Invisalign For All Ages

One of the things our Dudley Smiles team loves most about the Invisalign aligner system is how versatile it is, on so many levels. Almost invisible? Check. Removable? Check. No food or drink restrictions? Check. Easier to brush and floss like a pro? Check. Just as effective as traditional metal braces? Yep. Priced similarly? Absolutely! And so on. It makes sense, then, that it would be just as adaptable for teen and adult patients of all ages.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

This is a common question. Many people have dreamed of a straighter smile for years, but are wondering now if it’s just too late to make it happen. The good news is that as long as your teeth are healthy, it’s never too late to straighten them out. In fact, taking action at any age can actually help prevent oral health problems, such as bleeding gums and tooth loss, from developing in the future.

What about teens? Young adults? Senior citizens?

There are many reasons Invisalign continues to grow in popularity from year to year. To help you understand why it works so well for patients of all ages, let’s take a quick look at what it is, how it works, and why it could be a great fit for you.

What is Invisalign? How does it work?

Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable plastic aligners to gradually shift your teeth into position. The aligners are custom-made for your mouth using 3-D imaging technology, and have been proven to be as effective as traditional metal braces in treating uncomplicated cases.

The Invisalign process is similar for all patients, regardless of age. We carefully evaluate the gum tissues and bones that support the teeth, to ensure that both are healthy and strong. We’ll also evaluate your dental history, your bite alignment, and your desired results. I’ll discuss your different treatment options with you in order to help you determine the correct plan for your personal needs.

Once your custom aligners arrive, you’ll begin wearing them. Each set will need to be replaced every 1-2 weeks, and ideally, are only removed to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you move on to each new aligner in the series, your teeth will move, little by little and week by week, until they’ve finally shifted into their final straightened positions.

During treatment, you’ll visit our office about every 4-6 weeks to ensure you’re progressing as planned. Total treatment time on average lasts between 9-15 months, and the number of aligners somewhere between 18-30, but these numbers will both vary from case to case, sometimes by quite a lot, since some smiles are just more accommodating than others! The amount of time it takes to straighten your teeth will depend on the complexity of crowding and your bite correction needs. And although adult bones tend to be firm and fixed, this doesn’t mean the teeth can’t be straightened. It simply means the straightening process might take a bit longer.

All the benefits, none of the fuss

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is, of course, it’s invisibility, particularly for our teen and professional patients. Although modern orthodontics means metal braces are less noticeable and more comfortable than ever before, there are still plenty of people who prefer a much more subtle approach to straightening their teeth. Invisalign makes this preference a reality!

Food restrictions are probably one of the hardest parts of having traditional braces, but with Invisalign, there’s no need to give up your favorite treats. Aligners are removed every time you eat or drink, so crunchy, chewy, sticky stuff can stay on the menu!

You’ll also need to remove your aligners during your daily brushing and flossing. Excellent oral hygiene is extremely important for any orthodontic patient, but the brackets and wires of metal braces can sometimes be challenging. Being able to remove the aligners makes brushing and flossing thoroughly a breeze, and the trays themselves are easy to clean.

Many people in need of orthodontic treatment put it off for fear of the procedure or the braces themselves being painful. Invisalign alleviates all of those worries. The aligners are made of a smooth plastic that prevents any irritation on the sensitive skin of your cheeks and gums. There may occasionally be a bit of an ache when you change aligners, due to the movement of your teeth, but overall, the Invisalign system provides a pain-free path to a straighter smile. No brackets and wires also means no adjustments at your follow-up appointments, keeping them shorter and more straightforward.

Orthodontic treatment for all ages

Orthodontics, in general, seems to have a reputation as somewhat of a young person’s game, but the truth is, more adults than ever are seeking treatment for misaligned teeth and jaws, and other orthodontic issues. This is due in part to improved technology and techniques in recent years, and Invisalign plays a part in that. The revolutionary clear aligner system – with both invisibility and removability – has opened the doors for everyone to reap the benefits of a perfect smile, whether they’re 17 or 70.

For teens and young adults, physical appearance can be a big deal, with insecurities lurking just below the surface. Being able to avoid the obvious nature of traditional braces while still straightening their smiles can bring a huge sense of relief, and eliminate what can be a major source of stress for them. Bonus: being able to remove the aligners temporarily means homecoming dances, class pictures, and senior prom don’t have to be memorialized alongside a mouthful of metal!

