Invisible Braces

using Clear Aligners

Or call 540-886-1979


601 Greenville Avenue

Staunton, VA 24401

Feel Confident with your Straighter Smile!

Our friendly dental team is happy to offer invisible clear aligners to straighten your teeth without the use of a metal appliance.

Invisible aligners are computer generated clear plastic trays that gently move your teeth into their correct position. This is accomplished at no more cost than traditional braces and without having to display that “tin-grin” of traditional braces!

Schedule a consult with one of our dentists to see if this treatment is right for you! Call 540-886-1979 or request an appointment below!

Comprehensive Guide to Invisible Braces:

Everything You Need to Know

How Do Invisible Braces/Clear Aligners Work?

Invisible braces, often referred to as clear aligners, are a popular treatment option for straightening teeth and correcting bite issues. They work through a series of clear, custom-made trays that gradually move your teeth into their desired positions. Here's a step-by-step explanation of how clear aligners work:

  • Consultation and Evaluation: The process begins with a consultation with one of our experienced dentists who specializes in clear aligner therapy. During this appointment, Dr. White or Dr. Myers will assess your dental condition, discusses your goals, and determines if clear aligners are suitable for your needs.
  • Treatment Plan: If clear aligners are the right choice, our dentists will create a detailed treatment plan. This plan outlines the specific movements required to achieve your desired alignment. Advanced computer software is often used to design the series of aligners.
  • Digital Impressions or Scans: Instead of traditional molds, digital impressions or scans of your teeth are taken. These highly accurate digital images serve as the basis for creating your custom aligners.
  • Fabrication of Aligners: Using the digital impressions, a series of clear aligners are custom-made for you. Each aligner is slightly different, designed to gradually move your teeth in precise increments. You will typically receive several sets of aligners in advance.
  • Wearing the Aligners: You wear each set of aligners for a specified period, usually about one to two weeks, before moving on to the next set. It's essential to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day, removing them only for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing.
  • Gradual Tooth Movement: Each set of aligners exerts gentle pressure on your teeth, causing them to move gradually. Over time, your teeth align according to the treatment plan.
  • Progress Checks: Periodic progress checks with one of our dentists is scheduled to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Adjustments to the treatment plan can be made if necessary.
  • Treatment Completion: Once you've worn all the prescribed aligners, your teeth should be in their desired positions. We will then evaluate the final results and may recommend a retainer to maintain your new alignment.
  • Retention Phase: The retention phase involves wearing a retainer as directed by your dentist. This phase is crucial for preventing your teeth from shifting back to their original positions.

What are the Benefits of Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners offer several benefits for individuals seeking treatment to straighten their teeth or correct bite issues. These benefits have contributed to the popularity of clear aligners as an alternative to traditional braces. Here are some of the key advantages of clear aligners:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Clear aligners are virtually invisible when worn, making them an aesthetically pleasing option. They do not have the noticeable metal brackets and wires associated with traditional braces, allowing you to maintain a natural appearance while undergoing treatment.
  • Comfortable: Clear aligners are typically more comfortable to wear than braces. They do not have sharp wires or brackets that can irritate the inside of the mouth. The smooth plastic material of aligners is gentle on the cheeks and lips.
  • Removable: Clear aligners are removable, which means you can take them out for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. This convenience allows you to maintain your regular oral hygiene routine and enjoy your favorite foods without restrictions.
  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Because you can remove clear aligners, it's easier to brush and floss your teeth effectively. This reduces the risk of plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease during treatment.
  • Fewer Office Visits: While regular progress checks are necessary, the number of in-office visits required with clear aligners is often less than with traditional braces. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals with busy schedules.
  • Customized Treatment: Clear aligners are custom-made to fit your teeth precisely. Advanced computer technology helps design a treatment plan that achieves your specific alignment goals.
  • Predictable Results: Clear aligners use a series of aligner trays that are switched out according to a predetermined schedule. This predictable approach ensures that each stage of treatment progresses as planned.
  • Comfortable Speech: Clear aligners do not interfere with speech in the same way that metal braces might. Many people find them comfortable to speak with from the outset of treatment.
  • Versatility: Clear aligners can address a wide range of orthodontic issues, including crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and more. They are suitable for both teens and adults.
  • Confidence Boost: As your teeth gradually become straighter and your smile improves, you may experience a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of clear aligners relies on patient compliance. To achieve the best results, individuals must wear the aligners as directed by one of our qualified dentists and follow the prescribed treatment plan closely.

