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Welcome to the blog of Dr. Chen at True Image Orthodontics, your local Cypress, TX orthodontic practice! We are excited to use this space to share office updates, events, and great articles about the exciting world of orthodontics! Dr. Chen is always accepting new patients at his Cypress, TX orthodontics office and we look forward to seeing you soon!
By Dr. David Chen on 2/14/2017 2:55 PM
If your first orthodontic appointment is coming up, don’t be nervous! Getting your braces on may feel like a scary thing, but it is actually a fairly simple process. Here is what you can expect.


A week before you get your braces on, your orthodontist may insert small rubber spacers between your back molars to allow space for your braces.


Typically, the process will take 1-2 hours. You may find it helpful to bring headphones to listen to favorite music or a podcast during the appointment to distract yourself.


First, the orthodontist will clean and dry your teeth. Then, using a special glue, he will attach the brackets to your teeth. The glue may not taste very good, but it is harmless.


Then, the orthodonist will apply the metal archwire and secure it with elastic bands. You get to choose the color of the elastic bands, so take time to think about what shades you want!


Your mouth, especially your teeth and gums, will feel sore for a few days. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as necessary, and stick with soft foods like mashed potatoes and smoothies.

By Dr. David Chen on 2/2/2017 12:11 PM
If you’re considering your options for braces, it may feel a little overwhelming. But each option has its owns pros and cons, and depending on your lifestyle and budget, you’ll be able to decide what is best for you!


Metal Braces – These are the traditional stainless steel brackets and wires.


Least expensive

Most effective

Allows kids to express themselves with colored bands



Most noticeable

Limit you from eating hard and sticky foods


Ceramic braces- Same size and shape as metal braces, but with tooth-colored or clear ceramic brackets.


Less noticeable than metal

Most effective (same as metal)


More costly than metal

May stain more easily


Invisalign – Clear retainers that are replaced every two weeks to gently move teeth


Nearly invisible

Allows you to eat and drink anything



Only available for teens and adults

By Dr. David Chen on 1/17/2017 1:15 PM
Finding foods to eat that are filling, nutritious, and easy on sore teeth is no easy task. Here’s a tasty recipe for homemade tomato soup that is perfect for anyone with braces. Packed with vegetables that support good oral health as well as full-body health, you can’t go wrong! Be sure to brush your teeth after every meal to prevent food from getting stuck in your braces. Serve this tasty soup with soft bread or even a soft grilled cheese and you’ve got a great meal!


Simple Tomato Soup. Originally from Pinch of Yum


4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

2 carrots, chopped

half of a yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1½ tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon flour

4 cups chicken broth (more to thin out the soup at the end as needed)

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes

cream (optional - to add at the end as desired)

By Dr. David Chen on 1/3/2017 4:41 PM
If you're feeling down about all the foods you have to avoid now that you have braces, cheer up! There are so many delicious foods that you can eat to your heart's content! See if your favorite treat made the list:


Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks

Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts

Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice

Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats 

Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes, other soft fish

Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans, cooked green beans, cooked carrots

Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, soft/cut-up apples and pears

Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, pudding, soft cake


Good meals to eat with braces:


Sandwich with lunch meat on soft bread and sliced cheese

Macaroni and cheese with cooked broccoli

Mashed potatoes and rotisserie chicken

Chicken noodle soup

Lasagna with extra-soft...
By Dr. David Chen on 12/19/2016 5:02 PM
Brushing your teeth while you have braces is definitely more difficult than it is without braces! Using the right toothbrush can make all the difference in fighting plaque and cavities, and ending up needing extra cleanings for your teeth.


The best toothbrush for braces is small and flexible enough to move around your mouth and your braces.


The best choice: An electric toothbrush designed for working around braces. This special toothbrush allows you to clean all sides of each tooth, while using the right amount of pressure. This makes the cleaning more effective and more efficient. These are sometimes called interdental brush with an angled head and brush that can fit around your braces.


Second best: A regular toothbrush with a smaller head. Be aware you will need to work the bristles both upward and downwards to get a good clean over your braces.


Skip it: A regular electric toothbrush is not very flexible and can be difficult to move around your braces. The brackets and wires will also cause the brush to wear down faster.

