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Adult Treatment, Featured, Invisalign, Invisalign Adult, Orthodontics

What is Invisalign?

Backed by more than two decades of innovation, Invisalign is the world’s most advanced clear aligner system. Using neither wires nor metal brackets, Invisalign aligners are removable and virtually invisible, creating a more discrete and comfortable journey to your ideal smile.  Through a series of custom-made clear aligners, Invisalign is used to close gaps between […]

Backed by more than two decades of innovation, Invisalign is the world’s most advanced clear aligner system. Using neither wires nor metal brackets, Invisalign aligners are removable and virtually invisible, creating a more discrete and comfortable journey to your ideal smile. 

Through a series of custom-made clear aligners, Invisalign is used to close gaps between teeth, as well as treating overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, and overcrowded teeth. 

Before we dive into who can use Invisalign, the benefits, what to expect when undergoing treatment, and what happens after Invisalign treatment is completed, let’s first understand the process of how these modern aligners work to transform your smile.

The Invisalign Process: A Closer Look

  • Every patient at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics receives a thorough assessment and custom-designed treatment plan from a 3D scan of your mouth.
  • Once the Invisalign lab fabricates your clear aligners based on your custom treatment plan, you will pick up your first aligners and your doctor will examine your smile, ensuring everything fits properly. 
  • For optimal results, you will wear your aligners all day, every day, except when you eat, floss, or brush your teeth. Because Invisalign braces are removable, you will be able to briefly remove them any time you need to throughout the day.
  • Your doctor will guide you to schedule face-to-face check-ups every few weeks to check your progress and pick up the next batch of aligners.

Who is Invisalign Suitable For?

The average age of patients undergoing Invisalign treatment is around 12 to 13; however, each patient’s smile is different and may result in earlier or later treatment. So whether you are a parent exploring orthodontic treatment for your child, or an adult who has put off treatment for years, Invisalign is an effective and discreet solution.

Advantages of Invisalign Over Traditional Braces:

  • Since these are clear aligners, most people won’t notice you’re wearing them.
  • The movement of your teeth is more precise with Invisalign than traditional braces.
  • It’s easier to maintain good oral health with Invisalign. You will remove the aligners when you eat, brush your teeth, and floss.
  • These aligners are much more comfortable than metal braces. They don’t irritate your teeth or gums.
  • Invisalign saves you time. Unlike braces that require more frequent office visits to change the arch wire and make adjustments, you will have fewer checkups with Invisalign. 
  • There are no eating restrictions with Invisalign. Traditional wires and brackets have a long list of foods you unfortunately can’t enjoy because they can damage or get stuck in your braces; however, since Invisalign aligners are removable, there are no food restrictions at all. 

What to Expect:

Treatment time: Many orthodontists will advise that Invisalign treatment can take between 6 – 12 months or more, depending on your case; however, you will start seeing results in a matter of weeks. There’s no one-size-fits-all for determining how long your treatment will last. That’s because every patient will have their own individual tooth and/or bite misalignment.

Discomfort: One of the best reasons to invest in Invisalign is how comfortable these aligners are to wear. Remember that your teeth are shifting into a new position, so you can expect to feel some mild discomfort as they move, especially with the first set of aligners. The pressure you will feel on your teeth when you first put on a new set of aligners will gradually fade over the course of a few days.

Speech: It may take a little while for your tongue to get used to having your Invisalign aligners in your mouth, and you may have a slight lisp for a few days. But this should disappear quickly.

What Happens After Invisalign Treatment Is Completed?

After any orthodontic treatment, whether it’s Invisalign or anything else, it is recommended that you wear a retainer. A retainer is designed to keep your teeth in alignment. Without it, your teeth can gradually move back to their former position. If your teeth start to shift, you may need to temporarily wear aligners again to reposition them. 

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 an 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, Orthodontics

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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Featured, Orthodontics

Underbite Correction Treatments: How to Fix an Underbite?

While social media and celebrities tend to portray picture-perfect smiles, the reality is that not many people are born naturally with such perfectly aligned teeth. 

While social media and celebrities tend to portray picture-perfect smiles, the reality is that not many people are born naturally with such perfectly aligned teeth. 

Many people are born with varying degrees of malocclusions – misaligned teeth.

