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8 Tips for Your First Week With Braces

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At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, we’re all about using the most up-to-date, high-tech treatment options to ensure your experience in braces or Invisalign® is as quick, effective and painless as possible. While we’ll help you breeze right through treatment and soon you’ll forget you’re even wearing braces, there is an adjustment period. As one of the leading providers of braces in Houston and Bellaire, we’ve got you covered with all of the details you need to know to get acclimated to your new hardware. Here are our tips for your first week with braces.

  1. Get a Head Start on First Day Braces Discomfort

Patients often ask, do braces hurt? The answer is, no, they do not. While you may experience some minor discomfort, you won’t feel any actual braces pain. The sensitivity is mild and goes away in a few days. You can get a jump on this by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever right before your bonding appointment or prior to adjustments. This way, it will kick in by the time any sensitivity begins.

  1.   Stock Up on Braces-Friendly Food and Drinks

We’ll fill you in on what to eat with braces the first week and beyond at your consultation. Your first day with braces or even your first several days, your teeth will be sensitive as we said, so sticking with soft foods and cold drinks is your best bet. Things like mashed potatoes, smoothies, applesauce, soup, pudding, yogurt, ice cream and ice water are great options. Cold beverages have the added bonus of numbing your mouth.

Once you are acclimated to your braces, you can go back to eating most of the foods you love. However, you will want to avoid really hard, sticky or chewy foods like caramel, toffee, popcorn, hard bagels, tough meats, nuts and pizza crust or anything that can damage your braces. You also shouldn’t bite or tear directly into foods like raw apples and carrots or corn on the cob. Instead, strip corn off the cob and cut foods into small, bite-sized pieces and chew with your back teeth. 

Once you’re back into the swing of eating your normal fare, here are some of the best foods we typically recommend to our Houston, TX braces patients: 

o   Soft breads such as sandwich breads, pancakes and tortillas

o   Soft cheese, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy

o   Pasta and grains, including quinoa, rice, couscous, barley and noodles

o   Steamed veggies

o   Fork-tender meats

o   Peanut butter

o   Stew and soup

o   Fruit cups

o   Applesauce

o   Ripe fruits

o   Fish sticks or soft-cooked fish

o   Hummus

o   Egg salad, tuna salad and chicken salad

o   Pudding

o   Tofu

o   Guacamole

o   Beans

o   Cold drinks such as smoothies, milkshakes and ice water

  1. Embrace Salt Water Rinses and Orthodontic Relief Wax

During your first week with braces, you may experience some irritation on the inside of your lips and cheeks. Your mouth will toughen up and after a while, your brackets and wires won’t bother you anymore. During the acclimation period, you can relieve the irritation with a salt water rinse. Add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and swish it around in your mouth before spitting it out. You can repeat this several times during the day as needed. If that doesn’t help, you can also warm up a small piece of orthodontic wax between your fingers and place it on the areas of your braces that are bothering you.

  1.   Become a Pro at Brushing and Flossing with Braces

One of the things that will feel the strangest during your first week with braces is brushing and flossing around the brackets and wires. Just as with everything else, we promise you will quickly get used to it. We’ll show you how to brush and floss correctly but here are some basic tips for braces wearers:

 o   Brush your teeth in the morning, after meals and snacks and before bed for at least three minutes each session using a non-whitening, fluoride toothpaste. If you’re out and about and you forget to bring your toothbrush, simply rinse your mouth out well before eating and then brush as soon as you get home.

 

o   Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and moderate pressure, tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush along the top and bottom of your brackets. Be sure to give your gum line plenty of attention too. Get all of the surfaces of each and every tooth and behind your molars.

 

o   Floss once daily. You may find an orthodontic flosser or a floss threader makes the process a whole lot easier, especially during those first days with braces. Get in between any set of teeth and floss up and down the side of each tooth all the way up to your gums before moving on to the next set of teeth.

 

o   Tools like interproximal brushes can be helpful for brushing around your brackets and under the wires and getting any hard-to-reach places. A waterpik can also be a great tool for reaching into the nooks and crannies and leaving your teeth feeling sparkling clean. You’ll still have to use regular floss along with the waterpik but some of our Houston, TX braces patients really love the tool.

  1.   Don’t Panic if Your Teeth Feel Loose

A little known fact about braces is that your teeth can feel loose during treatment. We know this can cause patients to panic! Don’t worry though; your teeth won’t fall out. It’s actually completely normal. The teeth have to loosen in order to move into their new positions. When your treatment is over, they’ll lock into place.