If you’re an adult professional or a parent, you might feel that you don’t have time to devote to orthodontic treatment and the upkeep that comes with it. You may also hesitate to choose traditional braces due to the change in appearance they come with, not to mention food restrictions that can make family meal planning difficult, and the pain and soreness that can sometimes accompany adjustments. Your follow-up visits for Invisalign tend to be a little more spaced out than with other treatments, as well as taking up less time since there aren’t any adjustments to be made. And not having to avoid certain foods means your grocery list can stay the same.

We’re not leaving grandparents and senior citizens out of the mix! Not only are there cosmetic benefits to Invisalign, but having your teeth fixed can improve the health of your mouth, and sometimes, your health overallgum disease can increase your risk of heart disease by over 25%. You might feel like it’s far too late to seek treatment, but truly, there’s no time like the present to work towards the smile you’ve waited a lifetime for.

Dudley Smiles and Invisalign in Issaquah and Kent

Whether you have college or retirement on the horizon, we hope we’ve reassured you that Invisalign is indeed for all ages! If you’re in the Issaquah or Kent areas and are looking for information you can trust on how Invisalign can work for you or your child, give us a call today to set up a free consultation. We’re committed to giving every patient the beautiful, straight smile they deserve, and look forward to helping you achieve that!

Wardrobe Must-Haves for Any Style

Rebecca Dudley in Issaquah WAAs we head into October, fall fashion is on our minds! #PSL season is in full swing, and after a summer that felt like it would never end, autumn has finally arrived with crisp mornings and cozy nights cuddled under our favorite blanket. We have to admit, though, that one of our most anticipated fall traditions is cooler-weather style. What’s on the boots horizon? Is flannel really making a comeback? Are we still doing Uggs? Let’s talk trends!

Hi all! This is Rebecca, Dr. Si’s wife, and I’ve commandeered the blog this week to share my favorite wardrobe must-haves for any style!

Making it a point to have these pieces in your closet will mean that you always have something to wear and can always look put together with effortless style. Bonus: they all have the comfort factor, too! This is Kent and Issaquah, not Manhattan. We’ve got you covered. 

Wardrobe Must Haves Capsule Wardrobe



You need the most pieces with the greatest variety when it comes to tops, since bottoms and outerwear function mostly as bases for these pieces. We’ve picked versatile tees, shirts, and tanks that work well dressed down with comfy kicks and ripped jeans, or paired with more formal pieces like a pencil skirt and ankle-strap pumps for a client meeting. Keeping the colors neutral gives you so many options, and you can add a pop of color and personality with your shoes and accessories. Don’t be afraid to invest a little here – a high-quality white tee is worth several cheap ones.

Coats & Jackets

No one can argue with the timelessness of a great trench coat, right? Channel a little Casablanca with those great classic lines.  You can keep your options open with a more modern utility jacket, a deliciously warm wool coat, a classic or  slouchy open cardigan, and leather and denim jackets. These will keep you covered for versatility and style that fits every mood and any weather report! Try pairing that leather jacket with more feminine pieces for an edgier look, or the blazer with a crisp white tee, skinnies, and ankle boots for dressed down chic.


The little black dress, a pencil skirt, black pants, and two pairs of skinny jeans? We’re pretty sure this category is self-explanatory. Fall is all about layers, with these cool mornings and warmer afternoons, and this is where a closet full of basics will be worth its weight in gold. A denim jacket over your LBD, pencil skirt with a tee and an unbuttoned button up, comfy cardigan with your favorite skinnies – the options are endless.  I find that with especially versatile items, you want to make sure you invest in good-quality pieces that fit you well, since they’ll be in your regular rotation for some time to come. They’re going to see a lot of wear and tear, so you might as well get pieces that make you look your best and don’t fall apart the first time you wash them. Don’t forget that tailoring is always an option – very few things fit perfectly right off the hanger, and it can be worth investing in a little bit of hemming to get a look that looks custom made.

Shoes & Accessories

Do you remember that shoe closet from the Sex & the City movie? I still daydream about it sometimes. But you don’t need 100 square feet of storage space for these must-haves. Find a pair of casual sneakers or tennis shoes that fit your style, then add in comfy yet elegant flats, booties, and classic pumps for a rotation that fits any occasion. The handbag is another investment piece–you take it everywhere, so get something you love that really speaks your style. Bigger bags are perfect for keeping track of all your essentials, while smaller styles are great for a night out when all you need are the basics. Top it all off with a pair of sunglasses in a flattering shape for your face. This isn’t a time to order online! Go to the store and try on as many pairs as it takes to find “the one” that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling.

