Tag Archive for: Invisalign

Let’s talk about teeth, in particular the ones of the non-perfect variety.

Orthodontic work has come a long way, and still offers tried and true methods for straightening teeth.

But time moves on, and with it so does our motivation to explore other options. 

After reviewing the limited choices available for straighter teeth, the welcomed introduction of Invisalign gave patients a new way forward.

It is the least invasive way to go about the correction of your smile.

While a lot has been said and even more read about this innovative way of teeth straightening, there are a few things you might not know.

Invisalign Facts You May Not Know

1. History of Invisalign

In their day, metal braces were created to straighten the un-straightenable, and there was a great deal of applause for the technology.

Though as time went on and technology became better, we decided not to submit people to what was essentially an exercise in patience and discomfort. The search was on for something better.

A young Stanford University student and a few of his colleagues invented a new design, then a product that evolved into a series of what are essentially clear retainers, known as aligners.

Tada! Invisalign was born and ready to take on the metal wire-weary world.

2. A Faster Way to Straighten Teeth

Some things take time…and some don’t. One of the key areas of appeal is it generally takes less time to straighten teeth using Invisalign than through traditional metal braces.

Depending on your treatment, these clear aligners can take around six months. 

The complexity of your needs will be the ultimate decider for the length of your treatment.

3. I Can Eat That?

Eating certain foods can create problems for traditional brackets and wires. Hard or chewy foods usually cause metal brackets to break, and sticky foods make brackets and wires harder to clean. This can lead to diseases like cavities and periodontal disease.

These problems are non-existent with Invisalign. It makes enjoying your favorite foods so much easier…and you can eat anything! 

Simply take out the aligners, eat, brush, floss, and place them back in!

4. Treat Aligners with Respect

Cleaning and taking care of the aligners is just as important as brushing your teeth!

It’s simple. Rinse the aligner every time you take them out. This will help prevent any build-up of bacteria. Make sure to also clean the aligners daily by brushing them with anti-bacterial soft soap and a toothbrush.

You can even use denture cleaning tablets for an easier way to clean them.

5. You Still Need to See a Dentist

This is not a set-and-forget undertaking.

Just like with metal braces, your dentist is here to guide you and see how your Invisalign progress is tracking. The good news is that Invisalign check-ups tend to take less time than traditional orthodontic appointments.

Digital scans allow your provider to see exactly how each tooth is progressing, so you are more likely to finish your treatment on time.

Regular cleaning and care of your teeth are still important to ensure continued mouth health.

Remember that your mouth is the gateway to your body and the keeper of your health. Don’t forget to keep it clean and cared for! 

Schedule an Apointment With a Dentist in Richmond, VA to Get Started With Invisalign 

With Invisalign, a new smile can help you on the road to happiness and well-being. Better dental health means your entire body has a chance to stay mentally and physically healthier for longer.

Contact us today to learn more about how Invisalign can help you get the smile you want to last a lifetime.

Are you considering Invisalign to create the smile you’ve always dreamed of? Are you searching for a comparison between braces and Invisalign? 

In this article, we’ll explore why many are choosing Invisalign for a discreet and easy method. Read on to discover how you can have straight teeth, and still eat all of the foods you love with Invisalign!

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is where you wear removable and clear aligners that straighten your teeth over time. You won’t have wires or brackets on your teeth. 

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

You might be asking yourself, how long does Invisalign take to straighten your teeth? Good news! Results can start to show after just a few weeks.

From start to finish, the entire Invisalign treatment normally takes about a year, depending on the treatment that you require.

Factors That Determine the Length of Time

While most people see initial results in the first couple of months, each person’s length of treatment varies based on the complexity of their needs. Different factors, such as the alignment of your teeth and gaps, will play a factor in the length of time you wear them. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Your Invisalign specialist will create a digital plan that will show how each aligner will move your teeth into place over the course of your treatment. While every person (and mouth) is different, most patients wear between 16-22-XX different Invisalign aligners, with each setting your teeth that much closer to straight! Aligners are designed to gently and gradually place pressure on your teeth to ensure they become straight overtime. In your Invisalign consultation, you and Dr. Wilmer will go over each step of your personalized process.

Why Invisalign Over Traditional Braces?