  1.   Learn How to Handle Braces Emergencies

First, we have to say, a true braces emergency is extremely rare. However there can be some minor discomforts and mishaps. Knowing how to handle them at home can help you feel more confident during those first days in braces and throughout your entire treatment. Here are a few common ones:

o   Soreness – As we mentioned earlier, your teeth can feel sore after you first get your braces on and following adjustments. Again, sticking with soft foods and cold drinks will work wonders. You can also use a saltwater rinse or an over-the-counter pain reliever if you’re still uncomfortable.

 

o   Broken or Loose Braces Bracket – If your braces bracket is still attached to the wire, don’t take it off. Gently push it back to its correct place and then cover it with a small piece of orthodontic wax. If the bracket breaks and comes off of your wire, wrap a piece of tissue around it and take it out of your mouth. Be sure to give our office a call so we can schedule you for an appointment to fix it.

 

o   Poking Wire – Before you leave your bonding appointment, we’ll make sure no wires are poking you. However, sometimes when a bracket is loose or breaks, you can be left with a long piece of wire that pokes into your cheek. If that’s the case, gently use the eraser end of a pencil or a clean cotton swab to push it out of the way and against the nearest tooth. Dry it off with some tissue and then cover it in orthodontic wax before giving us a call.

  1.   Don’t Forget Your Mouthguard

If you are an athlete, wearing a mouthguard is essential when you’re playing sports or doing any physical activity with a risk of injury to the face. It should be part of your routine all of the time but it’s especially important when you’re wearing braces. It will act as a barrier between your braces and the soft tissues of the mouth, preventing lacerations and irritation if you get hit in the face. It will also prevent damage to your braces and reduce the likelihood of losing or damaging your teeth, which can set your treatment back. A custom mouthguard will give you the best fit and superior protection and we can provide you with one at Houston Orthodontic Specialists.

  1. Focus on Those End Results!

On your first day with braces, your appliance will feel a little weird. After all, your tongue and lips aren’t used to sharing space with brackets and wires. You may also feel as if you look different or like your braces are sticking out. We promise, you’ll acclimate to your braces quickly and you’ll barely notice them after a while. If you feel discouraged, focus on the end result and think about how amazing your smile will look when you’re done.

Now that you know what to expect, if you’re interested in braces in Houston or Bellaire, book a consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today! We offer a variety of braces options, including conventional metal and clear braces, self-ligating metal and clear braces and lingual braces. We’re also a Diamond Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen provider. We’ll help you decide on the best option for your needs so you can get a healthy, beautiful smile you love. 

 

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Our Favorite Braces-Friendly Restaurants in Houston

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One of the first questions the patients at our orthodontist practice in Houston ask us is, “How will getting braces change my life?” For one, you get to look forward to a brand new smile that you’ll be excited to show off to all your friends. But before you get there, you will have to get used to a few changes first.

First of all, your teeth will look a little different with your fancy new hardware and you might experience some discomfort as your braces work their magic. You also need to pay more attention to what you eat. Certain foods — like crunchy, sticky or chewy foods — just don’t get along with braces. To make sure your new smile is progressing according to your doctor’s plan, it’s best to avoid these things until your treatment is complete.

At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, we’re here to take the guesswork out of what you can and cannot eat with braces. Better yet, we’re giving you an awesome list of where to eat with braces in Houston. (Invisalign folks, you don’t need to worry so much about avoiding certain foods because your aligners are removable! Just take them out when you eat and be sure to brush your teeth before you put your aligners back in.)

 

What Can I Eat with Braces?

If you (or your kids) have ever tried to eat foods like bagels, apples or bubble gum with braces, you’ve probably already figured out that some foods simply aren’t compatible with brackets and wires. When you have braces, these types of foods can easily get caught in your teeth or even run the risk of damaging your braces. This means you’ll need to make an unexpected trip to your orthodontist to fix the problem. While we love to see your smiling face, it’s best to be smart about what you’re eating with braces and limit unnecessary delays in your treatment. Here’s a list of common foods to avoid when chowing down with braces.

