know about your dental insurance and the benefits that come with it.

Dental Insurance is a Necessary Expense

You cannot obtain dental insurance unless both you and your employer pay a substantial premium upfront. However, this premium is what gets you the many benefits you can take advantage of during the year. Without dental insurance and its benefits, you put your teeth at risk of severe damage and/or rot. Additionally, many of the earliest signs of illness and disease first appear in the mouth, so it's crucial that our family dentists see you regularly.

Dental Benefits Will Expire by the End of the Year

There is one condition, though. If you haven’t used your benefits before December 31st, then you will lose those benefits. Keep in mind that If you do not use them by the time the year is over, there is no carry-over, meaning you are unable to reserve multiple treatments for the next year when both your insurance and premium reset. 

How Do Your South Houston Dental Benefits Work?

Because the premium is paid upfront before you obtain dental insurance, the money invested is completely wasted if you don’t take the time to visit the dentist enough throughout the year. 

There are multiple kinds of dental insurance plans, each with their own benefits. Benefits are what we refer to as coverage offered by your insurance for different dental procedures and treatments, meaning your insurance will pay a portion of the services you seek from our South Houston dentist office. Most plans offer substantial or complete coverage for routine teeth cleanings every 6 months, which serves as the perfect incentive to get the preventative care you need to achieve the healthy smile you deserve. Other benefits may come in the form of coverage for root canals, x-rays, dental caps/crowns, and possibly dentures or dental bridges, since these are restorative procedures that protect the rest of your teeth.

Centra Dental in South Houston Wants Your Family to Have Healthy Smiles

Although it may seem early in the year, it’s never too early for your entire family to have healthy teeth. Now is a great time to start planning and scheduling necessary treatments with our South Houston family dentist. This way we can help ensure you get the most out of your allotted benefits early on, so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute during the busy holidays. Because we want you to take the best care of your teeth, we are in-network with several insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, United, and much more. If you have an outstanding treatment or teeth cleaning, please book an appointment with us so we can see you before the end of the year.

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Can your teeth be as clean when wearing dental braces as they are without them? Absolutely. In fact, when you undergo your Houston braces treatment, your teeth will likely be cleaner than you would have ever imagined. You may have known how to take care of your teeth prior to braces, but when wearing either metal braces, ceramic dental braces, or Invisalign, your routine will change. This is what our South Houston family dentists recommend to ensure your teeth remain in pristine condition.

Brush Your Teeth More Often

It is crucial that you brush your teeth more often when you are undergoing Houston braces treatment because the surfaces of your teeth are no longer fully exposed, thanks to the plastic aligners covering them or the metal or ceramic brackets glued to the surface of your teeth. Our South Houston dentists recommend that you carry a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that you can always have a toothbrush handy, even when you’re running errands or are at school or work. 

Rather than only brushing twice a day, we recommend that you first do a thorough oral rinse after each meal and then brush your teeth after each of them. Doing so ensures there is no food left between your teeth, protecting you against decay. We also recommend swishing a fluoridated, alcohol-free mouthwash before bed once your teeth are well-brushed. This will encourage stronger, healthier teeth while you undergo your Houston braces treatment. Yes, it may be extra work, but your teeth will thank you. 

Gently Floss Every Day

Nowadays there are several different kinds of floss that are dental braces-friendly available on the market. You must floss your teeth every night before bed, just like you did before your dental braces. While we understand it may be harder to floss with braces, flossing keeps your teeth squeaky clean and healthy. If you are unclear on how to floss effectively, please let us know. Our team of dentists will happily show you.

Visit Centra Dental in South Houston For Your Dental Check-Up Every Six Months

Much like how your dental cleanings are important when you don't have braces, they are even more important if you are currently undergoing braces treatment so that we can keep an eye on your progress and your health. If you are wearing Houston braces, please book an appointment today so that, together, we can give you the straight, beautiful smile you deserve.

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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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Tuesday, 11 February 2020 21:50

Caring For Your Teeth After Houston Braces

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.

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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 20:19

Dispelling Common Myths About Dental Braces

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.

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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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Monday, 13 January 2020 23:01

Can Adults Get Houston Dental Braces Too?

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.

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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.

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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.

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