How Long Does Treatment With Invisalign Take?

by Sacks Orthodontics

The beauty of the Invisalign treatment is that it slowly shifts and straightens your teeth using various sets of plastic aligner trays without traditional metal braces. These trays are removable, thin, and clear, which makes them essentially unnoticeable. What was once the only way to straighten your teeth is now a thing of the past, and you can carry on living your life without having to deal with bulky, metal braces in your mouth 24/7. Although Invisalign treatment times can vary, they take about 12 to 18 months to complete, with the first signs of results showing in as early as a few weeks. Can you imagine a straighter smile in just a few weeks from wearing lightweight plastic over your teeth?

To stay on schedule with your Invisalign treatment plan, here are a few key tips to the process that are essential and easy to keep up with.

  1. Wear Your Invisalign Aligners for 20 to 22 Hours A Day
    It is the goal to keep your aligner trays on as much as you possibly can. You are required to keep them on for 20 to 22 hours a day, but you are able to take them out for short periods of time to eat and brush your teeth or even if you just need to take a small break from wearing them. The closer you follow your treatment plan, the more effective your treatment will be.
  2. Do Not Skip Your Orthodontist Visits
    Every four to six weeks you will meet with your orthodontist where the two of you will discuss the progress of your treatment. This is when you can expect to receive your next pair of aligners to gradually shift your teeth into proper alignment. These visits are especially important because they ensure your Invisalign treatment is progressing as planned.
  3. Have Good Oral Hygiene
    Taking care of your Invisalign aligners is also very important! If you do not clean your aligners, you are allowing the possibility of bacteria growth over time, and who wants to deal with that? Not cleaning your invisalign trays can also cause your aligners to become stained. Thankfully, Invisalign has a Cleaning System that is literally built to clean your trays the best way possible. This system is able to remove any plaque or build-up on your trays in as little as 15 minutes. If you would rather not purchase the Cleaning System, you can always brush your trays with your normal toothbrush and toothpaste using lukewarm water – never hot water! Hot water may warp the plastic and will require you to order a new pair.

If you compare the Invisalign treatment to traditional braces, Invisalign outweighs traditional braces with pros to cons. Invisalign allows you to eat almost anything you’d like, such as popcorn or gum. When eating, please take out your trays and never put your aligners back on without rinsing them out and brushing your teeth. The ease of taking out your trays at a moment’s notice from whatever life throws at you is a huge pro to the Invisalign treatment.

With traditional metal braces, the straightening process can also take much longer, which can take anywhere from one to five years to fully straighten your teeth. Not only is the duration of Invisalign treatment shorter, but it can also be less painful than traditional metal braces. You may experience a bit of discomfort as you begin to change your aligners due to the slight pressure the trays push onto your teeth, but don’t be discouraged! This is a foolproof way to know that the treatment is working.

Invisalign is a great option, and if you follow your treatment plan as directed by your orthodontist, you may even decrease the overall time of your Invisalign treatment plan.  Just remember to take good care of your trays and teeth, try not to miss any orthodontic visits, and the closer you will be to a happy, healthy, and straighter smile.

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