The good news? With advanced medical technology, malocclusions can be easily corrected with the right orthodontic treatments!

In a previous article, we addressed the most common malocclusion – overbite – and how it can be treated with Invisalign or braces. In this blog, we will be focusing on another common dental condition – underbite.

What Is an Underbite?

As the name suggests, an underbite indicates a misalignment where the lower set of teeth protrudes more than the upper set of teeth.

In contrast, the ideal smile is one where both sets of teeth are aligned – with the top row slightly overlapping. 

Both underbites and overbites have significant gaps between the upper and lower teeth, resulting in poorer aesthetics and possible health complications.

Reasons That Cause an Underbite?

Much like the overbite, underbites could be caused by varying reasons, ranging from genes to poor dental habits as a child and adult, such as: 

  • Genetics determine the overall shape of your jaw and size of teeth – while there is nothing you can do to prevent this, it can be easily corrected in your later stage in life.
  • Prolonged thumb sucking or usage of pacifiers could cause the jaw to develop in a different direction.
  • Facial injuries that could affect jaw development 

Does An Underbite Cause Health Complications?

While mild underbites are rarely noticeable, severe cases tend to result in poor esthetics and cause more severe health problems. Hence our recommendation is always to get the condition diagnosed and treated early.

Some possible health complications related to underbites include:

  • Teeth chipping and breakages – due to the allowance between the two layers of teeth
  • Speech impairment 
  • Biting and chewing difficulties
  • Jaw pain and discomfort – could develop into arthritis and chronic pain
  • And many more

How to Fix an Underbite?

Underbite treatments like many other dental issues, vary depending on the severity of the underbite and the age of the patient. So, make sure to head to Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics to review your case and develop an appropriate plan for you.

Curious about the possible treatment methods? Here are some underbite correction treatments that we use::

  • Upper jaw expanders 
  • Braces or clear aligners with orthodontic elastics – suitable for most patients 
  • Tooth extraction – for moderate to severe cases 
  • Surgery – only for adults with severe cases 

Tip: Worried whether you may have an underbite problem? Get diagnosed and seek treatment early!

Looking to Correct Your Underbite?

Whatever your underbite concerns, there are plenty of treatments that are available to you. 

Want to learn more about how we can help correct your underbite? Drop us a message at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics for a free consultation to learn more about our recommended treatments to fix underbites.

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Featured, Orthodontics

Overbite Correction Treatments: How to Fix an Overbite

When you think of a perfect smile, images of perfectly aligned teeth tend to come to mind. However, in reality, many adults and children are not born with an ideal set of teeth.

When you think of a perfect smile, images of perfectly aligned teeth tend to come to mind. However, in reality, many adults and children are not born with an ideal set of teeth. Malocclusions – the medical term for the misalignment of teeth – is a widespread phenomenon even in society today.

Fortunately, most of these malocclusions are easy to correct with the appropriate treatment. In this blog, we’ll be focusing specifically on one of the most common types of malocclusions that we treat – the overbite.

What Is an Overbite?

As the term suggests, an overbite describes a misalignment of teeth where the upper teeth overlap in front of the lower set of teeth.

The ideal smile involves the top teeth overlapping the bottom teeth, touching slightly for protective purposes. The problem only comes when there is a larger allowance in between. 

What Causes an Overbite?

While overbites can be genetic due to the shape and size of your jaw or teeth, there are things that you can do as a child or adult that could result in the development of an overbite over time.

Here are some habits that you should try to avoid preventing an overbite from developing:

  • Sucking on thumbs or pacifier use over prolonged periods can cause the back of the teeth to be pushed forward by the tongue, creating an overbite.
  • Habitual biting and chewing behaviors with nails or pencil end also push the teeth forward.
  • Teeth grinding.

Does An Overbite Cause Health Complications?

Apart from aesthetics, overbites could also extend to other possible health complications, so it’s essential to get treated as soon as possible. 

Some possible health complications related to overbites include:

  • Damage to teeth due to misalignment – with a gap between the two layers of teeth, the bottom layer of teeth is exposed and can be damaged more easily.
  • Jaw pain and discomfort while eating.
  • Cause sleep apnea due to the blockage of airflow.
  • Difficulty in maintaining teeth health resulting in poor dental hygiene and related issues.
  • And much more.