  • Crunchy foods: Popcorn, ice, chips or hard candies could potentially break your brackets.picture of popcorn
  • Chewy foods: Dense breads, like bagels or pizza crust, can stick to your braces and be incredibly difficult to remove.
  • Sticky foods: Caramels, candy, bubble gum — all of these are a no-go when you have braces. In addition to getting stuck in your braces, these treats can also pull your brackets off (not to mention the sugar alone is bad for your teeth!).
  • Anything you bite into: Biting into things like apples, corn-on-the-cob or carrots are harmful to your hardware.

We get it: this sounds like a lot to remember and to avoid. But there are plenty of delicious foods you can still enjoy when you have braces. Early on in your treatment, your teeth will likely be quite sensitive so it’s best to stick to soft or cold foods that are gentle on your teeth. Things like yogurt and smoothies (and yes, sometimes ice cream) are totally safe, as well as soup, steamed vegetables and soft, cooked grains. A good trick is to cut your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces and if it hurts, don’t eat it

 

Where to Eat with Braces in Houston

Uptown Sushi – 1131-14 Uptown Park Blvd

It might come as a surprise but Japanese food is the perfect thing to eat for anyone with braces because it is soft and (nearly) bite-sized. Raw fish, cooked veggies and rice are all staples in Japanese cuisine — and all of these things are soft enough to keep your braces safe and in-tact. If your kids aren’t into raw fish, go for dishes like vegetable tempura or California rolls, which are guaranteed to be gentle on sensitive teeth. Uptown Sushi has plenty of creative special rolls too, if you’re feeling adventurous. The Lickety Split roll, with a variety of fresh seafood, sounds delicious (and is 100% safe for people with braces!).

 Doux Cafe – 865 Dairy Ashford Rd

Who said you could only eat crepes for breakfast? At Doux Cafe, you can enjoy Paris’ favorite street food at any time of day. Crepes are soft and easy to eat, so even those with the most sensitive teeth will be able to chow down on Doux Cafe’s delicious treats. Crepes not your style? Try one of their amazing waffles instead! 

Jinya Ramen Bar – 3201 Louisiana St

You might have to avoid a lot of different foods when you have braces, but at least you can still enjoy oodles of noodles! Jinya Ramen Bar serves up some of the best Asian-inspired dishes around. Soft, cooked grains, like noodles and rice, are totally safe for braces, so you’re free to enjoy ramen to your heart’s content.

The 401 – 6700 Ferris (Suite 150)

Eating out with braces doesn’t have to be hard, as long as you know where to look. The 401 cafe might seem like an unlikely place to find a braces-friendly, kid-friendly meal, but it’s one of the best places to eat with braces in Houston. Open for lunch and breakfast, The 401 has many options for those with braces. Choose one of The 401’s delicious salads or go for a power bowl. With one of these comforting options, you’ll never feel like you’re missing because of your braces.

Nekter Juice Bar – 6700 Ferris Street (Suite 120)

Before you just keep scrolling on, hear us out — Nekter Juice Bar isn’t just for hippies and yogis. This chain smoothie bar makes some of the tastiest juices and smoothies in town, all of which are the perfect thing to eat when you have braces. Soft, check. Cold, check. Healthy and delicious, double-check. For something a little heartier than a liquid meal, try a nutrient-packed smoothie bowl (just swap out granola for extra fruit to avoid eating anything too crunchy). Nekter has one location in Bellaire and two in Houston, so it’s always easy to get your smoothie fix.

Tarascos Ice Cream – 13932 Westheimer Rd

Well, we promised that you could eat ice cream with braces (at least, in moderation). When you’re craving something cold and sweet, head to Tarascos. A Houston favorite, Tarascos has a menu that’s sure to satisfy any ice cream craving. Tarascos is the go-to spot for a braces-friendly dessert — just make sure to avoid flavors with crunchy, chewy or sticky ingredients, and opt for a cup instead of a cone. And promise us you’ll brush your teeth after you’ve gobbled up a hand-crafted paleta.

Pecan Creek – 1510 Eldridge Pkwy (Suite 100)

For a braces-friendly meal the whole family will love, head over to Pecan Creek. This popular breakfast and lunch spot, next to our West Houston orthodontic office, is a favorite among locals, with staples like scrambled eggs, omelettes and tacos. You’re sure to find many things you can eat with braces.

Dolce Vita – 500 Westheimer Rd

Don’t worry — you don’t have to give up pizza just because you have braces. Dolce Vita has many options that people with braces can enjoy, from salads and roasted veggies to their amazing pasta and pizza pies. Don’t miss Dolce Vita’s housemade gelato. It’s the perfect dessert when you have braces!