1000-Watt Smile

You could dress head-to-toe in Chanel, but without a brilliant smile, your look is not complete. Did you know that 50% of people say the first thing they notice about someone is their smile1? Not the Prada handbag, not the Rag & Bone skinny jeans, not the J.Crew tailored blazer – their smile! In fact, a Kelton Research perception study, also known as a “Smile Survey”, contrasted images of men and women with straight and crooked teeth. It was taken by over one thousand participants who were shown images of people with varying teeth issues and asked to give their honest opinion about them. Results of the study showed that Americans perceive people with straight teeth to have more desirable qualities than those with crooked teeth, including being happy and professionally successful. We all know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but this study proves that we tend to do it every day, so it’s a good thing I can refer you to the best orthodontist I know!

Thanks to modern orthodontics, there are many ways to fashion your grin into the perfect personality accessory, and Dr. Dudley and his experienced staff are here to help you put your best face forward! Virtually invisible Invisalign, traditional metal braces, braces on the inside of your teeth, ceramic tooth-colored braces – here at Dudley Smiles, there’s a treatment that will fit your life and your needs. We offer a free consultation to potential clients, and have a dedicated and energetic team committed to working with you to create a positive experience every time you walk through our door. You’re family to us from your first visit. Call Dr. Dudley today and let Dudley Smiles give you the designer smile of your dreams!

Call our Issaquah office (425)404-2350 or our Kent office (253)852-7331 to schedule a free consultation!

According to the American Academy of Periodontology.

Braces & Invisalign Travel Guide

Braces and Invisalign in Kent and Issaquah Travel GuideYou’ve loaded your Kindle with thrillers, stocked up on sunscreen, and packed it all into your trunk by playing your best game of real-life Tetris ever. But, don’t hit the road just yet! If you’re hoping to squeeze in one last trip in before fall’s upon us, make sure you’re prepared to care for your braces and Invisalign. Here’s what you will need:

  1. Emergency Contact Information

Before you board that plane, make sure you have our phone number handy (That’s 425-404-2350 for Issaquah or 253-852-7331 for Kent!). In the case of an orthodontic emergency, we can talk you through the next steps. Most of the time, you’ll be able to wait until you’re home to come in for a follow-up appointment, but we can also help you over the phone or direct you to a nearby orthodontist in case you need to be seen.

Pro tip: take a photo (with flash) of the problem before contacting us. A picture is truly worth a thousand words in this case and will help us be able to triage the issue much more quickly and accurately.

  1. Emergency Care Information

Many appliance issues can be fixed yourself with a few readily available tools. Of course, you can always call us for help, and you should definitely do so if you or your child is in pain! Here are a few tips and tricks for dealing with common hardware issues:

  • Protruding wire: If a wire comes loose and is irritating the inside of the mouth, there are a couple solutions you can DIY. First, try using the eraser end of a #2 pencil to nudge the wire back flat against the teeth until your next appointment. Next, place a piece of wax over the offending wire to reduce irritation and provide stability.
    • If a wire is extremely irritating and you won’t be able to come into our office anytime soon, you may (as a last resort) try to clip the wire. Use a pair of clean, sharp nail clippers to cut the wire and folded tissue or gauze around the area to reduce the possibility of the patient swallowing the snipped wire. Then, cover the offending location with orthodontic wax.

  • Irritation of lips or cheek: If a bracket or wire is causing irritation to the mouth, simply place a piece of wax over the area. First, make sure the bracket or wire is very dry. Next, pinch off a pea-sized piece of wax and roll it into a ball, then flatten completely. Place this piece of wax over the irritating area.

  • Loose bracket: If a bracket becomes loose, call us! We’ll help you with the best next steps for your situation. In the meantime, you can place wax over the loose bracket to provide stability or slide the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth.
  • Lost Invisalign aligners: Make sure you bring your most recent set of Invisalign aligners with you when you travel! That way, if you happen to lose your current set, you can continue to wear aligners. Call us, and we’ll let you know what the next step is. Typically, we recommend that patients simply proceed to the next aligner.

