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Posts for category: Mouth Care

By Browning Smile Design
January 25, 2017
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Orthodontics   Braces   oral hygiene  

It doesn't take too long to get used to having braces once they're put on, but caring for your teeth properly can be a challenge with the orthodonticsnew "roadblocks" in the way. The crevices between the brackets and wires create more spaces for plaque to collect and go unnoticed, so caring for your teeth while wearing braces is of the utmost importance to ensure that they're healthy once your braces come off. Dr. Brent Browning, your dentist in Northwest Houston, TX, has provided some information about how you can continue maintaining your dental hygiene even while you have braces on your teeth.


Brushing twice a day is an important habit to maintain without braces, but your Northwest Houston dentist encourages his patients with braces to make brushing a priority by carrying a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you in a purse or backpack. The process of brushing doesn't change much with braces: you still need to brush for at least two minutes at a time using a soft-bristled brush. However, if it's possible, you should try to brush after each meal using a fluoride toothpaste to help fight plaque buildup. You can also ask your dentist about recommendations for an orthodontic toothbrush that is designed to clean between the hardware.


Keeping the spaces between your teeth free of debris is best achieved with floss, since even the most sophisticated toothbrush can't reach the tight areas where the teeth touch each other. The process of flossing can be difficult to master even if you don't have wires in the way. Those with braces should use a floss threader, a flexible plastic attachment that helps make flossing more streamlined.

As always, seeing your Northwest Houston, TX dentist twice a year for cleaning is necessary for good dental hygiene. During your appointments, Dr. Browning can demonstrate the best cleaning practices while wearing braces. Contact us today for any questions or to make an appointment!

By Dr. Brent Browning
November 26, 2012
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Dental Anxiety  

Some people do not look forward to dental appointments.  Most dental procedures are not painful, but just being examined can make people feel stressed.  If you fear the dentist, you are not alone.  There is nothing to fear about going to the dentist for check-ups and procedures.

Today, procedures are easy to perform and you will exhibit minimal to no pain at all.  These anxieties can contribute to oral health problems, unless the problem is confronted and treated.  Dr. Browning, Houston dentist, has the ability to treat and calm patients with anxieties, making your next appointment stress free.  

Why do I have a Dental Anxiety?

The causes of dental anxieties are numerous and include factors both related and unrelated to dentistry.  Past experiences will also inhibit the anxiety.  This not only includes physically painful dental visits and treatments, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences, such as being humiliated by dental professionals, family, friends or others.  
Some patient’s fear of going to the dentist or getting dental procedures done is so severe that they may lose sleep at night and worry excessively about what might happen at the dentist’s office.  Dental anxiety is common and it is stated that up to 15 percent of Americans avoid seeing a dentist due to their fear.  
Some other reasons contributing to dental anxiety and dental phobia include:
  • Fear of pain
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
  • Embarrassment or shame about the look and condition of the teeth, as well as the fearful behavior itself.
  • Past bad experiences, which includes physically painful dental visits, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences.
  • History of abuse
  • Observational or vicarious learning
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Fear of needles
  • Hopelessness that neglect or the condition has made it too late to do anything
  • Adverse effects of medication or their ineffectiveness in providing relief from anxiety and pain

How do I overcome my Dental Anxiety?

If you have a dental anxiety, you should always communicate with Dr. Browning, your dentist in Spring and Houston, TX.  The best thing you can do to get over your dental anxiety is to talk with your dentist about it.  If you are anxious about something, come right out and talk to your dentist about it because your dentist is a patient too.  
During a procedure, talk with your hands.  It is often difficult to speak with your mouth while you are undergoing treatment, so talk to your dentist before your procedure on how you will communicate if a problem arises or you feel discomfort.  A simple raise of the hand could signal discomfort, allowing your dentist to adjust the anesthesia appropriately. Additionally, you can benefit from distracting yourself.  Let your mind wander and try focusing on another thought or a feature that stands out in the office.  Letting your mind wander can help ease some of your anxiety.  
Oral sedation is frequently used for many anxious dental patients and works extremely well.  GA and IV sedation are appropriate for people receiving long and/or complex oral surgical procedures such as implants.  It is also used with certain physical/mental handicaps, but is recommended for only a small percentage of highly phobic dental patients.  
Contact Dr. Brent Browning, cosmetic dentist in Houston, if you suffer from dental anxiety.  With help from Dr. Browning, you can receive the care you need without the fear that is caused by dental anxiety.


As October quickly arrived, many of us are running around in attempts to find our children the perfect costumes for their classroom parties and after-school trick-or-treating escapades. However, while you are gathering candy to pass out and preparing the costumes, Dr. Brent Browning, dentist in Houston, is available to help you to better understand how to enjoy Halloween without cavities.  So when your child comes home with a bag full of candy, how can you help remind your child about good oral health and cavity prevention? 

Sugary candies and other sweets obtained during trick-or-treating can lead to tooth decay, and when these sugars are not removed by brushing and flossing, bacteria in the mouth will form plaque—a colorless, sticky film.  As cavity-causing organisms within plaque feed on the sugar, it is then turned into acid, which attacks tooth enamel, creating cavities, or decay. 