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Get to Know Your Houston & Bellaire Orthodontist: 20 Questions for Dr. Monica Muller

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dr-muller-img

As a Houston and Bellaire orthodontist at Houston Orthodontic Specialists, Dr. Monica Muller is dedicated to providing outstanding service to our patients while she helps them change their lives by transforming their smiles. After completing her orthodontic residency, Dr. Muller took the extra step of becoming a board-certified orthodontist, allowing her to offer the highest level of care. To enable you to get to know her better and learn more about her life outside of the office, we put together a game of 20 questions. Here are Dr. Muller’s answers:

  1. What’s one of your best childhood memories?

Visiting grandparents in Peru.

  1. Did you ever have orthodontic treatment?

Yes, I had Phase I with headgear when I was 10ish, full braces when I was 14, then braces again as an adult in dental school. I’m now doing some tweaking with Invisalign. 😊

  1.  How would you describe yourself in five words?

Determined, Compassionate, Open Minded, Approachable and Dreamer

  1.  Why did you decide to pursue a career as an orthodontist?

I love science and engineering, and orthodontics somewhat combines them with a touch of esthetics and artistry.

  1.  What are your top three favorite albums?

I don’t have a specific album. I like music that makes me happy.

  1. Is there anything your patients would be surprised to discover about you?

I am a Brown Belt in Karate.

  1. What’s your favorite part of coming in to work at Houston Orthodontic Specialists each day?

I love seeing patients and interacting with them and seeing them grow and evolve as young adults.

  1. What’s the most spectacular view you’ve ever seen?

Being in the glacier in Mont Blanc in the Swiss Alps.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

I Hear You by Michael Sorensen

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Finishing dental school, in my professional life. Raising my kids, in my personal life.

  1. In your spare time, what’s your favorite activity to do with your kids?

We do family yoga and any outdoor activity. We love the beach!

  1. What do you love most about living in the Houston area?

There is always something to do and food to try.

  1. What do you think is the most significant benefit of orthodontic treatment is?

The social benefit is the most important. An esthetic, acceptable smile changes people’s social interactions.

  1. Did you have a nickname as a kid?

Yes, Little Smurf (Pitufa in Spanish).

  1. What’s the best advice you can give orthodontic patients?

Always brush your teeth. We do not want scars on the surface of the teeth after braces.

  1. What actor would play you in a movie of your life?

Drew Barrymore

  1. What was the hardest part of your orthodontic training?

Learning to multitask, seeing multiple patients at a time.

  1. What was the last gift you received?

I love skinny thin watches from Swatch.

  1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I already have superpowers; I am a working mother.

  1. What’s your favorite movie?

Wonder Woman

If you’re ready to get your dream smile and meet Dr. Muller in person, schedule a complimentary consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today!

girl smiling with braces

Want to Speed Up Orthodontic Treatment? Meet Propel®!

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Patients are often curious about whether or not they can speed up orthodontic treatment, At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, the answer is, yes you can! We’re a Houston Propel® VPro5™ provider and the technology can improve the fit of your Invisalign aligners, which in turn leads to fewer appointments and refinements. We pride ourselves on embracing proven, safe advances that help our patients see results sooner and with less discomfort and Propel does just that. Here’s everything you need to know about accelerated orthodontics with this revolutionary treatment option.

What is Propel VPro5?

Propel Orthodontics has a line of devices aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of orthodontic treatment. Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler, Dr. Muller and Dr. Bloome offer Propel VPro5.  

Propel VPro5 is a take-home device for patients using Invisalign. The small, portable accessory consists of an activator and a mouthpiece. To use it, you’ll connect the mouthpiece to the oscillator and hit the on-switch to start the vibrations. Then, you’ll bite down on the mouthpiece (it’s hands-free) while wearing your Invisalign aligners as it slowly ramps up in intensity. You’ll use the device for five minutes a day. It will shut off automatically when you finish a session. When you’re done, detach the mouthpiece, rinse it with water and allow it to dry. If the oscillator gets dirty, simply wipe it with a moist cloth. However, don’t submerge it in water.

The high-frequency vibrations the device creates painlessly enhance aligner seating, which is how well your Invisalign aligners fit against your teeth. Aligner seating is the key to effective Invisalign treatment and it ensures the aligners can deliver the proper forces to shift the teeth exactly how we want. The device can make a big difference in just five minutes of use per day and makes treatment more comfortable and faster, while also leading to fewer appointments and refinements and, overall, better results.

