October is the month of endless candy. As fun and exciting as this is for kids, though, it won't be as enjoyable if they have a terrible toothache as a result of a cavity that formed from their extra sugar intake. It doesn't have to be that way though. Trick-Or-Treating can still be fun this year if your child joins our Cavity Free Club! For the entire month of October, your child can become a member of our awesome Cavity Free Club and get a free Halloween costume as a reward for being awesome kids with healthy teeth. Please call us at 281-591-6500 if you would like more information.
Invisalign Clear Aligners first appeared in the 2000's. While there was some skepticism at first, over time, it has become a popular alternative for adults with minor orthodontic issues, and rightfully so. Could Invisalign be right for you?
Invisalign vs. Braces
Braces have long been the default method for all types of orthodontic treatments. They are fused onto the teeth with metal or ceramic brackets and a specialized dental cement, which acts like a glue. A metal wire is placed across your teeth to help put pressure on them, which encourages them to move to the correct position for a healthier, more comfortable bite. Our Houston dentists will periodically tighten that wire to help guide your teeth throughout your treatment.
Invisalign, on the other hand, doesn't use any wires or brackets. Invisalign is a treatment that includes a series of custom-designed clear trays, similar to a mouthguard, except they are much thinner and subtler on the teeth. Our Houston cosmetic dentists will typically recommend you wear your clear aligners for a few weeks at a time and then come back to our office for your next set of aligners. Each set has a slightly different shape to match each stage your teeth will go through as they become straighter. Slightly changing the shape of the aligner trays will help put pressure on your teeth to ensure they move where we need them to.
Invisalign Works Best For Certain Orthodontic Patients
Whereas braces work on all patients, regardless of the complexity of their orthodontic cases, Invisalign works best for certain people with certain corrections that need to be made.
When deciding whether Invisalign is the right treatment to undergo, our Houston cosmetic dentists recommend Invisalign to those who only require minor corrections, but also have a certain level of responsibility.
Because metal and ceramic braces are glued to the teeth, there is no temptation to remove them and even if there was, it's impossible to do so without the correct equipment. Invisalign Clear Aligners are removable and should be taken out at mealtimes, but the key is to remember to put them back on and not misplace them. Invisalign has to be worn for about 22 hours a day, so you must be responsible and strict enough with yourself to wear them as directed by our dentists.
Book A Consultation With Our Houston Cosmetic Dentist at Victory Smiles
Even if you think Invisalign is the right treatment option for you, it's important to note that you first have to schedule an appointment with us so we can complete an evaluation. After the evaluation, our skilled dentist will advise you on the treatment plan that best suits your personal orthodontic needs.
Victory Smiles News
Plenty of our patients wish that they had whiter teeth like celebrities and influencers do. Coffee and tea, as well as wine or tomato-based foods are common causes of yellowing. This can be attributed to their acidity levels and how they can slightly weaken our enamel, often discoloring it. Although there are whitening products you can buy at the pharmacy that may seem legitimate because they are made by toothpaste brands, those kits may not be what's best for our patients. Instead, we recommend going to a cosmetic dentist such as ours at Victory Smiles, who has access to specially designed bleaches that can break up the yellowing stains on your teeth and, as a result, help you achieve that pearly white smile you've always wanted.
Why We Don't Recommend Teeth Whitening Kits
When it comes to at-home whitening, it's quite a tedious process and the treatment can be lengthy. If done incorrectly, it can lead to excessive sensitivity and pain. Over-the-counter treatments can end up being a waste of money because trying again could only worsen your discomfort and sensitivity. Additionally, the results only last a few weeks and will cost more in the long run because you will have to keep re-purchasing kits in order to maintain the whiteness of your teeth. Unlike store-bought kits, which will require multiple applications to achieve a certain degree of whiteness, a trained cosmetic dentist can help you achieve your desired results much more quickly.
Visit a Houston Cosmetic Dentist Instead
Sometimes the fact that dentists use professional-grade equipment may mislead our patients into thinking that an over-the-counter treatment is a great and user-friendly route to go, but this is not the case. In fact, professional-grade equipment is far superior and safer when compared to DIY kits. The good thing about trusting a cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening is that they will tailor your treatments to your needs far more than a boxed whitening kit ever will. If you already have some sensitivity, you can still come to Victory Smiles for a whitening treatment. Our dentists will make sure to complete the treatment without putting you at risk of more sensitivity afterward. As a plus, this can usually be done in one short visit and you will see results instantly.