Invisalign offers the same outcome as traditional braces without the inconvenient growing pains so, if you’re a candidate for Invisalign, they’re a much more attractive way to beautify your smile.

Eat What You Want

With traditional braces, foods like popcorn, gum, and steak can be downright unbearable. Anything too hard, too chewy, or too sticky is on the do-not-eat list. This is due to the risk of these foods bending or breaking wires or brackets. And even if you take a chance, you’re almost sure to get some kind of chunk or kernel lodged between a wire and your tooth.  But thanks to removable aligners, you don’t have to worry about this with Invisalign. Just take them out, eat, brush your teeth and pop the aligner back in and you’re good to go!

No Poking

With traditional braces, you might experience wires or brackets poking or /rubbing against your mouth. It’s uncomfortable, to say the least, and it can lead to painful cuts, sores, or irritation.

Easier To Clean

It’s easier to brush your teeth when you don’t have brackets and wires to go around. Brushing and flossing with traditional braces takes much longer, and is harder to obtain proper oral hygiene. The good news is that with Invisalign you remove the aligners when you eat, drink, and brush your teeth, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on a thorough brushing.


If you don’t want others to notice metal on your teeth, you don’t have to worry about that with Invisalign. The aligners are clear so most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them!


Unlike traditional braces, where brackets are glued to your teeth until the very end, Invisalign trays are removable. That comes in handy when you’re eating, playing sports, or brushing your teeth! 


Invisalign tends to work faster than traditional braces when it comes to straightening teeth. You’ll receive new trays every few weeks as your teeth move into their proper place. 

Play the Sports You Like

Those who are serious about their sports avoid traditional braces since they’re more afraid they’ll break. The blow to your mouth can cause damage to your brackets or wiring. With Invisalign, all you have to do is pop them out at game time and pop them back in when you’re done.

Keeping Your Aligners Clean

Whenever you take your aligners out make sure you clean them before putting them back on in order to prevent bacteria or other buildup. First, rinse your aligners, then clean them with anti-bacterial soap with a soft toothbrush. Rinsing your aligners whenever you take them out can also help you to remove any plaque or saliva that can build up. 

Maintain proper oral hygiene for your teeth as well. Before putting on your aligners, you’ll want to ensure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. 

Wear Them

If you want your teeth to be straight as fast as possible, you’ll need to wear your aligners as often as Dr. Wilmer says. Failure to do so can mean you’ll have to spend more time wearing them. Get into the habit of brushing your teeth and aligners immediately after eating. Once you’re doing brushing, put them back in.

Will I Need a Retainer After Treatment?

Most will agree that you’ll need to wear a retainer to prevent your teeth from moving. Each case is different, so it’s best to speak with Dr. Wilmer to know your options. Also, if you need to wear a retainer, it’s usually only at night when you’re sleeping.

Find Out if You Are a Candidate for Invisalign in Richmond, VA

Many people are able to use Invisalign In some circumstances, like for those with a severe underbite, or unfilled cavities, Invisalign may not be an appropriate course of treatment. If you have active gum disease you’ll need to get it under control before being considered for aligners. To learn more about which options are best for you, contact Dr. Wilmer today!




Your dental health is far more important than you may think. The condition of your teeth and gums impacts your overall health. Poor oral health contributes to heart disease, stroke, diabetic complications, respiratory complications, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, pre-term birth and low birth weight, and certain cancers such as kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers. Studies show that it also puts you at a higher risk for contraction of COVID-19! In addition, having an attractive smile helps boost your confidence in both social and professional situations, which can lead to new job offers, salary increases, and happier relationships. In the next few paragraphs, we will describe the top 10 dental problems that you may have to deal with, and how you can overcome them so you can live life as the happiest and healthiest version of you!

1. Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common reasons people visit the dentist. Cavities are caused by bacteria that eat healthy tooth structure. They often don’t hurt. However, if they are left untreated, cavities can get larger and affect the nerves, leading to more extensive and more expensive treatment, such as root canals and extractions. Cavities develop for multiple reasons. Genetics, poor oral care (not flossing and brushing), a diet high in sweets and carbohydrates, and dry mouth are among the top reasons decay develops. Dentists typically treat cavities with fillings. To avoid cavities, make sure you see your dentist regularly, brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, avoid letting sugars and carbohydrates sit on your teeth for long periods of time (this includes bread, pasta, Gatorade, milk, and juice), and talk to your dentist about ways to protect your teeth (prescription topical fluoride), ways to combat dry mouth, and ways to decrease the amount of the bad bacteria in your mouth.

2. Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a condition that affects millions of people. Symptoms include bleeding gums though, in the early stages, you may have gum disease without any obvious symptoms. Left untreated, gum disease leads to bone loss, which can then lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease has been associated with an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetic complications, respiratory complications, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, pre-term birth and low birth weight, and certain cancers such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers, and, most recently, contraction of COVID-19. Consistent and good oral hygiene practices can help to prevent gum disease. Once it has progressed, however, it needs to be treated by a dental professional. Periodontal disease will not disappear, but it can be halted and maintained through teamwork – you do your part at home, and your hygienist will do their part on a more frequent interval. This is paramount to keeping the disease under control.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

If you have sensitive teeth, you may experience tooth pain when eating sweets or consuming something very hot or cold. Sensitive teeth can be caused by a multitude of factors such as cavities, root exposure from brushing too hard, or loss of enamel from misaligned teeth. In mild cases, you may be able to correct the issue by using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. If the issue is caused by cavities or misaligned teeth, your dentist may recommend other solutions to resolve the problem and prevent further damage. 

4. Misaligned Teeth

Most people are not blessed with perfectly aligned teeth. Crooked or misaligned teeth are often considered a cosmetic issue as many people are self-conscious about their smile and would prefer to have straighter teeth. However, misaligned teeth can make chewing more difficult, contribute to periodontal disease, and make your teeth more susceptible to injuries, including tooth loss. Aligning teeth is easy to do using Invisalign, and is one of the most important things you should do to keep a healthy mouth.

5. Stained or Yellow Teeth

Aside from misaligned teeth, having stained or yellowing teeth is one of the biggest obstacles to having a perfect smile. Stained teeth can be caused by smoking or regularly drinking beverages such as soda, coffee, tea, or wine. Even certain fruits and vegetables can, over time, discolor the teeth. As almost everyone partakes in some of these foods or beverages, it’s difficult to maintain perfectly white teeth. Daily brushing along with regular professional teeth cleaning is the best way to maintain whiter teeth. Dentists can also professionally whiten teeth to give you a brilliant smile. Be careful about over-the-counter whitening products as overuse can cause problems such as damage to healthy tooth structure, damage to previous dental work, or gum irritation.

6. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer screenings are performed at every six-month hygiene appointment. If you have dentures, it is still important to see your dentist yearly to get an oral cancer screening and check for other tissue issues. Factors that increase your risk for oral cancer include smoking, a history of smoking, and alcohol use. If you have anything abnormal, such as sores that don’t heal, lumps in the mouth or difficulty swallowing to name a few, you need to make an appointment to see your dentist.

7. Bad Breath

Halitosis, better known as bad breath, is a common ailment that can be embarrassing. Strongly flavored foods and spices such as garlic and onions can temporarily cause bad breath. It’s also typical to have sour-tasting breath in the morning before brushing your teeth. However, a more persistent condition is often indicative of an underlying problem such as cavities, gum disease or other dental issues. In some cases, digestive ailments can cause bad breath. Remedies such as mouthwash, gum, and mints can temporarily mask the problem but if you consistently have bad breath you should ask your dentist about it.

8. Canker Sores

Aphthous ulcers, commonly known as canker sores, are small, often painful sores that can occur in various places in the mouth. They may also be present on the tongue. They may be red, white, or yellow in color. Canker sores can have many causes, including allergies, immune disorders, smoking, stress, physical trauma, and reactions to certain medications. You can buy over-the-counter medications that can help to treat them. If you have canker sores that persist for more than a few weeks, or that occur frequently, you should consult with your doctor or dentist. One reason to seek professional help is that cold sores, a more serious and contagious condition caused by the HSV (herpes simplex virus), can be mistaken for canker sores.

9. Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Teeth can crack due to sports injuries, accidents, crooked teeth, old fillings, cavities, or biting into something hard. A chipped tooth can be annoying and unsightly, depending on its location. It can also be painful if the injury exposes a nerve. A dentist can fix a cracked or chipped tooth with a filling or veneer. Large breaks can require crowns and sometimes root canal therapy in addition to the crown. If the tooth is damaged beyond repair, it may need to be removed and replaced with another option, such as an implant.