How Does Propel Work?

The VPro5 relies on gentle, high-frequency vibrations to essentially shake your aligners into place. Often times with Invisalign, we also use tooth-colored attachments. The vibrations from the VPro5 offer up a super-charged way of getting the aligners to snap perfectly onto the attachments and fit like a glove over your teeth. By having the aligners sit tight against your pearly whites, you get the perfect amount of force, which, in turn, helps teeth shift into place more quickly. Vibration therapy is also associated with decreased discomfort and patients often report less soreness when they switch to a new set of aligners when using Propel VPro5.

Is Propel Safe?

Yes. Propel VPro5 has been cleared by the FDA as a Class I medical device that is safe for use in orthodontics. Studies have shown it can safely and comfortably help you get amazing results. While most patients are a candidate for Propel, every mouth is unique. We’ll let you know if Propel is right for you once we’ve had a chance to evaluate you at your consultation.  

If you’re ready to hit fast forward on your Invisalign treatment with Propel, book a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists in Bellaire or West Houston today!

 

picture of Dr. Vladimir Tabakman smiling

Get to Know Your Houston Orthodontist Better: 20 Questions for Dr. Vladimir Tabakman

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As a Houston and Bellaire orthodontist, Dr. Vladimir Tabakman is on a mission to offer his patients high-tech, expert orthodontic care that will give them the healthy, beautiful smiles they deserve and the confidence that comes with it. Dr. Tabakman and the team make sure every patient feels like they’re part of the family as soon as they walk through the doors. Well, we decided to play a game of 20 questions with Dr. Tabakman to help you learn more about him and what he’s like when he’s not busy perfecting smiles at Houston Orthodontic Specialists.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

The Miracle Morning and Tribe of Mentors

  1. Did you ever have braces or Invisalign?

Yes, I had braces at age 35.

  1. How would you describe yourself in five words?

Responsible, honest, loyal, generous, and fun!

  1. Why did you decide to become an orthodontist?

As an orthodontist, I can see my patients go through transformations. There is no better feeling than giving others the confidence and the infinite possibilities that the confidence can create. Plus, I wanted to help people look better in selfies! 😉

  1. What’s the most incredible vacation you’ve ever been on?

Snorkeling with my daughter in Mexico

  1. Is there anything your patients would be surprised to learn about you?

I started Bellaire High School as a junior and didn’t speak a word of English.

  1. What’s your favorite part of coming into to work at Houston Orthodontic Specialists every day?

I truly feel that we have an amazing team and amazing patients. I’m blessed to enjoy going to work. If you can even call it work.

  1. What would your perfect Saturday with your family be like?

Spending all day with the four of us on the beach or anything on the water

  1. What sets you apart from other orthodontists?

I have a constant desire to learn and get better.

  1. What achievement are you most proud of?

I believe I have achieved many things professionally, but my family is what I’m the most proud of.

  1. What’s your favorite restaurant in Houston?

I am obsessed with sushi!

  1. What was the first concert you ever went to?

My first concert after moving to America was AC/DC!

  1. What do you think the most important benefit of orthodontic treatment is?

Orthodontic treatment is life-changing and the most rewarding thing as an orthodontist is to see a patient gain self-confidence and start smiling.

  1. What was the last great movie you saw?

The Post

  1. If you could be a fictional character for 24 hours, who would you be?

James Bond

  1. What’s the best piece of advice you can give orthodontic patients?

Be genuine and true to yourself. A positive attitude can overcome any challenges.

  1. What sport do you enjoy playing the most?

Soccer and tennis

  1. What was the most challenging part of your orthodontic training?

Getting into an orthodontic residency is very competitive. The biggest challenge was doing well enough in dental school to be able to be accepted.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about the Houston area?

We live in an awesome city where things are very easily accessible and you can see a professional sporting event during the day and go to a concert in the evening!

  1. What’s on your bucket list?

Going on an African safari with my family.

To get to know Bellaire and Houston orthodontist Dr. Tabakman in person, schedule a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today!

 

woman thinking with hand on chin

What are the Different Types of Braces and How do I Choose the Right Kind?