What are the Disadvantages of Clear Aligners?

While clear aligners offer numerous advantages, they also come with some disadvantages and considerations that individuals should be aware of when considering this treatment option:

  • Compliance Is Key: Clear aligners require a high level of patient compliance. They must be worn for 20-22 hours a day to be effective. Neglecting to wear them as directed can prolong treatment time or lead to unsatisfactory results.
  • Removal Responsibility: The fact that clear aligners are removable can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Some individuals may be tempted to remove them frequently, which can hinder progress. Additionally, aligners can be lost or damaged when not stored properly.
  • Discomfort and Soreness: Like traditional braces, clear aligners can cause discomfort, particularly when a new set of aligners is first introduced. This discomfort is usually temporary and less severe than with braces, but it can still be bothersome.
  • Speech Adjustments: Some individuals may experience temporary changes in speech, such as a slight lisp, when they first begin wearing clear aligners. Most people adapt quickly and these issues resolve over time.
  • Limited Complex Case Suitability: Clear aligners are highly effective for many orthodontic issues, but they may not be suitable for complex cases that require extensive tooth movement or adjustments to the bite. In such cases, traditional braces or other orthodontic treatments may be recommended.
  • Cost: The cost of clear aligner treatment can be comparable to or even higher than traditional braces, depending on the complexity of the case and the duration of treatment. It's important to consider the financial aspect when choosing clear aligners.
  • Maintenance: Clear aligners require regular cleaning and maintenance. Failing to keep them clean can lead to odors, staining, and a decrease in transparency.
  • Dietary Restrictions: While you can remove clear aligners for eating, it's recommended to avoid consuming food and drinks while wearing them to prevent staining. This can result in frequent removal and cleaning.
  • Not Suitable for All Cases: Clear aligners may not be the best choice for individuals with severe orthodontic issues, very crowded teeth, or certain bite problems. A consultation is necessary to determine candidacy.
  • Treatment Time: In some cases, clear aligner treatment may take longer than traditional braces to achieve the desired results.

Despite these disadvantages, clear aligners remain a popular and effective treatment option, especially for individuals who prioritize aesthetics and the convenience of removable aligners. It's essential to consult with one of our experienced dentists who specializes in clear aligner therapy to determine if they are a suitable choice for your specific alignment needs and lifestyle.

Will I Experience Discomfort?

Yes, it's common to experience some degree of discomfort or soreness when you first begin wearing clear aligners. This discomfort is typically mild and temporary, and it is a normal part of the adjustment process as your teeth gradually shift into their new positions. Here's what you can expect in terms of discomfort when using clear aligners:

  • Initial Discomfort: When you switch to a new set of aligners (usually every one to two weeks), you may feel some pressure and discomfort on your teeth. This is because the aligners are designed to exert gentle and controlled forces to move your teeth.
  • Tenderness: Your teeth and gums may feel tender for a day or two after switching to a new set of aligners. This tenderness is usually most pronounced during the first 24-48 hours and gradually subsides.
  • Speech Adjustments: You may notice minor changes in your speech, such as a slight lisp, when you first start wearing clear aligners. Your mouth and tongue will adapt to the aligners over time, and any speech issues usually resolve as you become more accustomed to them.
  • Mouth Irritation: In some cases, the edges of the aligners or the attachments (small tooth-colored dots) may cause mild irritation or rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips. Orthodontic wax can be used to alleviate this discomfort.
  • Chewing Changes: Adjusting to eating with aligners can be challenging at first. It's common to experience some difficulty or discomfort while chewing, especially with hard or crunchy foods.

It's important to remember that these discomforts are temporary and typically improve as you progress through your treatment. To minimize any discomfort associated with clear aligners:

  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers as recommended by one of our dentists.
  • Use orthodontic wax to smooth any rough edges or irritating areas on the aligners.
  • Stick to a soft diet during the initial days of wearing new aligners.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to prevent additional irritation or complications.

