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Over the years, Invisalign has become a very popular orthodontic alternative to metal braces. This is due to their clear appearance, which helps our patients feel more confident and comfortable throughout their treatment. Because of this and many more reasons, Invisalign is well-favored amongst our adult Houston braces patients.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation. Once we determine that Invisalign is right for you, we will take impressions of your teeth. Afterward, with advanced technology, we will map out how we plan for your teeth to move throughout the course of your treatment. We will take everything to our dental lab so that in a couple of weeks, you will receive your clear aligners customized to the shape of your teeth and mouth.

You will wear your clear aligners for a few weeks at a time and then come back to our office to receive your next set of Invisalign. Over time, the Invisalign Clear Aligners will slowly move your teeth to the correct position, resulting in a beautiful, confident smile.

Why Our South Houston Dentist Patients Love Invisalign

There are many reasons why our adult patients love Invisalign as an alternative to metal braces. Here are the main reasons adults may tend to favor Invisalign Clear Aligners.

Clear Aligners Are Barely Noticeable

For one, clear aligners are barely noticeable. This is because they have no wires or brackets, so your treatment is subtle and won't be distracting when you talk or smile. Although some have fun adding color to their Houston braces, others care more about subtlety. 

They Allow For Some Flexibility

Second, Invisalign Clear Aligners offer more flexibility because they are removable. Your clear aligners should be removed for meals, but keep in mind that they need to be worn for at least 22 hours in the day. If you keep up good hygiene and habits, you can afford to take them out for some special occasions too.

They Are Effective (For Some)

Truthfully, metal braces are great for all cases, but Invisalign is great for the milder orthodontic cases we see, especially if you are highly responsible. Typical metal and ceramic braces are fused to the teeth with dental cement, so you have no temptation or need to remove them. The ability to remove your clear aligners means you need to be strict with yourself and not misplace them, forget to wear them, or skip a day or two.

Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston

Invisalign is a highly favored orthodontic treatment, and for good reason! If you think you may be a candidate for Invisalign, please contact us to schedule your braces consultation. Our skilled dentists will answer all of your questions regarding possible Invisalign treatment.

As most people know, orthodontic braces are meant to straighten teeth, but they do much more than just that. Each treatment plan we offer for Houston braces depends on what issues need to be corrected and is perfectly customized to the individual. Here are a couple of the reasons why our South Houston dentist patients may need affordable braces treatment.

Crowded Teeth

Teeth crowding occurs when teeth are crooked and overlapping each other, either on the upper teeth, on the bottom teeth, or both. The truth is that some people simply have extra teeth, which don't fit in the mouth properly. This is a major cause of crowding and disrupts the natural way in which the teeth are supposed to erupt.

What Problems Can Crowding Teeth Cause?

When our patients suffer from crowding, we tend to see unusual wear patterns of their teeth. One of the biggest dental health problems caused by crowding is excessive plaque build-up. Although some patients who don't have extra teeth can still experience heavy plaque build-up, this is especially common for people who do have extra teeth because it's too difficult to get in between them when they brush or floss. Plaque build-up is the leading cause for cavities, so those who have crowded teeth can experience accelerated tooth decay.

Plaque build-up in crowded teeth has a domino effect. If the patient suffers from accelerated decay, they can also potentially suffer from gingivitis, or gum disease because there is too much bacteria stuck in between the gums that is left untreated. Aside from poor oral health, crowding can cause issues with patients' self-esteem. Additionally, severe crowding can lead to speech problems, which can disrupt their school, work, and their confidence as well.

Open Bite

An open bite is also known as an anterior bite. It occurs when the upper teeth and lower teeth slant out in the front, so they never touch once an individual's mouth is closed.

What Problems Can An Open Bite Cause?

Similar to crowding, open bites may cause the patient to have problems with confidence and speech. When it comes to speech challenges, those who suffer from an open bite will often struggle to pronounce several words because they develop a lisp. This type of malocclusion (bad bite) can also prevent the patient from chewing their food properly.

Another problem caused by open bites is abnormal wearing of the teeth because the back teeth are coming into contact more often than they should. This can eventually lead to discomfort and even cracking in the teeth.