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Your smile is as unique as you are. In fact, just like fingerprints, no two people have the same set of teeth. That’s why you won’t find a one-size-fits-all approach at Houston Orthodontic Specialists. We create personalized treatment plans and offer a wide variety of options for braces and Invisalign in Houston and Bellaire. We want you to be able to choose the treatment that will bring about the best results while also fitting your lifestyle, so you feel confident and comfortable during the process. So, what are the different types of braces and how do you pick the best one for you? Here’s what’s on the menu at our practice and some key things to consider about each type to help you decide:

  • Conventional Metal Braces – When you think of braces, you probably immediately think of the conventional metal ones. They’ve been around the longest of all of the types of braces and they’re still the most widely used worldwide. Today’s metal braces are nothing like the bulky ones of the past and are a lot more low profile. Made of stainless steel, this type of braces relies on brackets and archwires to move the teeth. Small elastics are also used to secure the wires to the brackets.  

Conventional metal braces might be right for you if you like the idea of showing off your braces and you want to wear colorful elastics to match your personality, the holidays, your school colors or even your mood. Of the different types of metal braces, these are often the most popular with our younger patients.

  • Conventional Clear Braces – Just like metal braces, conventional clear braces rely on brackets and wires to shift the teeth and elastics to hold the wires in place. The key difference is that the brackets are clear and they blend in with your smile, making them less noticeable than their metal counterparts. Years ago, they were considered one of the types of braces for adults because they required more care since they stained and were susceptible to breakage. That’s not the case anymore. The modern clear braces we use at Houston Orthodontic Specialists, resist staining and are very durable, allowing us to treat patients of all ages with them.

Conventional clear braces could be your perfect choice for orthodontic treatment if you want the straightening power of braces but would prefer a less visible treatment option. Some adults and teens feel self-conscious about having stainless steel brackets, which is where opting for clear braces can be beneficial. If you’re interested in an aesthetic option but don’t want to have to keep track of aligners, clear braces may be the ideal alternative. The brackets are bonded to your teeth and stay put throughout your treatment.

  • Self-Ligating Braces – For self-ligating braces we offer metal and clear Damon™ braces and metal and clear Carriere® SLX™ braces. Both the SLX bracket system and the Damon braces system have streamlined brackets with little doors that hold the thin, shape-memory archwires in place. They don’t require tiny elastics or ties, technically known as ligatures, to secure the wires. The teeth are able to move more freely and naturally into place, which can translate to faster results. Since Carriere SLX and Damon braces are tie-less, they don’t need to be tightened and they’re easier to clean because you have one less component that can trap plaque and food debris. Additionally, self-ligating braces create less pressure and friction and the brackets have smoother edges, making treatment more comfortable.

Self-ligating braces, such as Carriere and Damon braces, might be the best teeth-straightening solution for you if you want braces but you’re interested in getting results more quickly and comfortably. The brackets are small and smooth, so many patients are fine with the metal version but for discreet treatment, you may prefer clear self-ligating braces.

  • Lingual Braces – Lingual braces are another of the different types of braces that use brackets and wires to give you your dream smile. However, lingual braces are placed behind your teeth on the tongue side (lingual side), so they’re completely hidden from view. You can’t see them at all when you smile and they’re even less visible than Invisalign. The braces components are customized to your mouth and the braces are smaller than the ones that are bonded to the front of the teeth. Orthodontists have to undergo specialized training in order to offer lingual braces, which is why you can’t find them at every practice. Our Bellaire and Houston orthodontists are trained in lingual braces and we can use them to effectively shift your teeth into place without anyone knowing you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Lingual braces could be your ideal treatment option if you’re image conscious. They are one of the best types of braces for adults or teens who want to keep their treatment under wraps. When considering Invisalign vs. braces, if you lose things easily or think you’d forget to wear aligners for the prescribed amount of time, then add a point in favor of braces. They’re adhered to your teeth and will stay there until we take them off.  

  • Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen – Okay, so technically Invisalign and Invisalign Teen aren’t types of braces at all since they’re hardware-free ways to straighten the teeth. With Invisalign, your orthodontist designs a series of custom, clear, plastic aligners that slip over the teeth. You change the aligners according to our schedule and as you make your way through the series, your teeth move bit by bit into the desired position. Since the aligners are removable and you’ll take them out to eat and brush and floss, there are no food restrictions and oral hygiene is a breeze. Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are comfortable, convenient and, best of all, virtually invisible. As Diamond Invisalign Providers, we’re among the top practices in the country for Invisalign experience and we’re able to treat even complex cases with clear aligners.

