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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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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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Featured, Invisalign

Is the Cost of Invisalign Worth It?

Clear aligner systems like Invisalign are an increasingly popular alternative to metal braces. After all, Invisalign is less noticeable, more comfortable, and requires less maintenance than conventional braces.

Clear aligner systems like Invisalign are an increasingly popular alternative to metal braces. After all, Invisalign is less noticeable, more comfortable, and requires less maintenance than conventional braces. 

When helping our clients decide which treatment option is right for them, one of the most common questions we receive is, “How much does Invisalign cost?”. Read more to learn helpful information you need to know before deciding whether it is a worthwhile investment for your smile!

The Average Cost of Invisalign

According to the latest findings by the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, the average cost of Invisalign treatments in the U.S is $6,000. However, every patient and treatment plan is unique, and your doctor will provide you with your cost based on your treatment needs and complexity. Dunegan & Cole makes it easy to estimate your costs by providing a cost calculator

What Factors Determine the Cost?

So, what exactly could affect the cost of your Invisalign treatment? Here are some factors to consider:

The Complexity of Dental Issues

A variety of pre-existing dental issues can become a factor that influences the final cost of your Invisalign treatment. For example, if your situation requires extractions to allow for more space to correct overcrowded teeth, additional fees are required for the procedure and a longer treatment time. Conversely, minor alignments will require a shorter duration, resulting in a lower price. 

Pre-Treatment & Aftercare Expenses

The quotes for a similar Invisalign treatment may vary from specialist to specialist, depending on whether they have included the pre-treatment and aftercare expenses that are commonly required for a complete treatment. Dunegan & Cole

Experience of The Orthodontist

The difference in costs for Invisalign treatments between various providers can also depend on the orthodontist’s experience overseeing the treatment plan. Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics is proud to be one of the only Invisalign Diamond Plus providers in Northern Virginia. This distinction is Invisalign’s way of recognizing that our doctors are in the top 1% of all Invisalign providers in North America. Dunegan & Cole brings this expertise to its 400+ Invisalign patients per year.

Is Invisalign Worth the Price?

This all depends on which treatment plan is right for your smile. However, Invisalign offers competitive pricing and several other benefits, as shown above.

If you decide to invest in your smile with Invisalign, at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics, we are happy to help you figure out a suitable financing plan for your treatment plan

Want to get started or simply want to learn more? Give us a call at 703.753.4777 or request a complimentary consultation online.

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Featured, Invisalign

What Can You Eat or Drink with Invisalign?

Are you wondering if the eating restrictions for traditional braces apply for the revolutionary Invisalign clear aligners too? The short answer is no, you do not have to restrict yourself to a soft food diet that people with braces have to adhere strictly to.

Are you wondering if the eating restrictions for traditional braces apply for the revolutionary Invisalign clear aligners too? The short answer is no, you do not have to restrict yourself to a soft food diet that people with braces have to adhere strictly to. 

However, that is not to say you should go crazy with your choice of food and beverages or do not have to make some slight changes to your routine while in treatment. After all, ensuring that your Invisalign trays are well maintained is essential for an effective process.

To help patients new to the Invisalign process, here are some simple guidelines you can follow to ensure you get the most out of your treatment.

Always Remove Your Invisalign Aligners Before Eating or Drinking
While you can mostly still eat and drink what you want, one important reminder is to ensure you remove your aligners before every meal.

Why? The chewing pressure of your teeth can cause damage to your aligners over time if you leave them in while eating, while colored beverages like coffee, wine, and juices can cause stains as well. 

To avoid cracked, damaged, or discolored trays, we recommend you take them out before consuming any meal or beverage.

The only exception is plain drinking water. It is fine to leave your retainers in since it will not stain the aligners.

Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
Since your aligners are in your mouth most of the time apart from mealtimes, you want to make sure that they do not trap unwanted food particles and bacteria while in your mouth. 

The best way to avoid such a situation? Brush and floss your teeth after every meal to ensure that your aligners are covering clean and healthy teeth.

Types of Food and Drinks to Avoid
While the benefit of the removable nature of Invisalign aligners is that you can continue to indulge in your favorite food and drinks, there are still some types of food and drinks we would recommend you avoid during your treatment.

Super-hot or cold beverages 
Try to consume room temperature beverages since super-hot or cold drinks can cause the distortion and warping of your aligner trays – affecting your treatment.

Dark Colored Beverages 
Even without braces, dark-colored drinks like coffee and wine are top culprits for staining teeth. With aligners in place, it is only encouraging the staining process if the liquids are trapped between the aligner and your teeth for a long period.

Hard, Sticky, and Chewy Food
Nuts, jawbreakers, and veggie sticks are types of hard food that could apply enough pressure to move your teeth in unplanned directions or even cause cracks in them. As you can imagine, that would set back your treatment quite a bit, so make sure to avoid that.