By Dr. David Chen on 12/8/2016 11:42 AM
It’s very important to keep your teeth healthy and strong while you have braces. While brushing and flossing are a big part of that, your diet is also very important! Here are some foods to add to your diet to keep your teeth strong.


Tooth enamel is made of minerals, and different acidic foods and drinks may cause erosion of the enamel. To make your teeth strong again you need to put some minerals back, which can be done with calcium and phosphorous. These elements are the building blocks of enamel and consuming foods rich in them is a necessity if you want to keep your teeth strong and healthy.


Best sources of calcium – yogurt, cheese, seafood, milk, tofu.

Best sources of phosphorous - fish, red meat, eggs, tofu, broth


Crunchy foods with lots of water have a naturally abrasive texture, so they gently scrub and clean teeth surfaces, removing plaque and food particles. The act of chewing also produces saliva, which is the best natural neutralizer of the bacteria...
By Dr. David Chen on 11/15/2016 11:41 PM
The main difference to remember when treating adults or children and teens, is that in younger patients the jawbones are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may mean the possibility of dental surgery to align the jawbones. Other differences include:

Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.

Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.

Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment...
By Dr. David Chen on 11/1/2016 9:47 AM
Did you know that all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists? Becoming a certified orthodontist is a long process, that involves many years of schooling and practical learning. Dr. Chen went through this training to become an orthodontist? Curious what it took?


After graduating from college, a future-orthodontist must get a graduate degree as a dentist, and get a DDS, DMD, BDS, or equivalent. Once they graduate, they can apply to be a resident in an orthodontics program. Entrance to these programs are extremely competitive, and typically last 2-3 years. These programs can award a Master of Science degree or a Doctor of Science degree, depending on the student.


Every graduate must complete the written portion of the American Board of Orthodontics examinations. In order to become certified, a practicing orthodontist must present six cases that have been entirely treated by the orthodontist in question. Then, the orthodontist must appear in front of a panel...
By Dr. David Chen on 10/18/2016 1:05 AM
Halloween is right around the corner. You probably have your costume picked out, your pumpkins glowing on the front porch, and a fun Halloween movie on TV. You’re all ready for the festivities, but what about your braces? Celebrate Halloween with colored rubber bands on your braces to match the season! You could go for the classic black and orange, or you can even match it to your costume! Here’s a few ideas based on popular costumes.


Princess – Pink and Purple

Superman or Spiderman – Blue and Red

Witch – Purple or Green and Black

Ghost – White

Vampire – Black and Red

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle – Green

Skeleton – Black and White

Minion – Yellow

Pumpkin – Orange

Pokemon – Yellow and Black


While you’re enjoying the ghosts and goblins on Halloween, remember to take care of your braces. Avoid sticky candy like gummy bears and gum or hard candy and lollipops. The last thing you want is to spend your Halloween night at the...
By Dr. David Chen on 10/4/2016 10:13 AM
Packing school lunches can be hard, especially when your child has braces! Apples, carrots, pretzels, and other crunchy snacks are a no-go, which can be tough on the menu.  Biting directly into an apple, for example, can cause the front brackets or wires to pop off. That’s why you need to only pack very soft foods.


Yogurt, oatmeal, puddings, baked potatoes, mashed avocados, scrambled eggs, pureed soups, smoothies and cottage cheese are just a few examples of softer foods your child can safely eat. This doesn’t mean your child must stick to an all-liquid diet, of course. For example, spaghetti with pureed vegetables in the sauce (like spinach and carrots) is an easy way to ensure your child is eating her veggies without risking damage to her braces.


Try a new grain like couscous or quinoa in place of your typical pasta. Melt a soft cheese like Brie or Munster onto your sandwich rather than cheddar or provolone. Craving an apple? Try baking it in the oven for 45 minutes and adding...
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Dental Care Tips: After Braces
Pediatric Orthodontics: What You Need To Know
Adult Braces? How To Know If You Really Need Them
Things to Avoid With Braces
Do I Really Need Braces and How Do They Really Work?
Soft and Healthy Dinner Idea for Painful Teeth
Why Do Kids Get Crooked Teeth?
DIY Popsicles
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