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Adult Treatment, Featured, Orthodontics, Uncategorized

Flossing With Braces

Keeping your teeth clean is one of the most important parts of ensuring your beautiful smile. At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics we work with all of our patients on best practices for cleaning their teeth while undergoing treatment with braces or Invisalign. While one of the best benefits of Invisalign is the ease of brushing […]

Keeping your teeth clean is one of the most important parts of ensuring your beautiful smile. At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics we work with all of our patients on best practices for cleaning their teeth while undergoing treatment with braces or Invisalign. While one of the best benefits of Invisalign is the ease of brushing and flossing as compared to braces – for some, braces are the option they choose and they have to make sure they maintain their healthy smile. 

Researchers have shown that a good oral hygiene regimen leads to brighter smiles, better breath, and decreased rates of mouth pain and gum disease. Millions of small organisms known as bacteria live in each of our mouths. These bacteria use the leftover food and debris in your teeth as fuel to form dental plaque. When plaque is left on the surfaces of teeth it leads to tooth decay, gum disease, or decalcification (unsightly permanent white spots). Braces create even more surfaces for bacteria to hide and plaque to form so it is important to become an expert at flossing so that you can keep your teeth clean and healthy. By visiting your orthodontist and dentist regularly and following these instructions you will ensure your brightest and most beautiful smile.

5 Tips for Flossing with Braces:

1. Use waxed floss with a floss threader

Compared to unwaxed floss, waxed floss is much less likely to get caught in your braces. Threaders allow you to position floss to clean behind wires and around your brackets. 

2. Use 12-18 inches of floss

Don’t cut it too short but no need to waste your floss. Wrap the floss around your middle or index finger and allow a few inches of taut floss in between.

3. Floss the “in-between” or side surfaces of your teeth

Your goal is to clean tooth surfaces and not the wire itself. Use an up-and-down, back-and-forth motion 3-5x against each surface.

4. Carefully pull the floss out

Remove the floss by gently pulling on one end until it slides free. Be sure not to catch it on your braces

5. Repeat this process for each tooth

Be sure to floss each tooth and not just one’s with food trapped in them. By brushing twice and flossing at least once per day you will improve your dental health and overall health

Trouble with flossing? Many of our patients have success with Platypus flossers or a water flosser!

Want to Learn More?

At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we are Diamond Plus Invisalign Providers, meaning we treat more patients with Invisalign than any other dentist or orthodontist in our area. We are also consistently voted as the top orthodontist in our area! 

If you haven’t visited an orthodontist yet and want to find a braces or Invisalign provider near Gainesville, Haymarket, Warrenton, Manassas, or any of Prince William County that is right for you, schedule a free consultation with us today!

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Adult Treatment, Invisalign, Orthodontics

Our Top 6 Most Commonly Asked Questions We Get from Invisalign Patients

If you’re a current Invisalign patient or are looking to start your Invisalign journey, you likely have a few questions about this revolutionary treatment plan. From what you can and cannot eat to how often you should be wearing your aligners, there are a lot of specifics that can affect your overall treatment success. 

Read on to learn the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we hear around the office.

Can I Eat with My Invisalign In?

The idea of Invisalign being easily removable is so that you can take them off during mealtimes so you can eat comfortably.

So please don’t skip this simple step and remove them before you start eating. Eating with your Invisalign aligners on can cause them to be damaged or chipped and not work as well as they should. Meaning your treatment progress may be delayed. 

What Types of Food Should I Avoid When on Invisalign Treatment?

The good news is you don’t have as many dietary restrictions as compared to traditional braces. But there are still categories of food you may want to avoid as they could affect the treatment process, such as:

  • Hard to bite foods – these can cause movement or could even cause your teeth to chip/break
  • Sticky sweets and gum – the residue of these candies could cause discoloration of your aligners or get stuck between your teeth.
  • Spices that stain – Turmeric, saffron, and ginger tend to stain your teeth, and aligners

What Can I Drink with Invisalign?

While it is comparatively less inconvenient to drink with your Invisalign aligners on, it is essential to avoid specific types of drinks that could stain your aligners or attachments in the process.

Some types of drinks you might need to avoid during your treatment include:

  • Coffee, tea, wine, and colored beverages could cause discoloration of your aligners or attachments
  • Any hot drink which could cause the plastic aligners to melt and warp

What To Do If My Invisalign Has Stained Attachments?

Forgot to stick to the list of foods and drinks to avoid and end up with stained attachments? Not to worry, reach out to us, and we will suggest some simple methods to help resolve it.

Some of the more common methods include polishing the surface to remove the stain or using whitening products.

What is the Difference Between Retainers and Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners are what orthodontists use during treatment to help move teeth into their desired location.

In contrast, retainers are used after treatment to help maintain the desired teeth positioning and prevent them from moving back.

Is Invisalign Worth It?

Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign offers a discrete, flexible, and yet effective orthodontic treatment.

Read more about our article on Invisalign here or compare the pros and cons of traditional braces before you make your decision!