Sticky and chewy food, on the other hand, can stick to the surfaces of your teeth causing an unwanted build-up of plaque and tartar over time. If you are not diligent in brushing your teeth after every such snack, you could be setting up yourself for tooth decay in the long run.

Have More Questions About Our Invisalign Treatment? 
Check out our helpful guides and tips over on our blog! 

Ready to start treatment? Dunegan & Cole is a Diamond Plus Invisalign Provider. Call today to get started 703.753.4996 or request a complimentary consultation online!

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Braces, Invisalign

How to Fix Crowded or Crooked Teeth

Are you experiencing problems with crowded or crooked teeth and looking for solutions? You are not alone.

Are you experiencing problems with crowded or crooked teeth and looking for solutions? You are not alone – misaligned teeth and overlapping teeth are an incredibly common phenomenon across all age groups from children to the elderly.

Before we delve into the solutions, let us first understand what the common causes are, associated problems and why it would be beneficial to fix them in the long run!

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

There is a whole range of reasons that could result in crooked or crowded teeth which include some of the following:

  • Genetics -e.g., extra tooth or abnormally large teeth
  • Jaws being too small to fit the full set of teeth.
  • Misaligned jaws due to improper development as a child
  • Repetitive behaviors like sucking on thumbs, pacifiers, and more
  • Poor nutrition resulting in inadequate dental development
  • Injuries
  • And more

Why Fix Them?

Are you wondering if it is such a widespread problem, why do people bother fixing it? Well, there are quite a few reasons for that.

Self-Esteem – For many, a crooked smile could cause a lack of confidence in smiling or being incredibly self-conscious during social interactions. This could snowball into many other psychological developments over time.

Oral Hygiene – Misaligned teeth make it hard to thoroughly clean the crevices where food particles may remain stuck. Being unable to maintain oral hygiene is a sure-fire way to invite tooth decay and gum diseases if left untreated over time.

Speech Problems – In some severe cases, crooked teeth can impact the person’s ability to articulate properly.

How to Fix Crowded and Crooked teeth?

Good news! There are many different available treatments out there to help anyone suffering from such problems overcome this issue.

Braces

One of the most straightforward and common treatments for crowded teeth is via braces. Today, there is quite the variety you can choose from:

  • Traditional Metal Braces – which uses metal brackets and wires to straighten your teeth Ceramic Braces – similar to the above but are tooth-colored for more subtlety.
  • Invisalign – A new and convenient technology that uses specially molded clear aligners to gradually shift your teeth into shape. In the past, this was reserved for minor cases but now can treat any patient! 

Retainers

For less severe cases (where only one to two teeth correction is required), retainers can also be used as a treatment.

An additional bonus: Retainers are usually made of molded plastic and wire which makes them easily removable compared to traditional braces. 

Veneers

If you are looking for a purely aesthetic solution your dentist could talk to you aboutveneers for less severe cases.

By applying composite or porcelain “covers” on the front of the teeth, it can help to give the impression of straight white teeth.

Do note that the actual issue with misalignment is not corrected in this case!

Crowns

Again, this is an option that a cosmetic and/or family dentist would do for you. This requires significant tooth restructuring where various teeth need to be “cut down” in order for a metal or tooth-colored “cap” to be placed on your tooth. Because of this reason, crowns are usually the least recommended option.

Keen to Resolve Your Problem with Crowded or Crooked Teeth Once and For All?

Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics is your neighborhood orthodontist who can help on this exciting journey! Dr Cole or Dr Dunegan will evaluate if you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment or can work with your dentist to make sure that you get an outcome you love!

Call us today to get started 703.753.4777 or request a complimentary consultation online.

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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 Teen

Invisalign for Teens: A New Popular Alternative to Traditional Braces

Looking for a way to correct your smile in your teenage years? Wondering if there are other alternatives than traditional braces that you see on peers? Good news, there is!

Looking for a way to correct your smile in your teenage years? Wondering if there are other alternatives than traditional braces that you see on peers?

Good news, there is!

Invisalign Teen is a specially designed clear aligner system for teenagers. Instead of using wires, brackets, and bands to move your teeth into place, Invisalign uses simple clear aligners to achieve even better results in a shorter time.

Interested to learn more about this exciting technology? Here are some compelling reasons why more teens are opting for Invisalign over traditional braces!

(Almost Entirely) Invisible

The most obvious advantage of the Invisalign treatment over traditional braces is its subtlety. The invisibility of the clear aligners, compared to large metal wires running across your teeth, is a huge difference that matters to many self-conscious teenagers.

While it does take a couple of days to adjust to the new clear aligner over your teeth, it is a more unnoticeable solution to traditional braces. In fact, most people will not be able to tell you are on an Invisalign treatment unless you tell them yourself!