Victory Smiles Offers Teeth Whitening Services
If you would like a whiter smile without risking long-term discomfort and sensitivity, please book an appointment with our Houston cosmetic dentist so that we can ensure you have brighter teeth and no adverse effects.
Keeping up with professional dental cleanings twice a year is super important for children's overall dental health. Just because their baby teeth will fall out anyway does not negate the importance of regular cleanings. Our pediatric dentists at Victory Smiles in Houston highly encourage our younger patients to take extra care of their teeth as soon as their first teeth emerge.
Kids Are More Prone to Cavities
Although this can often be attributed to kids eating more sweets and treats, this is not the only reason why kids dentists tend to see more cavities. Childre who have just started maintaining their own oral health routine may sometimes have a hard time remembering to brush their teeth twice a day and floss on their own.
Another reason we often see kids with cavities is because flossing can be hard for them, and not flossing enough can lead to bleeding and pain as a result of plaque build-up. Ironically, this only discourages flossing. However, plaque build-up is the primary cause of cavities.
Pediatric Dental Cleanings As Preventative Care
Although we recommend for kids to brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day because it will prevent cavities and keep their teeth and gums healthy, this will never truly get rid of everything stuck on, behind, and in between their teeth and gums. It's no one's fault; it's just simply not possible. For our cleanings, we use professional, state-of-the-art equipment that offers a deeper cleaning. We use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar gently and more efficiently than your chid's toothbrush and floss can.
Coming in for regular cleanings with our kids' dentist helps ensure that your child's baby teeth are strong and healthy so that they can chew and speak comfortably. A comfortable child is a happy one, which is why we examine their teeth throughout the cleaning process. Illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, gum disease, and even some cancers can show early signs that are noticed during their regular cleanings. It's imperative to know the early signs so that we can help resolve the issue before it becomes a greater problem.
Visit Our Pediatric Dentist at Victory Smiles
We recommend kids start going to the dentist when their teeth first start to emerge to ensure proper health from the start. However, we recognize that the oral checkups can be scary for children. Our pediatric dentists are specially trained and know how to reduce the emotional and psychological stress of a dental visit. If you would like your child to get checked by our pediatric dentist in a fun and comfortable environment, please book an appointment with us.
We would often chew bubble gum with our friends when we were kids, but our parents and pediatric dentists were quick to tell us that it was best to avoid it altogether. Brushing our teeth twice a day and flossing once a day are great habits to have in order to maintain good oral health, but what happens if you go out to dinner in Houston and the drive back home is long, so it will be a while before you can brush your teeth again? Chewing xylitol gum is a good solution in the meantime.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is what is known as a sugar alcohol. It sounds alarming, but it isn't. This particular sugar alcohol is naturally present in common fruits and vegetables. It can also be extracted from birch trees and corncobs. Interestingly, xylitol also occurs naturally in the body, which means that, as a sweetener, it has little to no side effects compared to other sugar alternatives.
Why Our Houston Dentists Recommend Chewing Sugar-Free Xylitol Gum
- Chewing gums that are sweetened with sugar (sucrose) are bad for your teeth because this sugar is easily digested by the bad bacteria in your mouth, which only strengthens it and can cause more plaque build-up. Too much plaque tends to lead to cavities.
- The act of chewing stimulates your saliva. Because it is acidic, it helps you digest your food by breaking it down into smaller particles. Chewing gum after a meal when you can't brush your teeth just yet will help stimulate your saliva again, but this time your saliva will break down any tiny pieces of food left in between your teeth after eating. Sucrose-sweetened gums will stimulate your saliva as well, but do more harm than good.
- Studies show that oral bacteria cannot digest xylitol, which means it will starve and end up having a hard time sticking to the tooth. This kills it off before it can harm your teeth. Studies also show that xylitol is very good for helping relieve dry mouth, which in turn can promote better breath.
There is no need to completely give up a sugary treat we enjoyed as kids because now there are alternatives that can actually improve our oral health in between cleanings with a family or pediatric dentist. Just remember that chewing sugar-free gum should never replace brushing your teeth and flossing. It should only protect your teeth until you can brush them again.