Have More Questions About the Invisalign Treatment?

Want to learn more before you get started? Book a complimentary consultation online with us at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, and we will help to answer any queries you might have!

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Adult Treatment, Invisalign Adult

Orthodontic Treatment Options for Adults Available

Are you looking for orthodontic treatment options as adult? You are not alone! Each year, more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to achieve the smile they always wanted.

People of all ages are choosing to straighten their teeth. The advancements in technology and materials provide many options that suit most every lifestyle.

Treatment Options

In the constantly evolving world of orthodontics, the requirements of adult patients are easily accommodated. There are so many treatment options available today that you are sure to find a straightening system that is perfect for you. New methods, materials and new technologies make it possible for Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics to provide:

  • Invisalign – an invisible straightening system
  • Faster treatment time
  • Ceramic or clear brackets, which are less noticeable
  • Fewer office visits
  • More comfort and flexibility

Benefits of Braces at Any Age

At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, braces are more comfortable and convenient than ever before. If you are looking to improve your dental health and your self-esteem forever, consider the benefits of orthodontics at any age:

  • Braces improve oral health by straightening teeth and making it easier to remove plaque.
  • Braces improve your ability to speak, chew and bite correctly.
  • Orthodontic treatment helps prevent periodontal disease, reduces bone loss, and prevents excess wear of tooth surfaces.
  • Braces improve the appearance of your face and smile, which naturally brings higher self-esteem.

Orthodontic Evaluations for Adults

Orthodontic treatment for adults is a slightly different than treatment for children and teens, but not much! A full evaluation takes place before orthodontic treatment begins. This is to examine, address, and control issues more common to adults including:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Jaw disorders such as TMD (temporomandibular disorder)
  • Gum recession
  • Missing, broken, or excessively worn teeth

Other doctors and dental specialists may need to join in on a team effort for specific treatment. These issues rarely stop orthodontic treatment from being the very best option! These evaluations are important to make sure your results will be exceptional.

At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we take pride in creating beautiful healthy smiles. We are looking forward to meeting you and evaluating your orthodontic requirements. Together we will choose a system that is robust enough to achieve your smile goals quickly and seamlessly fit into your lifestyle. Call today (703)753-4996 for your complimentary consultation.

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Adult Treatment, Invisalign Adult

Invisalign for Adults

Are you considering Invisalign to correct your smile? Did you know about 20% of all orthodontic patients are adults? While your teeth may be more comfortable in the their place than if you were 11 years old getting braces, it is still possible and easier than ever to move your teeth into a more functional […]

Are you considering Invisalign to correct your smile? Did you know about 20% of all orthodontic patients are adults? While your teeth may be more comfortable in the their place than if you were 11 years old getting braces, it is still possible and easier than ever to move your teeth into a more functional and aesthetically pleasing alignment.

If you have been looking into orthodontic treatment and are not sure where to go, Dunegan Orthodontics specializes in orthodontic treatment for adults, teens and children! We are centrally located in Gainesville, VA, and Dr. Dunegan & Dr. Cole happen to be Gainesville’s most experienced orthodontist and Invisalign provider. We are pleased to offer Invisalign to adults and teens.

Here are some of the reasons why adults love Invisalign and are choosing it at a higher rate than ever before.

Invisible!

Though most people start off their Invisalign treatment self-conscious about whether people can see their aligners (as if they were actually wearing metal braces), the truth is that no one will be able to tell you are wearing them unless you tell them you are. There will be a few days of adjustment. During the first few days of wearing the aligners, you will probably notice it is more difficult to speak, but your mouth will adjust to the extra bulk around your teeth, (which is less than traditional braces). This solution is far less noticeable than having metal or even clear braces and a wire across the front of your teeth.

Eat and Drink, Brush and Floss

Traditional braces come with dietary restrictions. They are imposed to maintain the structure and function of the braces system. The same restrictions DO NOT APPLY in Invisalign. Invisalign is removable and therefore you are able to eat or drink (coffee) whatever you want. It should be noted that clean aligners need to be placed on clean teeth.

With the removability of Invisalign, you gain complete access to your normal oral hygiene routine involving brushing after each meal and flossing daily. Maintaining good oral hygiene will be a benefit to you during and after your Invisalign treatment period.

Less Discomfort

Invisalign aligners straighten your teeth gradually. Invisalign patients usually find they experience less discomfort than patients wearing metal brackets and wires. The adjustment period is much shorter as there are no rough brackets or edges to the aligners and therefore fewer mouth sores with Invisalign. Whether you are a busy parent or a busy professional, having less pain and discomfort is a bonus.

Fewer Appointments

Invisalign requires few office visits. Why? There is nothing to take apart, replace or adjust with Invisalign. You will switch out your aligners every two weeks for a new set, but you will not need an appointment for that. Most likely, you will have scheduled office visits every 8-10 weeks so Dr. Dunegan or Dr. Cole can make sure you are on the right track.