While discomfort is a normal part of the adjustment process, it should not be severe or persistent. If you experience severe pain, irritation, or other concerning issues with your clear aligners, it's essential to contact our knowledgable dental team for guidance and adjustments as needed.

Who Qualifies to Wear Clear Aligners?

Though clear aligners are a popular solution for many desiring a straighter smile, not everyone qualifies to wear them. Eligibility for clear aligners depends on several factors, including the type and severity of orthodontic issues, overall oral health, and patient compliance. Here are some general criteria that can help determine if you qualify for clear aligners:

  • Orthodontic Needs: Clear aligners are suitable for individuals with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, including crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, crossbites, and some cases of tooth misalignment. Complex cases or those requiring significant tooth movement may not be suitable for clear aligners.
  • Age: Clear aligners can be used by individuals of various ages, including teenagers and adults. However, the suitability of clear aligners for children may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Oral Health: Good oral health is a prerequisite for clear aligner treatment. Any preexisting dental issues, such as tooth decay or gum disease, should be addressed before beginning treatment.
  • Patient Compliance: Clear aligners require a high level of patient compliance. Individuals must be committed to wearing the aligners as directed, typically for 20-22 hours a day. If you are not willing to follow the treatment plan closely, clear aligners may not be the best option.
  • Cosmetic Goals: Clear aligners are often chosen by individuals who prioritize aesthetics and want a more discreet orthodontic treatment option. If the appearance of your orthodontic treatment is a significant concern, clear aligners may be suitable.
  • Lifestyle Considerations: Clear aligners offer the flexibility of removal, which can be advantageous for individuals with active lifestyles or those who play contact sports. They can be removed for special occasions or when eating.
  • Orthodontist or Dentist Evaluation: A thorough evaluation by a qualified orthodontist or dentist who specializes in clear aligner therapy is necessary to determine your candidacy. They will assess your orthodontic needs, oral health, and treatment goals.
  • Commitment to Treatment: Clear aligner treatment requires a commitment to follow your orthodontist's or dentist's instructions, attend regular check-ups, and switch to new aligners as prescribed. Individuals who are not committed to the process may not achieve the desired results.
  • Financial Considerations: The cost of clear aligner treatment can vary, and it's essential to consider your budget and available financing options when determining eligibility.
  • Alternative Options: In some cases, alternative orthodontic treatments, such as traditional braces or other specialized appliances, may be more appropriate for addressing specific issues.

Clear aligners can provide excellent results for eligible candidates, but a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan are crucial for success.

How Long Does Treatment Last?

The duration of clear aligner treatment varies from person to person and depends on several factors, including the complexity of your orthodontic issues, your individual response to treatment, and your compliance with wearing the aligners as directed. On average, clear aligner treatment typically lasts anywhere from a few months to a few years.

How Long Can You Remove Your Aligners At a Time?

Clear aligners are designed to be removable for certain activities, such as eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing, to provide convenience and maintain good oral hygiene during treatment. However, it's essential to follow specific guidelines regarding the maximum amount of time you can remove your aligners to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment. Here are some important considerations:

  • Compliance with Wear Time: To achieve the best results, it's generally recommended to wear your clear aligners for 20-22 hours a day. This means you should aim to keep them in your mouth as much as possible, even while sleeping.
  • Duration of Removal: When you remove your aligners, it's essential to minimize the time they are out of your mouth. Ideally, you should only have them out for the specific activities mentioned above (eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing) and promptly reinsert them afterward.
  • Consistent Wear: Consistency in wearing your aligners is crucial for achieving the desired tooth movement. Deviating from the prescribed wear schedule can extend the treatment time or affect the effectiveness of the aligners.
  • Avoid Prolonged Removal: Prolonged removal of your aligners for extended periods, such as hours at a time, should be avoided whenever possible. Continuous and extended removal can disrupt the alignment process and delay progress.
  • Maintain the Wear Schedule: Adhering to the wear schedule provided by our qualified dentists is essential. They will specify how long each set of aligners should be worn before progressing to the next set.
  • Avoid Skipping Aligners: Do not skip or omit wearing any set of aligners in your treatment series. Each set is carefully designed to move your teeth gradually, and skipping them can result in suboptimal outcomes.
  • Consult with Your Provider: If you have specific concerns or circumstances that require you to remove your aligners for longer periods (e.g., for a special event or medical reasons), it's important to discuss this with one of our dentists. They can provide guidance and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Remember that the success of your clear aligner treatment depends on your compliance with the prescribed wear schedule.