You should consider Invisalign if you want an aesthetic treatment option that most people won’t notice you’re wearing. If you worry about giving up certain foods or you don’t love the idea of cleaning around brackets and wires, you could be well suited to clear aligners. Many of our patients who play sports or an instrument choose Invisalign or Invisalign Teen because there’s no hardware to get in the way.

If you’re interested in braces or Invisalign in Houston or Bellaire, book a free consultation at Houston Orthodontic Specialists today! We’ll take complimentary diagnostic records, perform an exam and chat with you about your goals and lifestyle. Then, we’ll let you know which orthodontic treatment option will bring out the best in your smile.

 

Holiday recipes that are braces friendly!

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We know that when you have braces, eating food can sometimes be a pain. Stuff gets caught in your teeth and you usually end up picking it out. And let’s hope you have your braces care kit ready when that happens! This holiday season we want to give you some braces friendly recipe for you to make to ensure you don’t break any brackets with hard foods. We hope you have a good holiday season and enjoy our delicious recipes by Dr. Tabakman!

Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots
Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of baby carrots
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Place carrots in a small pan, season with salt and pepper, and add brown sugar to pot. Cook on medium heat until carrots are soft and caramelized. Enjoy!

Delicious Melted Maple Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg

Directions:
Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and bring to a boil in a large pot with a lid. Boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender and you can pierce them with a fork. Drain and return to the pot. Mash them until they are mostly smooth and to your desired texture.
Next, cut the butter into equal-sized pieces and put skillet or pot. Stirring constantly, melt over medium-low heat or until it begins to foam. When the butter starts to brown and smell nutty, immediately pour the butter into a separate bowl.
Stir the maple syrup into the butter. Then, pour the mixture into the mashed sweet potatoes. Also, add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the mashed potatoes, then stir to combine. Taste the sweet potatoes and adjust the syrup, spices, or salt if needed. Enjoy!

Mother and Daughters Laughing on a White Background

Braces friendly recipes to keep you smiling through the holidays!

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We know that eating with braces can sometimes be a pain. You may have to pick things out of your teeth or be conscious of getting food caught. We obviously don’t want you to break off any brackets by eating food too hard. Stick to soft food this holiday to have a happy and healthy smile! Below are a few recipes that are great for patients with braces. Don’t worry – these recipes by Dr. Tabakman are delicious!

People with braces often complain about not being able to eat carrots, since they are so hard to bit off. Try these soft and sweet carrots this holiday.

Balsamic Honey Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of baby carrots
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread carrots over a baking try, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook for about 20 minutes. Take the carrots out of the oven and drizzled with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of honey, and about 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes and serve. Enjoy!

Delicious Melted Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, warmed (milk will also do)

Directions:

In a pot, cover potatoes with 2 inches of salted water. Bring water to a boil. Reduce water to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender or you can pierce them with a fork (about 10-15 minutes). Drain water and keep potatoes in the pot. Over low heat, add butter and stir until melted. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until potatoes are stiff. Gradually add in the heavy cream (or milk), stirring constantly to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy your melted mashed potatoes.

WHO-Poster-Toys-for-Tots

Bellaire Family Orthodontics Toy Drive

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There are thousands of children every year who don’t open a gift around the holidays. Houston Orthodontic Specialists would like to give back to the Houston community for a Toy Drive this holiday season.

We will be holding a Toy Drive from now through December 14th at our office. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a good cause. If you or someone you know would like to donate a toy, please call us at 713-667-6000 or email us at [email protected].

Can’t stop by our office to drop a toy off? Not a problem! Call us to make arrangements for the toy pickup.

We thank you in advance for helping a child smile this holiday season!

WHO-Poster-Toys-for-Tots

Houston Orthodontic Specialists Toy Drive

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bfo-poster

Every year, thousands of children around Houston don’t open a gift during the holiday season. Houston Orthodontic Specialists is partnering with Toys for Tots to bring toys to children in need for the holidays.

Our office is an official Toy Drop Off Location for the Toys for Tots charity from now through December 14th. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a child in need. If you or someone you know would like to donate a toy, please call us at 281-752-4222. You can also email us at [email protected] to find out more information about the Toy Drive. We are also able to pick up toys from a location if needed.

We thank you so much for your generosity in helping a child smile this holiday season!