Affordable Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston

These are both very common reasons for needing orthodontic braces, not only for cosmetic purposes, but also to help our patients achieve their best dental health and a confident smile. If you or your child have crowded teeth or an open bite, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so that we can complete a consultation and help you decide on an affordable treatment plan. 

If you have a pre-teen or teenager, chances are you've noticed that their friends have been getting braces. Perhaps you're considering them for your child, too. We encourage it while they are young because it's best for kids to get braces between the ages of 10 and 14. Here's why.

All Baby Teeth Have Fallen Out

When your child's milk teeth have finished falling out, the rest of their permanent teeth, which are also known as "adult teeth", have already begun to emerge. The greatest benefit to waiting until this age for dental braces is that, when your child's adult teeth have emerged, their jaw has become more stable. Before investing in Houston braces, we recommend you come in for an evaluation with our South Houston family dentists. Our skilled dentists will be able to spot out any potential issues that may arise before they actually do, such as crowding, excessive spacing, and overbites. If not addressed, these issues can cause problems that interfere with their day to day dental health. Coming in for a consultation will ensure our dentists plan the correct treatment for your child. One more reason we recommend for your child to get braces between 10 and 14 years old is because they will be much more comfortable throughout their treatment, as they will not have to worry about gaps and emerging teeth while wearing their braces.

Your Child's Head and Mouth are Still Growing

The most important reason why we tell our South Houston patients to get braces at such a young age is because at that age, their heads and mouths are still growing. This allows for very easy moldability, which results in straighter teeth in a shorter amount of time. Their teeth and jaws are still moving, so the braces they wear will smoothly guide their teeth into the right position. Although we also offer braces for adults, we find that sometimes their treatment can take a bit longer than their child's treatment. This is mainly attributed to the fact that for adults, their permanent teeth have been in place for far longer, so it will take some extra time and effort to guide them toward the correct alignment. 

Getting Houston Dental Braces Early Will Increase Your Child's Confidence in the Future

We understand that ages 10 through 14 are highly developmental years, so some of our patients may not be excited to get braces. However, the earlier they get them, the shorter the treatment. Additionally, when treatment is over and they see themselves with straight, healthy teeth and no discomfort whatsoever, it will be well worth it. We have seen children finish their treatment with a new level of confidence that positively impacts the rest of their lives. 

If you have a pre-teen or teenager, chances are you've noticed that their friends have been getting braces. Perhaps you're considering them for your child, too. We encourage it while they are young because it's best for kids to get braces between the ages of 10 and 14. Here's why.

All Baby Teeth Have Fallen Out

When your child's milk teeth have finished falling out, the rest of their permanent teeth, which are also known as "adult teeth", have already begun to emerge. The greatest benefit to waiting until this age for dental braces is that, when your child's adult teeth have emerged, their jaw has become more stable. Before investing in Houston braces, we recommend you come in for an evaluation with our South Houston family dentists. Our skilled dentists will be able to spot out any potential issues that may arise before they actually do, such as crowding, excessive spacing, and overbites. If not addressed, these issues can cause problems that interfere with their day to day dental health. Coming in for a consultation will ensure our dentists plan the correct treatment for your child. One more reason we recommend for your child to get braces between 10 and 14 years old is because they will be much more comfortable throughout their treatment, as they will not have to worry about gaps and emerging teeth while wearing their braces.

Your Child's Head and Mouth are Still Growing

The most important reason why we tell our South Houston patients to get braces at such a young age is because at that age, their heads and mouths are still growing. This allows for very easy moldability, which results in straighter teeth in a shorter amount of time. Their teeth and jaws are still moving, so the braces they wear will smoothly guide their teeth into the right position. Although we also offer braces for adults, we find that sometimes their treatment can take a bit longer than their child's treatment. This is mainly attributed to the fact that for adults, their permanent teeth have been in place for far longer, so it will take some extra time and effort to guide them toward the correct alignment. 

Getting Houston Dental Braces Early Will Increase Your Child's Confidence in the Future

We understand that ages 10 through 14 are highly developmental years, so some of our patients may not be excited to get braces. However, the earlier they get them, the shorter the treatment. Additionally, when treatment is over and they see themselves with straight, healthy teeth and no discomfort whatsoever, it will be well worth it. When kids finish their treatment, they experience a new level of confidence that positively impacts the rest of their lives. 

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.

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