Comfortable Treatment

You may have heard of some of the disadvantages of traditional brace treatment – particularly the discomfort (and mouth sores) that comes with the roughness of metal brackets and wires running across your teeth.

In contrast, Invisalign retainers are molded to your unique teeth shape and aim to shift your teeth ever so gradually with each new set. Hence it is quite rare to experience any significant discomfort with this treatment at all.

No Food Restrictions

Love your food? You will be happy to hear that you do not have to go on the dreaded “liquid diet” or dietary restrictions when you start your Invisalign treatment.

Since the alignersare removable, you can eat or drink anything that you want! No holds barred!

Easy to Upkeep Oral Hygiene

Worried about having food stuck in your braces? Talk about awkward situations at the school cafeteria. Well, there are no such concerns when it comes to Invisalign since you can take off the aligners conveniently before every meal.

This flexibility also allows you to continue your regular oral hygiene routine after every meal!

Suits All Lifestyles

Teens sometimes delay correcting their smiles because they worry it will affect their current lifestyles – especially so if you do high-impact sports,play wind instruments in your school orchestra, or love taking IG selfies!

But with Invisalign Teen, minimal lifestyle changes are required – you can continue your activities as normal.

Great results – With Lesser Time Spent at the Dentist’s

Last but not least, it also requires a lot fewer visits to our office – so you can spend that extra time doing what you love!

Simply switch out your aligners for a new set every week– all DIY! And only head back to the clinic every 10-12 weeks for progress checks with Dr. Dunegan or Dr. Cole!

Ready to get started on your Invisalign Teen treatment? Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics is your neighborhood orthodontist who can help on this exciting journey! Call us today to get started at 703.753.4777 or request a complimentary consultation online.

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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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Braces, Featured, Invisalign

Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces – What Should I Do?

Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces – What Do I Do? This is a question that we get daily as we consult with patients on the treatments available to achieve that perfect smile. It’s no wonder…a great smile can go a long way.

Scientific research suggests that people who smile are perceived as more attractive and confident than those who do not flash their pearly whites. When it comes time to invest in orthodontics to improve your beautiful smile, choosing the best option can be daunting. Comparing Invisalign to traditional braces is a great way to determine what orthodontics make most sense for your unique smile.

How is Invisalign Different?

Unlike traditional braces, in which brackets are affixed onto each tooth and connected by wires, Invisalign corrects orthodontic problems using multiple sets of clear trays. These trays are specially formed to fit your teeth, allowing you to wear them 24/7.

Aesthetics

One of the primary advantages of Invisalign is that the clear trays are nearly invisible. Particularly for adults self-conscious about appearing professional with traditional braces, Invisalign can correct orthodontic issues without capturing the notice of others. Their nearly invisible appearance is one of the topmost reasons that orthodontic patients choose Invisalign.

The complexity of the Orthodontic Problem

Invisalign works well for people who have relatively minor problems, such as crooked teeth or small gaps in between teeth. For more complex problems, particular issues with bite or vertical problems (i.e., one tooth being significantly higher than another), traditional braces may be better at pulling teeth into alignment.

Eating and Drinking

Invisalign trays are removable, meaning that you cannot eat or drink while wearing them. Unlike traditional braces, however, you are not limited to the food you can eat. Chewy, sticky, or hard foods may be eaten, provided that you brush your teeth before reinserting the Invisalign trays.

In the end, only can weigh the pros and cons of Invisalign versus traditional braces. Consult with us here at Dunegan & Cole to understand how these orthodontic interventions may work for your unique situation. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to find out if you or your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment.

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Invisalign

Taking Care of Your Invisalign Aligners

Taking care of your Invisalign® aligners is very easy!  It’s actually one of the reasons Invisalign® has quickly become one of the most desired treatment options with Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics.

There are some simple guidelines for caring for them, as long as you go by them you will have no complaints.

  • Don’t eat or drink while wearing your aligners. The aligners can be damaged by food, and drinks can cause discoloration.  Sugar from clear drinks can also get caught behind the aligners, causing tooth and gum problems.
  • Avoid chewing gum because it can stick to the aligners and be difficult to remove.  It may also dislodge the aligners frequently and cause them to become loose over time.
  • After eating or drinking always brush before putting your aligners back in.  If this isn’t possible still rinse with water before replacing aligners and brush as soon as possible.
  • Brush your aligners with a toothbrush every day to keep them clean and to make sure that the inside surface that rests on your teeth all day is very clean.

Patients love the fact that their aligners are able to be removed to care for them, and this is a big plus for orthodontic treatment. It reduces the time to get ready to go to bed each night, and is less annoying than dealing with traditional braces. For best results while using Invisalign® always keep your appointments with Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics. You will not be disappointed!

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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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