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Orthodontics

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!

 

I just got my braces off…what happens now?

By | Orthodontics

retainer-blog

Many patients look forward to the end of their treatment with braces and are curious as to the next steps. When it comes to getting your braces off, next comes the retention part of the treatment and getting your retainers.

As a patient, you just spent a lot of time and money on getting the beautiful smile of your dreams. Your orthodontist will most likely recommend you wear your retainers for 24 hours each day for the first several months. This means just about all the time, except when eating or brushing your teeth (don’t forget to brush your retainer if it’s removable). It’s important to wear your retainers as Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler and Bellaire Family Orthodontics recommends, since your teeth are more prone to moving, especially right when you get your braces off. The last thing you want to do is not wear your retainers and lose all the hard work you just went through.

As time goes on, you will be asked to periodically visit your orthodontist for retainer check-up appointments to ensure that everything is staying in place. Once the doctor deems that you’ve been wearing your retainer properly and often, eventually you will probably be instructed to wear your retainer at night.

It’s important to remember that each person’s treatment is different and some patients may be required to wear their retainer more than others. Listen to your doctor’s instructions and you will maintain your beautiful smile for life!

retainer-blog

What type of retainers are available after my Orthodontic treatment in Houston?

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Congrats! You just finished a long process to get the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of! Now you may be wondering, what happens next?

You and your Houston orthodontist will discuss your recommended retainer options that will best suit you. Everyone typically has to wear a retainer, but what may work best is different from person to person. There may be several options to choose from, including:

Vivera retainers
These are thick, Invisalign clear retainers, made straight from Invisalign. You probably will not be able to see them, but they will hold your teeth in place. Your Houston Invisalign orthodontist will digitally scan your teeth to have these made.

Essex retainers
These are also clear plastic, removeable retainers. Your Houston orthodontist will have an impression made. They will hold your teeth in place and allow for great oral hygiene!

Permanent retainer
This type of retainer is typically a permanent metal bar that is glued to the back of your teeth. This is a favorite of many because you don’t have to worry about losing the retainer since it is more or less “permanent” in your mouth. Just be sure to use floss threaders when flossing.

Hawley Retainers
These retainers are made of both acrylic and metal and may be the typical retainer you think of that has a metal bar going across your teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend you wear this on both your upper and lower teeth.

Whichever retainer is best for you, be rest assured these will hold your beautiful new smile in place!

Back to School Tips for Braces

By | Orthodontics


We can’t believe where the summer has gone, but School is finally here! Bellaire Family Orthodontics is proud to support our local Bellaire and Houston area schools and is the best orthodontist in the area. Making the transition back into the daily routine of school can be a challenge for some, including those students that wear braces. Your transition into school life should go as smooth as possible. Dr. Tabakman, Dr. Wadler and our staff has compiled a list of helpful tips for our school age patients.

Keep your Braces Care Kit Handy

All of our patients receive a care kit at the time they get their braces put on. This kit includes floss, a toothbrush, a mirror, wax, timer, and floss threaders. If you are in the process of wearing elastics at this time, it’s a good idea to carry extra elastics inside the kit. You can store your zippered pouch in your locker, backpack or your desk to use when you need it.

Eat Right!

When you have braces, it’s important to eat right to avoid food getting caught in your braces. You should take small bites or event cut your food into smaller pieces. Soft foods are definitely best to eat. Be sure to stay clear of hard foods. These can cause brackets to break and then you will need an emergency orthodontist appointment. If you wear Invisalign, its best to take your aligners out when you eat and make sure you put them in your retainer case for storage. Don’t forget to put them back in after lunch!

Drink Water

By drinking water during the day, you will clean any food that may get lodged in the braces or under the wires. Drinking plenty of water is also good for the overall health of your teeth and your body.