By following a few simple steps offered by Dr. Browning, cosmetic dentist in Houston, your children can enjoy their Halloween treats without jeopardizing their dental health.  Try to encourage your child to eat a small amount of candy in one sitting rather than grazing on candy all day.  By doing this, you can help avoid the effects of the sugars that remain on the teeth all day while eating candy.  Be sure to also limit hard, chewy candies, such as taffy, lollipops or caramels that stick to the teeth, damage dental work and increase the period of time in which teeth are exposed to sugar.  Instead of these types of candies, opt for soft candy that can be eaten quickly, such as chocolate.  After eating candy, have your children drink a glass of water and thoroughly brush their teeth for added protection against decay. 

By paying close attention to your child’s Halloween goodies this year, you can help to promote a lifetime of healthier teeth without tossing the entire bag of treats.  Additionally, don’t forget to visit Dr. Brent Browning, your Houston dentist, every six months for a cleaning and dental exam, as it is important for cavity prevention.

By Dr. Browning
September 28, 2012
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Orthodontics  

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with properly aligning teeth and jaws to improve facial structure, tooth function, appearance and overall health.  Whether acquired or inherited, Dr. Brent Browning, your dentist in Houston, can help properly align your teeth and jaws—whether you are a child, teenager or adult. More and more adults are also wearing braces and undergoing orthodontic treatments to correct minor problems and to improve their smiles – not just children.

Why do I need Dental Braces?

Dental braces are a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct teeth that are crowded, crooked, protruding, out of alignment or have irregular spacing.  By moving your teeth into their ideal position, dental braces help to create a more attractive and healthier smile for children and adults.  When teeth are crooked or crowded, it is often difficult to keep them clean.  If brushing and flossing cannot be properly completed, tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss can occur.

An improper bite can also significantly interfere with your ability to chew and speak properly, as well as cause abnormal wear to the enamel of your teeth.  If your teeth protrude and/or your upper and lower teeth do not come together properly, jaw problems may arise as well.  By using braces to keep your teeth in proper alignment and allowing better oral hygiene, dental braces do more than just keep your smile looking good, they help keep your mouth healthy and functioning. 

Understanding Acquired and Inherited Malocclusions

Acquired malocclusions can be caused by trauma to the mouth, sucking of the thumb, finger or pacifiers, tonsils and adenoids that obstruct the airway, mouth breathing or premature loss of primary or permanent teeth.  These instances of malocclusions can be prevented, but if they do occur your dentist can create an appropriate treatment plan for realigning the teeth, lips and jaws.  

While acquired malocclusions are created by outside sources such as trauma inherited malocclusions determine how well your teeth fit together and are determined by attributes such as tooth and jaw size.  Some people may inherit large teeth and small dental arches or small teeth with large dental arches.  Orthodontics can be used to alter this inheritance, giving you an attractive smile.  

Bite problems not only affect the alignment of the teeth, but also facial development and appearance as well. Most cases are mild, or cosmetic in nature, but in some people the condition can be so severe that they can’t eat or speak properly.  The following symptoms may signal a poor bite:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Facial muscle or jaw pain
  • Permanent teeth coming in out of their normal position
  • Problems with biting the cheek
  • Speech difficulties

Contact Dr. Brent Browning, your Houston, TX dentist, today for more information on orthodontics and how they can help re-align your teeth to give you your desired smile. Dr. Browning will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for improving your smile.

By Brent R Browning D.D.S.
August 07, 2012
Category: Mouth Care
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Teeth WhiteningLet’s start with the basics.  Whitening doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money.  With at-home daily oral hygiene many people are satisfied with the sparkle it offers for their smile.  To refresh your understanding of proper oral hygiene, we are happy to offer you the following guidelines to help you gain back that sparkle in your smile:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, everyday
  • Don’t forget to floss daily to remove what your toothbrush left behind
  • Maintain a tooth friendly diet
  • Visit Browning Smile Design at least twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings

However, when the daily basics just aren’t cutting it Dr. Brent Browning offers you professional whitening choices—in-office and take-home.  In-office whitening continues to be the preferred choice for many patients seeking a smile that is whiter and brighter. In-office whitening takes place under carefully monitored conditions, which allow for the safe, controlled, pain-free use of a relatively high concentration of bleaching gel—yielding results that are visible immediately.

Some of the benefits of in-office whitening include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides the fastest results
  • Safest form of tooth bleaching
  • Gum and tooth sensitivity are more controllable

In addition to in-office bleaching, you can also experience the benefits of professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits.  Even though you can get over-the-counter whiteners without your dentist’s recommendation, there is a possibility for over-use, which can harm your tooth enamel and irritate your gum tissue.  So to provide the best results, talk to Dr. Browning for further information on custom-made take-home whitening trays from Browning Smile Design.

The best whitening results appear to come from dentist-dispensed take-home kits—especially those that are used for an extended period of time.  These take-home kits contain higher percentages of bleach than over-the-counter kits and consist of custom-made application trays made of a flexible plastic material.  These custom-made trays ensure that the bleach stays in contact with your teeth, establishing maximum whitening while minimizing the amount of bleach that can dribble onto the gums.

Take the next step toward an impressive smile with teeth whitening by visiting Browning Smile Designs for proper consultation and treatment planning. Dr. Browning is available to help your teeth sparkle once again.

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