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Featured, Invisalign, Invisalign Adult, Invisalign Teen

What To Expect During Your First Week of Invisalign

You had your first visit and our orthodontists created a personalized treatment plan for you from the 3D scan of your mouth. If you’re one of our Dunegan & Cole patients, we even showed you what your new smile will look like when you finish treatment on our Invisalign Outcome Simulator. Once the Invisalign lab fabricates your clear […]

You had your first visit and our orthodontists created a personalized treatment plan for you from the 3D scan of your mouth. If you’re one of our Dunegan & Cole patients, we even showed you what your new smile will look like when you finish treatment on our Invisalign Outcome Simulator. Once the Invisalign lab fabricates your clear aligners based on your custom treatment plan, you’ll receive your first Invisalign trays and officially begin your smile transformation journey. 

So, what happens in the first week of Invisalign treatment? Here are 7 things you should know:

1. Mild Soreness is Normal

The good news is, you won’t feel significant Invisalign pain the first week, or at any time during your treatment. However, mild soreness or tenderness with Invisalign is to be expected when you start your first set of aligners and, occasionally, when you switch to a new tray. This is because your aligners are exerting continuous, gentle pressure to shift your teeth into place and align then. If you have a bit of soreness, it just means your aligners are working! 

How long does Invisalign hurt for? Discomfort will go away in less than a week with your first Invisalign tray. With future trays, mild soreness usually only lasts for a day or two. 

Managing Mild Invisalign Pain the First Week of Treatment

  • Stick with foods that require minimal chewing for the first few days. Smoothies, milkshakes, yogurt, applesauce, ripe bananas, oatmeal, soup, scrambled eggs, broth, protein shakes, and mashed potatoes are all excellent for sore teeth. You can jump right back into your usual diet when the tenderness improves.
  • Put your first Invisalign tray in at night. In fact, you might want to make it a habit throughout your treatment to always switch to new aligners before bed. This way, you’ll sleep through the initial hours of tenderness. By the time you wake up in the morning, your aligners will be slightly less tight and discomfort should be beginning to ease. 
  • Swish with a saltwater rinse as often as needed. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds, spit it out, and repeat until you finish the glass. This is helpful if you not feel the edge of the aligners rubbing against your lip or cheek.
  • Continue wearing your aligners. If your Invisalign hurts, it can be tempting to stop wearing them. But, the more you wear them, the more quickly discomfort will go away. Even if your teeth are sore, wear the aligners for the full 22 hours per day, or even more if possible. 
  • If the tips above don’t help with Invisalign pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever (whatever you’d normally take for a headache). 
  • If a rough edge on your Invisalign aligner is hurting you or causing sores or irritation, give our office a call. We can smooth it down or walk you through how to do it at home. A lot of times, a nail file will do the trick to gently remove an annoying spot on your aligner

2. Your Invisalign Aligners Will be Tight At The Beginning

Each set of Invisalign aligners is designed to achieve very specific tooth movements. When you put in your first Invisalign tray and when changing to a new set, the aligners will feel very snug. As you wear them, and your teeth shift, the aligners will loosen up. 

To improve the way the aligners fit against your teeth, it’s recommended that you use your Invisalign Chewies for 10 to 15 minutes a day. This will help place the aligners onto your teeth for the ideal Invisalign fit. 

3. It Might Feel Weird to Talk

It takes some time for you to get used to to having the aligners in your mouth. Some patients find they have a lisp during their first week of Invisalign treatment. Your best bet is to talk as much as you can. Read aloud to yourself, sing along to your favorite songs, or call a friend and talk on the phone. Temporarily being talkative will help you get used to your aligners more quickly and your speech will return to normal. 

4. You Might Find Yourself Snacking Less Often

You’ll take your aligners out to brush and floss, eat, and drink anything aside from plain water. Afterwards, you’ll put your aligners back in so you can meet the recommended 22 hours of daily wear. 

Because of the need to take your aligners in and out, it makes you much more aware of just how often you snack or sip on beverages throughout the day. A lot of patients are surprised by this at first and find they snack less during their treatment. 

5. While You’ll Become a Pro at Inserting and Removing Your Aligners Soon Enough, but There is a Learning Curve

Speaking of the need to take your aligners out and put them back in, it might seem like a pretty simple thing to do. However, it can be a little bit challenging at first, especially if you have attachments bonded to your teeth. You will get the hang of it in no time and be able to do it quickly and discreetly.

To help, I’m sharing some pointers for inserting and removing Invisalign aligners.