How to Fix an Overbite?

Are you interested in getting your overbite corrected? The first step is to visit an orthodontist who will review your case individually and come up with the best treatment plan for you.

Here are some possible overbite correction treatments that we use here at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics:

  • Removal of teeth to allow room for the teeth to become realigned
  • Growth modification gadgets such as expanders to help reposition the jaw (common in teenagers experiencing growth spurts)
  • Braces to slowly realign the teeth to correct the overbite and retainers to keep them in position once an ideal state is present.
  • Surgery for severe skeletal jaw issues (only recommended for adults)

Tip: Don’t wait until your overbite is causing you problems to seek treatment! For children, the earlier you get checked, the more straightforward the treatment will be! 

Are you interested to learn more about overbite correction?

Contact us at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics for a free consultation. Ask us anything about your overbite teeth and learn about our recommended treatments to fix overbites.

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Featured, Orthodontics

Q&A With a Gainesville VA Orthodontist: What’s The Difference Between a Dentist and Orthodontist?

If you’re looking for a professional for your dental needs but are feeling unsure whether to visit a dentist or orthodontist, we have put together this helpful guide to clear up any misconceptions and to share more information about these two seemingly similar but different professions!

If you’re looking for a professional for your dental needs but are feeling unsure whether to visit a dentist or orthodontist, we have put together this helpful guide to clear up any misconceptions and to share more information about these two seemingly similar but different professions! Read on to learn more about how our Gainesville, VA doctors can help you. 

Different Training

Both dentists and orthodontists begin their study of dental care together – spending up to 4 years of undergraduate school followed by four years of dental school. After graduation, they need to pass a final written and clinical exam to get a license to practice as licensed dentists.

That is where the similarities end. 

Orthodontics is a particular specialty that focuses on jaw alignment and movement of teeth. This requires further studies that go beyond general dentistry. Believe it or not, orthodontists undergo an additional 2 to 3 years of studies in the specialized orthodontic field compared to a peer in general dentistry.

An orthodontist can then go through a board-certification process. This is a voluntary credential that represents a distinct level of achievement and goes beyond state-required licensure. This includes additional education, ongoing assessment, and indicates that an orthodontic specialist is providing lifelong quality patient care. Only about 30% of orthodontists are board-certified.

The Role of a Dentist

Dentists are the professionals you go to for your regular 6 monthly oral health checkups, teeth cleaning, and polishing. 

Regular visits to your dentist can help them identify and treat most general oral health issues ranging from tooth decay, extractions, teeth whitening, gum disease, root canals, and more.

Should they come across more complex dental problems during your checkup, they will likely refer you to a specialist for further treatment.

The Role of an Orthodontist

In contrast, orthodontists are specialists who focus on the study of the alignment of jaws and teeth for a better bite and smile.

As a result, visits to an orthodontist would be most suitable if you are looking to resolve the following dental issues:

  • Correct your teeth alignment
  • Protruding teeth
  • Adjust the spaces between your teeth
  • Adjust an unnatural bite (over or underbite)
  • Jaw issues
  • Trauma or accidents that affect the tooth or jaw

Unlike general dentists, orthodontists have specialized corrective devices to help them with the above dental issues – ranging from braces, aligners, and more.

When to Visit a Dentist or Orthodontist?

Still uncertain about which you should be visiting? Here’s a simple breakdown of the situations when you should be visiting each professional:

Go see a dentist when:

  • You have a toothache 
  • You have wisdom tooth problems
  • You need to do a filling 
  • Looking for cosmetic veneers or bonding
  • Or you need your regular dental checkup

Go see an orthodontist when:

  • You want to correct your smile or jaw alignment
  • You had an accident that affected your teeth and jaw
  • You have an orthodontic device (e.g., braces or aligner) that needs to be adjusted or replaced

We’re Here To Help


Did you know that Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics was recently named the best orthodontist in Prince William? Dr. Dunegan and Dr. Cole are both board-certified orthodontists. You can rest assured that our team at Dunegan & Cole Orthodontics is here to help you find the right solution for your orthodontic needs!Drop us a call to learn more at 703.753.4996 or book free consultation online.

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