How Do I Clean My Clear Aligners?

Properly cleaning your clear aligners is essential to maintain their clarity, prevent odors, and ensure good oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment. Here are some tips on how to clean your clear aligners effectively:

  • Rinse with Water: After removing your aligners, rinse them with cool or lukewarm water. This helps remove saliva and any loose food particles.
  • Use Clear Aligner Cleaning Crystals: Specialized cleaning crystals or tablets designed for clear aligners are available. Dissolve one of these tablets in a glass of water and soak your aligners for the recommended time (usually about 15 minutes). Rinse them thoroughly with water afterward.
  • Gentle Brushing: Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush your aligners gently. Do not use toothpaste, as it can be abrasive and may scratch the aligner surface, making them appear cloudy over time.
  • Avoid Hot Water: Hot water can deform your clear aligners, so always use cool or lukewarm water when cleaning or rinsing them.
  • Anti-Bacterial Soap: In some cases, a small drop of mild, anti-bacterial soap can be used to clean your aligners. Afterward, rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
  • Avoid Colored Mouthwash: Do not soak your aligners in colored mouthwash, as it can stain them. Clear, alcohol-free mouthwash can be used for a quick rinse if desired.
  • Regular Cleaning Schedule: Make cleaning your aligners a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Clean them every time you remove them from your mouth.
  • Storage: When not in use, store your aligners in their protective case to prevent damage and exposure to air and contaminants.
  • Avoid Eating or Drinking with Aligners: Avoid consuming any food or beverages (other than water) while wearing your aligners. Eating and drinking with aligners in can lead to staining and odors.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Maintain regular dental check-ups to ensure your oral health is on track and to receive guidance on caring for your aligners.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaning agents, such as bleach, as they can damage the aligners.

It's essential to follow these cleaning guidelines to keep your clear aligners in excellent condition and maintain your overall oral health. If you have any specific questions or concerns about cleaning your aligners, consult with one of qualified dentists, who can provide personalized guidance based on your unique situation.

Are Invisible Braces Right for You?

Ready to take the first step in straightening your smile? One of our experienced dentists would love to help you assess if clear aligners are a great fit for your specific needs. Contact Dr. Jesse Myers & Dr. Alan J. White's office at 540-886-1979 in Staunton, VA, and our dedicated team will assist you promptly. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form at the bottom of this page at your convenience.

Trusted by 3000+ patients in Virginia

"I cannot say enough good things about Dr. White and his staff. The staff are friendly and professional, the facility is high quality and well maintained. I always feel welcome and that I am receiving the best service possible. For me, an extra bonus is the in-house crown service. Thank you Dr. White and team for making my dental visits top notch!" - Allison

Why choose us?

Because dental expertise makes a difference. We love people and we love dentistry here at Dr. Myers & Dr. White's office. We're in the business of creating beautiful smiles for all ages. Your smile is important to us. But before you choose us as your dental home, here are several before and after examples of the level of dental care we provide our patients. Our team is trusted throughout Staunton and the surrounding area and we’d love the chance to earn your trust, too. If there is anything we can help you with, please feel free to give us a call!

“My dental experience with Dr. White was excellent! I arrived early to complete some necessary paper work and was taken back for care immediately. My procedure was pain free and the results were great! All staff are friendly and very professional!” - Steven

Request a Time that Works for You!

Thank you for visiting the dental practice of Dr. Jesse Myers, D.M.D. and Dr. Alan J. White, D.D.S. online! Our dentists provide world class dentistry at valley prices! We are excited to work with you and your family members to resolve all of your dental needs. Call us or schedule your dental appointment today! We're honored to help you become proud of your smile!


601 Greenville Avenue

Staunton, VA 24401



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