How to Put In Invisalign Aligners:

  • First, make sure you’re putting the correct aligner on the correct arch (upper aligner is going on the upper teeth and lower aligner is going on the lower teeth). 
  • Push the aligner over the front teeth and then apply gentle pressure along the length of the aligner all the way to the back, so that it snaps over your molars. When your aligner is in, use your thumbs to fully seat it. 
  • Don’t force your aligners in or try to bite them into place. If your Invisalign fit seems off or like it’s not tight enough, use your chewies to massage them into place. 

How to Remove Your Invisalign Aligners:

  • To remove your aligners, hook your finger over the edge of the aligner behind your back molar (on the tongue side) and pull it out and away. Repeat the process on the other side of your mouth. You can then hook your finger over the edge of the aligner behind your front teeth. Once the aligner releases, grip both sides and gently pull it all of the way out. 
  • If you’re struggling, you can try to wiggle the tray a little to help get it off.
  • Never stick objects between the aligners and your teeth in an attempt to take them out because it can damage your enamel. 

6. You’ll Need to Make Your Invisalign Case Your New BFF

The fact that Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible and removable is a huge bonus. On the other hand, it also makes them extremely easy to lose. Whenever you take your aligners out to eat and drink (or even to brush and floss if you have pets), put them in your Invisalign case. Setting them down on a napkin or a tissue is a surefire way to accidentally throw them away, and you don’t want to have to dig through the trash to find them. If you have trouble keeping track of your case, consider storing it in a larger case like a cosmetic or toiletry bag or adorning it with flashy stickers. 

7. Cleaning Invisalign Trays is Easy And Necessary

As you wear your Invisalign aligners, spit and plaque will build up on them. To keep them clear and odor-free, clean them in the morning and before bed. It’s also a good idea to rinse them off before putting them back in your mouth after eating.

As for how to clean your aligners, there are Invisalign cleaning crystals and other products available for purchase. But the easiest way is to brush your aligners with a soft-bristled toothbrush (don’t use toothpaste because it can scratch the plastic) and then rinse them in lukewarm water. For a more thorough clean, you can also use a mild, unscented dishwashing soap along with your toothbrush. 

Connect with Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics!

Now that you have the details on everything from how to manage Invisalign pain the first week to how to clean your aligners, I hope you feel confident about starting treatment. If you have any questions I didn’t answer, give us a call. Or, if you haven’t visited an orthodontist yet and want to find out if Invisalign is right for you, schedule a free consultation at Dunegan & Cole in Gainesville, VA today!

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Invisalign, Invisalign Adult, Invisalign Teen

Invisalign in Gainesville, VA

If you are in search of an Invisalign provider in Gainesville, VA or in any of the surrounding Northern VA area, look no further than Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics. We are the top Invisalign provider in Gainesville, Manassas, Haymarket, and all of Prince William County.

If you are in search of an Invisalign provider in Gainesville, VA or in any of the surrounding Northern VA area, look no further than Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics. We are the top Invisalign provider in Gainesville, Manassas, Haymarket, and all of Prince William County. We are a Diamond Plus Invisalign Provider, making us one of the top Invisalign practices in the country. Our office has helped countless patients of all ages to boost their confidence and achieve life-changing smiles. Simply schedule a complimentary consultation in our office to determine if you are a good candidate for clear aligner therapy. 

What is Invisalign?
Gone are the days where traditional metal braces are necessary to straighten teeth. If you’d like to straighten your teeth in an invisible, effective way, Invisalign is the way to go. Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners to gradually shift your teeth into their proper positions. Invisalign treatment can be much quicker than traditional orthodontics and fits into a variety of lifestyles.

Who is a Candidate for Invisalign?
It’s important to note that Invisalign is not the right treatment for everyone. While it can be as effective as braces even in the most severe cases, the aligners are removable so it takes a commitment to wearing the aligners for at least 22 hours a day. At Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we offer complimentary Invisalign consultations to help you determine if Invisalign is a good treatment option for you.

Benefits of Invisalign
Perhaps the greatest benefit of Invisalign is the fact that it can allow you to straighten your teeth in a non-obvious way. It can also make eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing a breeze because Invisalign aligners are removable. Lastly, Invisalign aligners are incredibly comfortable and do not cause irritation like other orthodontic treatments.

Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions

Is Invisalign treatment painful?

As with traditional metal braces, you may experience some temporary discomfort each time you place a new set of aligners in your mouth. This discomfort is usually pressure and a sign that your aligners are doing their job and moving your teeth.

How often should I visit the office for an Invisalign checkup?

We know you lead a busy life and are pleased to inform you that Invisalign checkups can be significantly reduced as compared to braces . They are important as they give us a chance to make sure your treatment is progressing as it should.

Will I need to wear a retainer after Invisalign treatment?