Wear A Mouthguard

If you are a school athlete, it’s important to protect your teeth from injury. Wearing a mouthguard will do just that. It will also protect your braces. Be sure you find the best mouthguard to fit your size mouth.
Contact us for Braces & Invisalign in Houston. We wish all our patients and their families a happy school year and we hope everyone studies hard!

kids swing

Best Age for Orthodontics

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One of the most common questions that Dr. Vladimir Tabakman and Dr. Melissa Wadler-Bloome hear from parents is, “What age should I bring my child in for a check-up?” The American Association of Orthodontics recommends all children get a check up with an orthodontic specialist at age 7.

In the past, parents were usually told to wait until all of their child’s baby teeth were gone and all of the permanent teeth were in, or to just wait until their dentist told them that it was time to see an orthodontist. However, this has changed over the years.

At early age, orthodontists can already spot problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while baby teeth are still present. Even though your child’s teeth may appear straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated, and will give your orthodontist the chance to correct problems and improve appearance when children’s natural growth processes are in full swing.

Keep in mind that timing is everything and not all kids need early treatment, in fact, most kids don’t begin active orthodontic treatment until they’re 9-14 years old. If your child is older than 7, it’s not too late for a check-up. We will continue to observe your child’s progression until they are ready for treatment. You can definitely trust the true orthodontic specialists, Dr. Tabakman and Dr. Wadler-Bloome at Houston Orthodontic Specialists with your family’s precious smiles, and to help you make the right decision for your family. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation, or a second opinion. See you at 7!

Young people having fun at the skatepark

Invisalign Teen West Houston

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

You’re a teenager and we know how busy you are. You have sports, after-school activities and hanging out with friends. The reality is that metal braces are not what you want.

For many teenagers, braces are a rite of passage. For many braces are dreaded and feared. At Houston Orthodontic Specialists, we want to give you the smile you want through a brace-free, comfortable and invisible orthodontic procedure, Invisalign Teen®. The product is a set of clear aligners which straightens your teeth without braces. The aligners are virtually invisible and no one will even know that you’re wearing it! Invisalign Teen® allows you to eat whatever you want and keeping your teeth clean is easy. Invisalign Teen® allows Dr. Tabakman to create a beautiful smile for you without braces.

See what teenagers just like you are saying about Invisalign Teen®!
http://www.invisalign.com/Why-Invisalign/Pages/Testimonials.aspx

Call Houston Orthodontic Specialists today to schedule your complimentary consultation to see if Invisalign® is for you!
(281) 752.4222

A boy looking at his slice of watermelon

What can I eat with braces?

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Congratulations! You just got your braces on and you’re now officially part of the Houston Orthodontic Specialists family. For the duration of your orthodontic treatment with Dr. Tabakman at Houston Orthodontic Specialists, it is important to follow certain guidelines to make sure that your treatment goes as smoothly as possibly. So you may be asking yourself, what can I eat with braces? It is important to follow Dr. Tabakman’s guidelines of foods to avoid with braces, because chewy and hard foods can break your brackets or wires. We know that it’s hard to avoid your favorite candy or gum. So why do we tell you not to eat these foods?

-Broken brackets can delay your time in brackets by 2 months per broken bracket. This indefinitely leads to wearing your braces longer.
-When a bracket is broken from the tooth, Dr. Tabakman has to take the time to repair that bracket rather than following the original treatment course, which will delay treatment.
-Eating sticky gum or candy will get stuck in the braces also making it very hard to keep your teeth clean which can cause tooth decay.
-Don’t forget to minimize your sugar and soda pop amount with braces. Keeping your teeth clean with braces can be challenging and therefore there is a higher chance for tooth decay. Following Dr. Tabakman’s guidelines will make your time in braces as short and easy as possible.

Here is a little reminder of foods not to eat with braces:

-Gum
-Nuts
-Bagels
-Pizza Crust
-Sugar Daddies
-Now & Laters
-Starburst
-Gummi bears
-Tooties Rolls
-Jerky
-Popcorn
-Hard Pretzels
-Ice
-Caramels
-Toffee

If you have any questions or concerns, just ask Dr. Tabakman at Houston Orthodontic Specialists at your next appointment or email us at: [email protected]onortho.com.

Top ten tips for keeping your BRACES sparklin’ clean!