It is not too late to have straight teeth and a beautiful, confident smile. Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics is dedicated to giving you a beautiful smile at any age. Straight teeth are healthy teeth. Call us today to get started 703.753.4777 or request a complimentary consultation online.

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Adult Treatment, Early Treatment

The Hygienic Benefits of Air Flossers and Water Picks

We encourage our clients to use air flossers and water picks in addition to a good oral hygiene routine including brushing and manual flossing.

At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we encourage our clients to use air flossers and water picks in addition to a good oral hygiene routine including brushing and manual flossing. Both air flossers and water picks are designed to clean between and around teeth daily to help you quickly remove stubborn plaque and debris.

Air Flossers

Air flossers use “microburst technology” — rapid bursts of compressed air plus microwater droplets — to blast out plaque and debris between your teeth. Handheld battery-operated devices about the size of an electric toothbrush, they’re extremely effective in cleaning hard-to-reach spots. Air flossers are portable, cordless, and rechargeable. Typically, a single charge lasts about two weeks.

What Air Flossers Do and How to Use Them

  • Air flossers have an angled, slim nozzle, so you can easily reach your back teeth.

  • Their point-and-click design makes air flossers easy to operate, even for children.

  • Air flossers’ tips help you aim for the spaces between your teeth.

  • After choosing your “blast” setting, you simply place the nozzle tip against the spaces between your teeth, working from back to front on each row of your teeth.

Water Picks

Water picks, also known as “oral irrigators” or “water flossers,” provide a range of water pressures you can choose to clean between and around your teeth. They also have a “pulsation setting” to stimulate and massage your gums and gum pockets to keep them healthy.

What Water Picks Do and How to Use Them

Water picks are also handheld devices. They use water to push out plaque and food particles. Water picks’ combination of pulsation and water pressure deeply cleans your teeth as well as the area underneath your gums. Water picks are compact and sit on your bathroom sink or counter. They need to be plugged in and hooked up to a water source for ease of use.

Most children probably don’t need to use water picks if they are doing a good job of brushing and manually flossing; however, children and teenagers with braces or other orthodontic appliances may find them useful for removing food debris and plaque from their teeth and gum lines. Water picks are safe for children as young as six with adult supervision and take about 60 seconds to use.

The steps for using a waterpik are quick and easy to learn:

  • Fill the reservoir with lukewarm water or antibacterial mouthwash.

  • Select your tip (orthodontic tips are available, for example) and press it firmly into the handle.

  • Adjust the pressure control. It’s recommended to start at low pressure.

  • Lean over your sink and place the tip in your mouth.

  • Turn the unit on. Close your lips to avoid splashing, while allowing water to flow from your mouth into your sink.

  • Start with your back teeth and pause briefly between teeth, aiming the tip just above your gum line at a 90 degree angle.

  • When you’ve finished, turn the unit off and use the tip eject button to remove the tip.

The Benefits of Extra Cleaning Devices

Both air flossers and water picks can be effective in removing plaque and debris even brushing and manual flossing may miss to achieve bacterial reduction between your teeth. You can add an antibacterial mouthwash to the reservoir in either device for an even cleaner, fresher feeling which also helps protect your mouth from infection.

At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we are delighted to be able to recommend a new generation of oral hygiene “helpers” to our clients. Air flossers and water picks make former obstacles to keeping teeth clean while wearing braces or dental bridges news of the past.

If you have oral hygiene concerns or orthodontic needs and would like to set up an appointment, please contact us at 703.753.4996 or book your free consult. We look forward to partnering with you to keep your oral health the best it can be — for a lifetime of clean, healthy, happy teeth and gums.

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Adult Treatment

WHAT IS ACCELEDENT?

If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with Dr. Dunegan, we bet you would probably welcome any innovation that could reduce the time you spend wearing Braces or Invisalign.Our team at Dunegan Orthodontics is proud to offer to our patients AcceleDent, an innovative device designed to increase your rate of tooth movement as well as potentially […]

If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with Dr. Dunegan, we bet you would probably welcome any innovation that could reduce the time you spend wearing Braces or Invisalign.Our team at Dunegan Orthodontics is proud to offer to our patients AcceleDent, an innovative device designed to increase your rate of tooth movement as well as potentially decrease your overall treatment time.

AcceleDent is a comfortable, lightweight, hands-free device that is held between your teeth for 20 minutes a day while you undergo treatment with Dr. Dunegan. Using micro vibrations that help stimulate bone movement, AcceleDent complements the controlled force braces and Invisalign provide to help bring your teeth into ideal alignment.

AcceleDent, which is easy to use and clean, is compatible with both teen and adult patients and allows patients to enjoy everyday activities during the 20 minutes each day. Simply press the removable mouthpiece into the activator, bite down firmly enough to hold the device in place, and turn on AcceleDent.

A study has indicated that AcceleDent is an effective treatment in safely speeding bone movement, and can even reduce the time you spend wearing braces or Invisalign 38 to 50 percent faster than usual.

To learn if AcceleDent is right for you, please give us a call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dunegan.

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