If you’d like your new and improved smile to last for years to come, wearing a trainer once you complete Invisalign treatment is essential. It can help reduce your risk of relapse and ensure your teeth remain straight.

What is the ideal way to clean Invisalign aligners?

We recommend brushing them with toothpaste and water. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing this each time you brush and floss your teeth.

How will Invisalign affect my speech?

Invisalign is like other orthodontic appliances in that it may temporarily affect the way you speak. The good news is that once your tongue and lips get used to the aligners, you’ll be able to speak normally.

What is the typical length of an Invisalign treatment plan?

Your age and the severity of your case will determine the typical length of your treatment plan. However, most patients complete their Invisalign treatment in about 10 to 12 months

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Invisalign, Invisalign Adult, Invisalign First

Clear Aligner Therapy: What is it?

Similar to traditional braces, clear aligner therapy works to gradually move teeth. Other popular terms for clear aligner therapy are “clear aligners” or “invisible braces.” clear aligners have allowed traditional orthodontic treatment to be virtually invisible and removable.

Similar to traditional braces, clear aligner therapy works to gradually move teeth. Other popular terms for clear aligner therapy are “clear aligners” or “invisible braces.” clear aligners have allowed traditional orthodontic treatment to be virtually invisible and removable. Clear aligners are easily taken out for eating, brushing, flossing, or for short periods of time. 

The original and most well known Clear Aligner manufacturer is Invisalign. They have developed their technology and manufacturing process over the past 20 years. Many of the other companies or aligners that you might hear about use their original 20-year old technology. At Dunegan & Cole, Dr. Dunegan and I keep up-to-date with all of the innovations in the material science of clear aligners. At this time, Invisalign has the best product which is why we exclusively utilize their clear aligners for our patients. 

How does it work?
To start, an orthodontic professional does a full exam of the patient’s mouth to assess the most appropriate approach to treatment. This exam includes x-rays, digital scans, photographs, and a clinical exam with the doctor. From there, a diagnosis can be made and a treatment plan is customized to each specific patient. The doctor will decide the best way to guide your teeth into healthy positions (ALL of the teeth, not just the ones you can see!)

The overall goal of clear aligner therapy is to achieve a healthy bite. A healthy bite is one where top and bottom teeth align, function, and fit together properly. With an end goal in mind (using the patient’s initial imagery/scans), a series of clear, plastic aligners are custom fabricated for each patient. 

How long will treatment take? 
Once the aligners are in place in the mouth, they will begin to put a gentle pressure on the teeth. The pressure felt is from the aligners slowly working to reposition the teeth. Generally, aligners are changed every week in order to gradually move the teeth, similar to braces. The total number of aligners for treatment varies from patient to patient. Typically, a patient can expect to go through 20-30 sets of aligners in the initial set followed by 1-2 more sets of 20 or less aligners. The average number of aligners for a comprehensive is about 60. 

Once your doctor has customized your treatment plan, they can better estimate how long treatment will take. Generally, a patient that needs a touch up could be in treatment for 3-6 months while patients seeking a smile transformation could be in treatment for 1-2 years. 

The secret to Clear Aligner Therapy
While the clear, plastic aligners are removable, it is very important for the patient to keep them in, even if they are experiencing discomfort. Aligners can’t work unless worn in the mouth for 20-22 hours a day, or as prescribed by your doctor. Aligners can be easily lost or misplaced when not worn, so make it a habit to always put them into their case when not being worn, never in a napkin or a pocket! The best way to ensure you won’t lose your trays is to always wear them! If you have lost a set of trays, be sure to contact your doctor immediately. 

Is Clear Aligner Therapy Right for you?
The best way to answer this question is to schedule a consultation with a professional. Look for someone who is highly ranked in your local area as this is an indication of the doctor’s experience treating patients with clear aligners. 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. Clear aligners may not be the best treatment option for everyone, so it’s important to be able to have a candid conversation with your doctor about your treatment options.

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Invisalign, Invisalign Adult, Invisalign Teen

Foods to Avoid With Invisalign

Wait a second. Wasn’t I promised that I could eat anything I want if I chose Invisalign!? Yes, you were. With braces, you have to stay away from any foods that are sticky, crunchy, or chewy – with Invisalign, that is all fair game. And really all foods can be had without much worry.

Wait a second. Wasn’t I promised that I could eat anything I want if I chose Invisalign!? Yes, you were. With braces, you have to stay away from any foods that are sticky, crunchy, or chewy – with Invisalign, that is all fair game. And really all foods can be had without much worry. At Dunegan&Cole we actually recommend that you keep your aligners in while you eat your meals – if this sounds weird, check out this blog post to understand why. 