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever when you have braces! Food bits have more spots than usual to hide in your mouth, so you must be diligent in order to avoid bad breath, swollen gums, discolored teeth and cavities. If you remove plaque regularly during treatment, you’ll experience better results and shorter treatment time. Keep plaque at bay with these top ten tips:
brushing_braces-300x200
1. One tooth at a time. When you brush, take time with each individual tooth – at least 10 seconds each – and pay careful attention to the spots where your teeth touch your braces.

2. It’s all about the angles. Brush the tops of your teeth and braces with your brush angled down toward where they meet. Brush the bottoms of your teeth and braces with your brush angled up.

3. The tooth, the whole tooth, nothing but the tooth. While the front surface of your teeth may seem like the most logical to clean, it’s equally important to clean the inner surface of your teeth (tongue side) as well as the chewing surface. And be sure to clean along your gum line – a key spot for plaque buildup.

4. Step 1: eat, step 2: clean. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to brush after every meal. Bits of food can easily get caught between braces and teeth, and these food bits interact with bacteria in your mouth to cause decay. The longer food is in contact with your teeth, the greater opportunity for plaque to form. If you are eating somewhere that you can’t brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

5. Like a Boy Scout, always be prepared. The easiest way to be sure you can brush after every meal is to get in the habit of taking a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss with you wherever you go. Designate a special container just for your teeth-cleaning tools and keep it in your purse, backpack, or laptop case.

6. Remove the moving parts. If you have elastic bands or headgear, remove these parts before you brush or floss.

7. Fluoride is your friend. Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Be sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste, and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

8. Pointy brushes reach tiny places. Interproximal brushes (sometimes called proxa brushes or interdental brushes) are cone-shaped and come in very handy for reaching spots around your braces that standard brushes can’t.

9. Find the floss for you. Regular floss works for some patients, but others find it easier to work with a floss threader, which helps you get the floss into tight places. Other patients like an all-in-one product called Superfloss, which comes with a stiff end for easy threading, a spongy section for cleaning wide spaces, and regular floss for narrow spaces.

10. Make time for the pros. It’s your job to take care of the everyday cleaning. But make sure to visit your dentist regularly while in treatment, to get the deep, thorough cleaning that only a professional can provide. If you need help finding the right Dentist for you, feel free to contact our office – we’d love to help!

We hope this helps, and remember to give our team a call if you ever have any questions!

Invisalign Teen Is Great For Busy Teenagers

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Great News for students who want their teeth straightened but don’t want to wear traditional braces. The Invisalign system has proven to be a wonderful alternative to braces for teenagers says Dr. David Wadler, the leading Invisalign orthodontist in the Houston Area. “This is a revolutionary way to straighten teeth without braces”. Upon initial examination, Dr. Wadler decides if invisalign is right for you. He will write a treatment plan and take a non- invasive Oral Scan of your teeth which are then submitted along with x-rays and photographs to Invisalign. Using the latest advances in computer technology, Invisalign carefully translates Dr. Wadler’s instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners. You then wear each aligner for two weeks, moving teeth gradually-week by week, millimeter by millimeter—until you have achieved the intended result: straight teeth. Generally, you visit your Orthodontist less often than you would with braces and the length of time is about the same and often shorter. Other benefits of Invisalign, include no lip or cheek irritation, no emergency visits to fix broken brackets, less tooth soreness, no food restriction-eat what ever you like since you remove the aligner to eat. Oral hygiene is much easier, again since the aligners are not worn eating.
If you want and need your teeth straightened but haven’t wanted to wear braces
Invisalign may be the perfect answer for you.

Flossing With Braces

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Cleaning between your teeth is necessary to prevent decay and infected, swollen gum tissue. In order to clean between your teeth, you will need to floss. With orthodontic braces, it is difficult to floss normally because the archwire is usually in the way. Also, if your teeth are crooked, it may be difficult to pass floss between two crooked teeth. The proper way to floss with braces is to first direct the floss under the archwire using a floss threader or superfloss. This Flossing Braces Video teaches you how to floss your teeth with braces.