  • Lost retainer: You’ve heard us talk ad nauseum about the importance of wearing your retainers, so a lost retainer can actually be an emergency! Call us if you discover you’ve lost retainer, and we’ll let you know if you need to head to a local office to have impressions made.
  1. Braces Travel Kit

Aside from the regulars, like toothpaste, orthodontic toothbrush, and floss, these items are a must-have for your braces travel bag:

  • Interdental toothbrush
  • Wax or Gishy Goo. Gishy Goo is a silicone-based product that acts like orthodontic wax
  • Ibuprofen, in case of soreness.
  • No. 2 pencil, for possible protruding wires
  • Clean, sharp nail clippers, for possible protruding wires
  • Gauze or tissues, for possible protruding wires
  1. Invisalign Travel Kit

First off, if you’re traveling with Invisalign, make sure you notify us at least two weeks in advance. In case the date you should receive your new aligners falls on a date that you’ll be out of town, we’ll want to plan ahead by providing the next set or discussing another option. Once you’ve got the aligners you need, here’s what you should pack for your Invisalign travel bag:

  • Your Invisalign cases: Always put your Invisalign aligners inside their case, and you’ll be much less likely to lose them!
  • Your current aligners and most recent aligners: Of course, you know how important it is to wear your current aligners an average of 22 hours a day, but make sure you bring your most recent aligners in case you lose your current pair! This will help prevent losing all the amazing progress you’ve worked towards.
  • Denture tablets: For on-the-go cleaning, denture tablets can be very useful! They’re portable and work well for travel.

Where are you going (and can we come with you)?

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at 425-404-2350 for Issaquah or 253-852-7331 for Kent.

7 Reasons Why Invisalign Is Perfect for Teens

Invisalign for Teens at Dudley Smiles in Kent and IssaquahWhen you think of orthodontic treatment for teens, what immediately comes to mind?  If you immediately envision metal smiles and glow-in-the-dark rubber bands, you’re not alone!  Metal braces have been the traditional (and only) treatment option for decades, but the many benefits of Invisalign make this an outstanding treatment plan for teens.

  1. Virtually Invisible

We all remember high school and how important it was to fit in, right?  Teens are 68% less likely to be teased when wearing Invisalign aligners as opposed to metal braces, and a whopping 92% of teens say that metal braces would keep them from fitting in with their peers. Let your teen stand out for their school record in the 300 meter hurdles or their painting that now hangs in a local art gallery; not for the new metal in their mouth!

  1. Boosts Self Confidence

Being a teenager can be tough: there’s the new expectations in school, endless extracurriculars, family life and feeling misunderstood by parents, and not to mention hormones and bullying!  Teens wearing Invisalign aligners are two times more likely to have a boost in self-esteem during treatment.  And considering #3 and #4 below, we think that’s pretty significant!

  1. Just as Effective as Braces

You might think that Invisalign is for correcting mildly crooked smiles, but think again!  In the hands of a trained orthodontist, Invisalign aligners can be just as effective as metal braces in correcting smiles and bites. That’s powerful information considering Invisalign is virtually undetectable when worn.

  1. Perfect for Sports and Music

If your teen is an athlete or musician, you might be concerned about the comfort and safety of traditional metal braces, which can can irritate or the cut the inside of the mouth.  Invisalign aligners are completely smooth, which means they won’t irritate the mouth when playing a woodwind or brass instrument.  Because the aligners are removable, your teen can replace the Invisalign aligners with a traditional mouthguard for their game.  And that’s one less thing you and your teen have to worry about!

  1. No Off-Limits Food

Have you ever tried limiting your teen’s diet?  Not for the faint of heart, right?  Traditional metal braces means no popcorn, no caramel, and no chewing on ice (just to name a few).  But because Invisalign aligners are removable, there are no off-limits foods!   Teens simply take out the aligners before diving into that huge (refillable!) tub of popcorn at the movies, brush and floss well, and then the aligners go back on.

  1. Costs About the Same as Braces

You might be reading, thinking, “Sounds great, but we can’t afford Invisalign!”  Surprisingly, Invisalign treatment is comparable in cost to traditional metal braces.  Today, most dental plans cover Invisalign, too.

  1. Reliable

Knowing how reliable your teen is at making their bed, you might be concerned about them consistently wearing their aligners to complete their treatment plan.  However, orthodontists confirm that most teens are actually more reliable in wearing their aligners than adults!  The data shows that teens wear their aligners an average of 21 hours a day–exactly as recommended.

Find out if Invisalign is right for your teen with a free Invisalign consultation.  Call us at the Kent office at 888-341-1231 or at the Issaquah office at (425) 557-5437 today.

Statistics thanks to Invisalign!