10. Teeth Grinding and TMJ

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a practice that can cause damage to your teeth over time. If you grind your teeth, it could be due to stress or a misalignment of your teeth. People often grind their teeth while sleeping and don’t know it. If stress or an underlying sleep disorder is present, you may need to make dietary or lifestyle changes. For example, excessive caffeine intake can contribute to insomnia and teeth grinding at night.

Two primary treatments for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders and bruxism (teeth grinding) include Botox injections and nightguards. Botox injections into the jaw muscles can help alleviate muscle tension and reduce the frequency and intensity of jaw clenching and grinding. Nightguards, on the other hand, are custom-made dental appliances worn during sleep to protect the teeth from grinding and alleviate pressure on the jaw joint. Both treatments offer effective solutions for managing TMJ and bruxism, but the choice between them depends on individual symptoms, severity, and patient preferences. Consulting with a dental professional can help determine the most suitable treatment approach for each patient’s unique needs.

Visit a Dentist in Richmond, VA to Keep Your Dental Health on Track

Your dental health contributes to the status of your overall health and your confidence level. You now know how to overcome the top 10 dental issues so you can live life as the happiest and healthiest version of you!

Book an appointment to get started on your journey to total body health, starting with the mouth.

Our teeth do more for us than we realize; from chewing the food that we eat to helping us form the words we speak to communicate. When a tooth is out of place, it changes the entire dynamic of your mouth. It can push other teeth out of place, make it difficult to chew, cause pain or discomfort, and more. Invisalign can help keep your teeth in line, providing you with a straight smile you can be proud of.

There are two main methods to straighten teeth: braces and Invisalign. While traditional braces move your teeth with metal or ceramic brackets adhered to each tooth and connected by a wire, Invisalign is a single piece of virtually invisible plastic that covers your teeth and adjusts your smile gradually.

If you’re interested in improving your smile, whether for aesthetics or the health of your teeth, Dr. Sarah Wilmer, DDS can help. Here’s what you should know about the difference between Invisalign and Braces.

What is Invisalign?

As we mentioned, Invisalign uses a clear plastic aligner to gently coax teeth into place. The aligner is customized to your mouth after taking an impression or using a 3D digital scan (as we do here in our office – no goop, no mess!).

The Invisalign is done rapidly because we use Propel to “supercharge” your teeth. Making the teeth move faster, efficiently, and predictably. The treatment takes a minimum of 2.5 months to create lasting changes to your smile, but you’ll be able to notice a difference after a few weeks of wear. When you finish your Invisalign treatment, Dr. Wilmer will give you Vivera retainers to maintain all the work you’ve accomplished on your mouth. We also smooth the edges of worn teeth to give our patients a highly esthetic outcome. 

Benefits of Invisalign

Using Invisalign has more benefits than just straight and beautiful teeth! When compared to natural braces, for example, Invisalign ranks better for:


One of the reasons many brace-wearers are unsure about receiving treatment is because of the way braces look. Beauty should be found within, but the way we look on the outside still affects the way we feel about ourselves. Having metal fixtures on our teeth can make people feel self-conscious. This is where Invisalign really reigns supreme. The Invisalign treatment goes over teeth with no additional rubber bands, metal or ceramic to see.


As most people know, traditional metal braces adhere to your teeth. This means they must remain where they are placed until removed by a dental professional. Invisalign, on the other hand, is completely removable. This makes it easier to eat and drink, allowing you to enjoy all your favorite foods without the restrictions that braces possess.

Wearers of metal braces have a long list of foods to avoid, including marshmallows, chewing gum, popcorn, nuts, hard candy, and toffee. With Invisalign, all you need to do to enjoy your favorite snacks is pop out your aligners and enjoy. Of course, we recommend brushing after every snack. 


Comfort plays a huge role in the reason many braces wearers choose Invisalign over traditional metal braces. Traditional braces work by gradually tightening the metal attachments at each visit. This fixes overbites, underbites, and spacing issues. After an adjustment, teeth and gums feel tender, sometimes leaving the patient unable to enjoy eating food.