That being said, there are a few items that you may want to avoid in order to keep your Invisalign crystal clear. Your daily diet can not only stain teeth but also the aligners and attachments. So what food and drink items top this list? Keep scrolling. 

  1. Coffee. Not only can it stain, but it’s very acidic. You definitely want to remove your aligners when drinking this sweet, sweet nectar because not only will it discolor your Invisalign aligners, any acidic liquid that gets trapped under the aligner and on your teeth can weaken the enamel over time. Be like me and remove our aligners and even consider sipping your cup of joe through a straw.
  1. Soft drinks. Pop, soda, Coke – whatever you call it, we recommend staying clear. This is one of the worst things to have with your aligners in and drastically increases your chances of developing cavities on all of your teeth. If you must indulge, we recommend taking your aligners out and brushing well OR at least swishing with some water before placing your aligners back in
  1. Red wine. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Riesling – you are golden. For our reds, you will want to remove your aligners for the same reasons as coffee above.
  1. Turmeric. This middle eastern spice is typically found in hot beverages and delicious dishes. In my opinion, this spice is totally trending now, too. Because of the orange-like tint to this spice, not only should you remove your aligners while eating this, but this is one where you should try and rinse with some water before reinserting them. 
  1. Saffron. This is another delicious spice that tastes great with risotto, but is not worth the yellowing it can cause on your pearly whites. Treat this like turmeric: remove your aligners while consuming and rinse with water (or even better – brush your teeth) before reinserting. 
  1. Ginger. One last spice that is great for weight loss, but bad for staining. Treat this like turmeric too.
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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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Invisalign, Invisalign Adult, Invisalign Teen

Can Invisalign Fix an Overbite?

“Overbites” are a term referring to one of the most common orthodontic problems that we see in our office. It occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth excessively. In the most severe cases, the lower teeth may touch the gums behind the upper teeth.

“Overbites” are a term referring to one of the most common orthodontic problems that we see in our office. It occurs when the upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth excessively. In the most severe cases, the lower teeth may touch the gums behind the upper teeth. While an overbite can make you feel insecure and embarrassed to smile, it can also lead to oral health problems such as bone loss and gum disease. 

You may have an overbite because there is not enough room in your mouth for all of your teeth or there is too much space in your jaw area. If your parents or grandparents had an overbite, you will likely have one as well as genetics play a vital role in certain malocclusions. Since overbites do not go away on their own, it is important to seek orthodontic treatment if you have that particular issue. 

One of the most popular and effective ways to treat overbites is Invisalign. Invisalign clear aligners can gradually shift your teeth into their proper positions and resolve your overbite. Since they are removable, you can take them out of your mouth every time you eat, drink, brush, or floss. As long as you wear them for at least 20-22 hours a day, you can achieve beautiful results. 

Although Invisalign treatment time depends on the severity of your overbite and your particular mouth, you can expect to wear the aligners for about a year. Every patient at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics receives a thorough assessment and custom-designed treatment plan to address any specific issues such as overbite. 

If you would like to correct an overbite with Invisalign, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our Gainesville, VA office. Call us at 703-753-4996 or click here to select a time meet one of our board-certified orthodontists. 

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Invisalign, Invisalign Adult

Women Want to Improve Their Smiles!

Study Reveals That Women Want to Improve Their Smiles Through Orthodontics Who’s Talking: A new survey of more than 1,000 women conducted by Invsialign® found that looking and feeling confident goes beyond wanting to improve their bodies. They want to improve their smile! What they said: The survey found that confidence is key to feeling great and […]

Study Reveals That Women Want to Improve Their Smiles Through Orthodontics

Who’s Talking: A new survey of more than 1,000 women conducted by Invsialign® found that looking and feeling confident goes beyond wanting to improve their bodies. They want to improve their smile!

What they said: The survey found that confidence is key to feeling great and healthy:

  • 57% of women believe it’s crucial to fell confident throughout the year
  • 93% of women would like improve at least one feature of their appearance. 25% answered that their smiles were the most important aspect of their appearance they would like to change.
  • Among those who want to improve their smiles, mom’s and unmarried women ranked the highest.
  • When it comes to year-round confidence, it’s having glowing smiles that outshines it all
  • Nearly one in five women say the most important feature to look the best at all times are their smiles
  • 27% of women believe it would shed five years off her looks if she straightened her teeth and corrected her smile
  • Women also rank their smile aS the #1 feature that most impacts first impression
  • 30% said that if they were given a gift to treat themselves to any beauty improvement, they would want to spend it on their smile.
  • A smile conveys feelings of happiness, hope and positivity to anyone who sees it!
  • Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away

Talk to us here at Dunegan & Cole today about improving your smile through Invisalign®!​

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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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