Invisalign is a far less invasive treatment than metal braces. Rather than tightening metal pieces inside your mouth, Invisalign uses a series of aligners to further your treatment. Each aligner moves your teeth a little more than the last until your smile is perfect.


No matter how hard you try, or which specialty tools you use, brushing and flossing traditional braces is a pain. There are always spots missed and sometimes bristles from the toothbrush snag on the braces, leaving uncomfortable fibers stuck between your teeth.

For hygiene purposes, there’s no teeth straightening method more beneficial than Invisalign. Remove, brush, floss, replace, forget about it. It’s as simple as that!

Which is Best for Me?

Braces and Invisalign offer a myriad of pros and cons. In the end, it normally comes down to personal preference. While Invisalign is substantially more comfortable, faster, and more predictable, it’s important to note that metal braces have their good points as well. For example, metal braces are sometimes more efficient at correcting extreme cases.

So, which style of braces should you choose?

Get Invisalign with a Trust Dentist in Richmond, VA

Deciding to use Invisalign over braces is a big choice to make. If you’re curious about Invisalign and what it could do for your teeth, speaking to a dentist or orthodontist can help.

If you want to get your teeth healthy and gorgeous in the safest, smartest way, book an appointment today or contact us with any questions. 

Invisalign Richmond VA Award

“I am 60 years old. Do I really need braces now?”

“I already had braces once!” 

These are some of the things we hear every day. If your teeth are not in alignment, then YES! You need braces! Why? Straight teeth lead to a healthier body! If you think crooked teeth affect only your appearance, keep reading. The American Dental Association (ADA) has shown time and time again that crooked teeth can have a detrimental effect on your overall health

The Benefits of Invisalign and Straight Teeth

Crooked teeth can harm your body. 

Well, kind of. They make it harder to brush and floss, which makes it easier for tartar and harmful bacteria to build up. The bacteria can cause infection, or gum and bone disease (periodontal disease), which is the primary cause of bad breath. That infection can enter your bloodstream and lead to or contribute to a host of conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and diabetic complications, respiratory complications such as pneumonia, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, pre-term birth and low birth weight, and certain cancers (for example, men with gum disease are 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers).

Richmond Dentist

Crooked teeth can lead to gastrointestinal and autoimmune diseases.

Misaligned teeth eventually lead to tooth loss, which can result in the inability to chew food properly, choking, compromised digestion, reflux (indigestion) and malnutrition. Having fewer teeth causes people to eat highly processed soft foods, which tend to be higher in sugar and fat, lower in fiber and nutrients, are highly inflammatory. That can lead to leaky gut syndrome, which plays a role in gastrointestinal disorders like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Moreover, the nutritional deficiencies from malabsorption due to leaky gut may also be associated with other autoimmune diseases (lupus, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, allergies, asthma, acne, obesity, and even mental illnesses like depression and anxiety).

Crooked teeth can decrease your life span.

In essence. They decrease self-esteem, confidence, and the amount of smiling you do. Smiling can help lengthen your life by causing your body to relax. It lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, helping the heart recover more quickly after stressful events. It causes endorphins, dopamine and serotonin to be released. Endorphins act as a natural pain reliever and serotonin acts as an antidepressant – without the negative side effects! Studies show that smiling is contagious! These neurotransmitters lower stress levels and boost your mood and, therefore, the mood of the people around you. When you smile at someone and they smile back, you both release feel-good chemicals that increase the chance of you both living longer and healthier lives. It’s true – happy people breed happy people. Also, research demonstrates that happiness breeds wealth and success. Smiling is good for your social, financial, emotional AND physical health. Smiling is a magical superpower. It can change your life and the world around you!

Straight teeth are so important to your physical health and mental wellbeing.

Now ask us again if you need braces. If your teeth are not in alignment, then the answer is YES! And now you know why.  The good news is there’s an easy solution to fixing crooked teeth and becoming healthier overall. Invisalign is the clear alternative to traditional metal braces. It provides faster, more predictable results, improved comfort, and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. The clear aligners are removable and practically invisible! Straightening your teeth with Invisalign can improve your smile and help you live a happier, healthier life.

Straighten Your Teeth with a Dentist in Richmond, VA

If you would like more information about Invisalign treatment schedule a free consultation with us.